CBD has emerged as one of the most effective and versatile natural medicines on the market. It appeals to a wide range of people and can target a number of different ailments, ranging from physical problems to mental maladies. Some of the problems most effectively managed by CBD include:
- Anxiety, including anxiety from chronic conditions like PTSD
- Physical and neuropathic pain from chronic conditions like arthritis
- Acute pain
- Digestive problems, appetite issues, IBS
CBD can also be used to enhance the health of the skin and hair. However, for all of its purported benefits, there is at least one thing that people are curious about regarding CBD. There has been some anecdotal evidence that has linked CBD oil and low testosterone.
In this article we’re going to explain how CBD works and how it might impact a person’s testosterone levels.
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid that’s found in the cannabis plant and the hemp plant. In its extracted form, it is available in various forms:
- Capsules, which contain either powdered, activated CBD or CBD oil. Capsules are best used for oral usage.
- Oil form, which usually comes with a dropper. Oils are good for sublingual and oral usage.
- Balms, salves, and other topical preparations for use on the skin.
- Shatters or wax, which are used for vaporization.
The various forms of CBD make it appealing to a wide audience. People who need a short-acting but quick-hitting dose of CBD, like those using it for anxiety, can use a vaporizer. People who want longer-lasting effects to manage chronic conditions can eat it or use it sublingually. People who just want some of its benefits for skin and health need not ingest the medicine at all, because they can just apply it on the skin.
The majority of CBD’s effects come from the way that it regulates and maintains the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is one of the largest networks in the body, and it regulates a huge number of our bodily functions.
Unfortunately, many things can throw the endocannabinoid system out of balance. Things like stress, pollution, unhealthy food and lack of exercise can all create imbalances in the endocannabinoid system. Over a long period of time, an imbalanced endocannabinoid system can lead to problems like IBS and anxiety.
That’s why CBD has such far-reaching benefits. By having a regulatory effect on a system that covers much ground in the body, CBD is able to target and eliminate a very wide range of problems. Learn more about that here.
However, there is evidence that CBD doesn’t affect everyone the same way. The main difference occurs between men and women. There is a little bit of a difference in the way that males feel the effects of testosterone compared to how women experience it.
CBD, The Endocannabinoid System and Testosterone Levels
The reason that CBD effects people differently is because of the way that the endocannabinoid system works with our testosterone levels. It’s already widely known that men and women have different levels of testosterone, so it makes sense that anything affecting testosterone might affect the two genders differently.
The main reason for this is because of the way the endocannabinoid system (ECS) interacts with the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. The latter is primarily responsible for the production of testosterone in the body.
The endocannabinoid system is largely composed of things known as ligands, as well as the enzymes, proteins, and receptors that metabolize, transport, and receive these ligands respectively. The ECS has profound effects on the nervous system and our reproductive system.
There are several cannabinoids that take part in the endocannabinoid system. The two that we’ll be dealing with today area known as anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). These work on certain receptors, known as the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Now, this is important because the hypothalamic-pituitary axis – the body part that maintains our testosterone production – contains quite a few CB1 receptors. Sertoli cells, which are also involved in reproduction, contain CB2 cells.
When CB1 and CB2 receptors are activated, the endocannabinoid system works as sort of a protective device to prevent these hormones from being produced. This means that you won’t be producing as much testosterone when you’re taking CBD. The ECS also plays a part in sperm cells themselves, and can inhibit their production.
CBD Oil and Low Testosterone
So, what does this mean for CBD users?
Research has known for some time that chronic marijuana use lowers testosterone. This is because it directly binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors and thus prevents the body from producing as much of these hormones.
However, most marijuana these days doesn’t have a whole lot of CBD in it. Furthermore, CBD has been shown not to directly bind to these receptors. Instead it functions indirectly in the cannabinoid system and also impacts the production and transport of other neurotransmitters in the brain.
Still, CBD has been shown to have a negative impact on the production of testosterone. On the flip side, however, CBD actually helps to prevent the testosterone from being broken down in the liver. That means that, while it may slow down your body’s ability to make testosterone, you will still have roughly the same amount of it circulating in the body.
Another thing that CBD is known to do is lower estrogen and cortisol levels. This is ideal for men, and is also one of the reasons that CBD is known to help people manage stress levels. There is some evidence that excessive levels of estrogen may actually have a negative impact on testosterone levels, so this could actually lead to an improvement of testosterone.
CBD is also known to work as an aphrodisiac in the short-term. This can be a catalyst to improving sexual health and testosterone levels, because the act of being sexual can actually help men to improve levels of testosterone.
This is particularly true if they practice semen retention – sex without actually ejaculating – which many men find easier to do when they are using CBD. Practicing semen retention allows men to build up their sexual health immensely while also boosting levels of testosterone and other aspects of physical health.
Overall, the verdict is tough to decide. There are so many factors involved and the complex nature of the cannabinoid system makes it hard to pinpoint the answer to whether or not CBD oil will raise testosterone.
What we can deduce is that it certainly has an impact on sexual health. It seems to inhibit the body’s production of testosterone, while preventing the body from oxidizing and eliminating that same testosterone. That means that it keeps testosterone in circulation while preventing the body from producing as much.
Men who have high levels of estrogen may find the most sexual improvement by using CBD. By suppressing estrogen and keeping testosterone in circulation for longer, these men may experience the most obvious benefits.
CBD is known for being one of the most powerful and effective medicines on the planet. Many people are curious as to its effects on sexual health and testosterone, and we have tried our best to answer this question to the best of our ability with the research available.
The end result is that CBD will probably not have any drastic effects on testosterone levels. Hopefully the information we’ve provided has helped you better understand the cannabinoid system and the action of this wonderful substance.