- Olivia Castro
How does marijuana affect hormones?
Does Marijuana Affect Your Hormones?
Hormones are a complex system in the body that regulate everything from mood regulations, appetite, sleep, body temperature and most bodily functions.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is another system that helps regulate the body. Cannabis interacts with both the ECS and hormones which is why marijuana has a direct impact on appetite, stress and fertility. Here’s what you need to know about how cannabis consumption can affect your hormones!
Marijuana and appetite
The “munchies'' can be a common side effect of consuming marijuana. This is because marijuana increases appetite and intensifies the pleasure we experience while eating which is why medical marijuana is such a great treatment for cancer, HIV/AIDS and wasting syndrome patients.
In addition, medical marijuana influences leptin hormone levels which helps regulate food intake, energy expenditure and the body’s natural body weight. The higher your body fat percentage, the higher your leptin hormone levels are. It has been shown that those who consume cannabis regularly have lower levels of leptin on average which points to why cannabis users tend to have lower body fat percentages, obesity rates, BMIs and even a smaller waist size.
Marijuana and stress
Cortisol is “nature’s built-in alarm system. It’s your body’s main stress hormone. It works with certain parts of your brain to control your mood, motivation, and fear.” The THC that is found in cannabis increases your body’s cortisol levels. The effects of this increase varies based on one's frequency of consumption. For those that consume marijuana occasionally, this spike in cortisol levels can increase blood pressure and heighten anxiety. For those who use cannabis frequently, they can become habituated to this spike which lowers their response to stress.
A spike in cortisol is also an important hormone used when getting up in the morning. These levels slowly decline as the day goes on. For consumers who use marijuana often, this cortisol peak in the morning is dulled making it hard to wake up and start the day.
Marijuana and fertility
When it comes to marijuana usage and fertility, the findings are conflicting. A recent study showed that marijuana disrupts the gonadotropin-releasing hormone which leads to reduced estrogen and progesterone levels. This can make it difficult for one to get pregnant.
It also has been shown that there is a positive link when it comes to female sex drive and cannabis which can actually help one get pregnant. Another recent study showed women who used cannabis before intercourse reported an increase in sex drive and a improvement in orgasm versus women who did not use. Overall, the research is mixed and much more needs to be done to definitively say how marijuana affects fertility.
If you or someone you know has more questions about how medical marijuana can affect your hormones, reach out to us and we can get your questions answered by one of our doctors!
If you are a Louisiana resident suffering from a medical condition you think may benefit cannabis, you're likely eligible for medical marijuana treatment.
Click here to learn more about what Louisiana Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at (833) 253-2943 and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process and schedule you for an evaluation appointment.