Posted on February 25 2019
When looking at cannabis’ health and safety profile, you're likely to find that it has a number of benefits that might make it a good match for you. Your doctor can help you decide if cannabis is a good match for your ailments, but before going the cannabis route you should be familiar with common cannabis side effects. It’s no secret that cannabis affects both men and women differently. As a man, this includes the way that cannabis affects all the hormones that are unique to your genetic makeup.
Men have a lot to keep in balance. Learning how to regulate testosterone, human growth hormone, cortisol, and the many other hormones that make up the male endocrine system is essential to great health. Unsurprisingly, cannabis has an impact on your hormone levels and impacts your endocrine system directly. Learning how cannabis can make an impact is the first step to understanding how it may help balance your hormones and may help you quickly identify cannabis might be the reason your hormones are out of whack. Here are a few ways cannabis affects men’s health:
How Does Cannabis Affect Testosterone Levels?
There’s been a bit of talk surrounding cannabis and its impact on testosterone levels. Several media outlets have even released warnings about cannabis causing low T levels in men. There may be some truth to the claim. One study did show lower testosterone levels in men who smoked cannabis regularly. But the differences in hormone levels weren’t extreme overall.
A more recent study involved checking the hormone levels of both men and women who used varying amounts of cannabis. The testosterone levels seemed to vary minimally, if at all. It all adds up to this: cannabis use may lead to an increased chance of low T levels, but healthy men who use cannabis moderately may have no reason to worry.
Some of the symptoms of low testosterone levels include low sex drive, impotence, hair loss, loss of muscle mass, and other adverse effects. If you think you have low testosterone levels, check with your doctor before using cannabis.
Cannabis and Male Sex Drive
On more than a few occasions, news outlets have pounded cannabis for it’s potential to decrease sex drive. Many of these reports rely on cannabis lowering men’s testosterone, which in turn lowers their libido and harms their sexual performance. However, this might not be the case, and studies show that cannabis might even have opposite effects for some people.
Studies have found that cannabis might actually play a role in a healthy sex life for some people. One study says that people who use cannabis regularly have 20% more sex than people who never use cannabis. Of course, that study doesn’t take many other lifestyle factors into play and doesn’t necessarily mean that the people having less sex experience a lower sex drive. Many people have experienced only positive effects on their sex drive after using cannabis, but researchers aren’t sure why. One theory is the connection between cannabis and lower anxiety levels, which may lead to increased libido. In women, experts believe cannabis might activate part of the brain that leads to sexual desire, but this theory hasn’t been tested for men.
Does Cannabis Lower Sperm Count?
Some sources have found a link between heavy cannabis use and lower sperm counts. This claim is mostly undisputed, but newer studies have shown that cannabis use still might not affects men’s fertility. One study overseen by researchers at Boston University looked at the impact of regular cannabis use on a couple’s ability to conceive. The results show that marijuana didn’t lower a couple’s chances of getting pregnant.
Of course, there may be exceptions to this rule. Cannabis may impact fertility in men who already have low testosterone or low sperm count. If you are worried about your fertility or you and your partner are trying to conceive, be sure to consult your doctor before using cannabis.
Cannabis for Chronic Conditions Affecting Men
Aside from affecting the male endocrine system, cannabis has other effects and potential benefits that may affect men’s health. There are many conditions that men are more susceptible to than women, and even some that are frequently more severe for men than for women. For instance, men are at a higher risk of Parkinson’s disease than women. Men are also at greater risk for certain types of cancer, like melanoma. In fact, some statistics suggest that men are at a greater risk for getting cancer overall, and they are also more likely to die from it than women.
Some research shows that cannabis might be useful for managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Other research looks at cannabis used alongside cancer treatments, like chemotherapy, to manage the adverse side effects. Researchers are even looking more into cannabis use as a cancer treatment since studies found that cannabis might be able to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in a petri dish.
Alternatively, men might be at greater risk for lung cancer and respiratory conditions, and smoking cannabis might increase that risk. There are many other ways to consume cannabis, though, so check with your doctor to learn about consumption methods that don’t strain the lungs. Men may also be at a greater risk for heart disease, and cannabis has a known impact on blood pressure. If you have a heart condition or trouble with your blood pressure, always check with your doctor before using cannabis.
Is Cannabis a Good Choice for You?
Cannabis may be beneficial for a wide range of adults, but more research is needed to understand the full potential of the plant. Many people use cannabis in moderation with no adverse effects. Under the guidance of their doctor, many patients use cannabis daily to manage symptoms related to chronic conditions. Many men experience no adverse reactions at all. Unfortunately, the lack of research makes it difficult to determine if any male may be at greater risk based on various health or lifestyle factors.
If you are concerned, or if you suffer from hormone imbalances, low sperm count, or decreased fertility, always consult with your doctor before using cannabis. If you notice certain effects after starting cannabis, like impotence, fatigue, or decreased ejaculation, check with our doctor. Generally, your doctor can quickly check your hormone levels to determine if there is an issue, which might help you decide if cannabis is the culprit.