- Olivia Castro
How Does Marijuana Affect Hormones?
How Marijuana Affects Hormones
Hormones impact the body in several ways from stress regulations to body temperature. So how exactly does marijuana consumption affect my hormones? Here’s what you need to know!
Hormones are chemical messengers that travel within your bloodstream to tissues or organs. There are 50 different types of hormones that regulate the body. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is another system that helps regulate the body and is activated when consuming cannabis. Cannabis interacts with both the ECS and hormones which is why marijuana can have a direct impact on appetite, stress and fertility.
Marijuana and appetite
Many of us are familiar with the “munchies” that can come along with consuming marijuana. It is well known that 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.
Marijuana influences leptin hormone levels which helps regulate food intake, energy expenditure and the body’s natural body weight (also known as set point). The higher your body fat percentage, the higher your leptin hormone levels are. It has been shown that marijuana consumers have lower levels of leptin on average which points to why marijuana consumers tend to have lower body fat percentages, obesity rates, BMIs and 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.” Consuming marijuana with a high THC level naturally elevates your cortisol levels. The effects of this elevation vary based on how frequently one consumes marijuana. For those that do not consume cannabis frequently, cortisol levels can increase blood pressure and heighten anxiety. Once patients become habituated to this spike, it can lower their stress response.
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 frequent consumers, this cortisol spike in the morning is dulled making it hard to wake up and start the day.
Marijuana and fertility
When it comes to marijuana use and fertility, the findings have been 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 someone to get pregnant.
There also has been a positive link when it comes to female sex drive and marijuana which can actually help someone get pregnant. Another recent study showed women who used marijuana before intercourse reported an increase in sex drive and a improvement in orgasm versus women who did not use. Overall, more research needs to be conducted to fully understand the impact marijuana has on fertility in women.
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 Missouri 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 Missouri Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at (877) 303-3117 and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process and schedule you for an evaluation appointment.