Person Holding Green Canabis with testosterone symbols over it

Does Marijuana Lower Testosterone? The Truth Behind the Smoke

It is important to understand that smoking marijuana does not actually increase testosterone levels despite what some people may believe. On the contrary, smoking can have effects on testosterone production by harming the testicles and impacting sperm count and quality. Additionally, smoking can also pose health risks such as an increased likelihood of developing cancer, heart disease and lung disease.

If you are aiming to optimize your testosterone levels, it is advisable to consider quitting smoking or reducing marijuana and nicotine consumption while adopting a lifestyle that promotes optimal hormone production. By doing so you, can improve your well being and enjoy the benefits of having optimal testosterone levels.

Marijuana is a substance used around the world with many individuals enjoying its euphoric effects. However, if you are concerned about your testosterone levels as a man you may wonder if marijuana lowers testosterone.

Testosterone is a hormone that plays a role in many aspects of male health including muscle growth, sex drive, mood regulation and energy levels. Low testosterone levels can lead to problems such as reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, depression and muscle mass loss.

So the question remains; Does smoking weed or consuming edibles affect your testosterone levels? Determining the answer to this question is more complex than it may initially appear. In this article, we will delve into the studies regarding marijuanas impact on testosterone levels and cover the reality behind this controversial topic.

The Effects of THC on Testosterone

Photo of Man Smoking in Black Background

One of the main reasons why some people think that marijuana can lower testosterone is because of its main psychoactive ingredient: THC. THC is the compound that gives marijuana its mind-altering effects, such as euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception.

THC can also interact with your endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a network of receptors and molecules that regulate various functions in your body, such as mood, pain, appetite, and reproduction. The ECS has been shown to influence testosterone production and secretion in both animals and humans.

Some studies have suggested that THC can lower testosterone levels in men, but these results are not consistent and more research is needed. For example, one study found that chronic daily exposure to THC reduced testicular size and circulating testosterone in monkeys. Another study found that acute exposure to THC decreased testosterone levels in healthy men.

However, other studies have found no significant effect of THC on testosterone levels in men. For instance, one study found that weekly cannabis use did not affect testosterone levels in physically active men. Another study found that cannabis use was associated with small increases in testosterone levels in men.

The Effects of Marijuana Consumption Methods on Testosterone

When considering the relationship between marijuana and testosterone, it's important to take into account the ways it can be consumed. There are methods like smoking, vaping, eating edibles or applying topicals. Each method can have effects on your body and hormones.

Smoking marijuana can have health impacts and potentially affect testosterone levels. It may harm your lungs, increasing the risk of infections, chronic bronchitis and lung cancer. Smoking marijuana also exposes you to toxins and carcinogens that could harm your testicles and reduce testosterone production.

Vaping marijuana might be less harmful than smoking it, but still carries some risks. It can irritate the lungs causing inflammation, coughing and wheezing. Vaping exposes you to contaminants and additives that may affect both your health and hormone levels.

Eating edibles could be an option compared to smoking or vaping, but has its drawbacks as well. Edibles take longer to take effect. Their effects are longer compared to other consumption methods. They can also be unpredictable at times leading to overdosing or adverse reactions. Additionall,y edibles might influence liver function and metabolism which in turn could impact hormone levels.

Topicals refer to skincare products, like creams, lotions or oils that are directly applied onto the skin. They are commonly used for pain relief, addressing skin conditions.

It's highly unlikely that topicals would affect your testosterone levels as they don't enter your bloodstream or interact with your body's ECS ( system).

Other Factors That Influence Testosterone Levels

Although marijuana might have an impact on testosterone levels, it's crucial to bear in mind that various other factors can also affect hormone production. Some of these factors include;

  • Age: As you age, after reaching the age of 30 it is natural for your testosterone levels to decrease.
  • Diet: The food you consume has an impact on your testosterone levels as it provides the nutrients for hormone production or can disrupt hormone metabolism. To illustrate, having an adequate intake of protein, healthy fats, zinc and vitamin D can assist in boosting testosterone production. Conversely, consuming amounts of sugar alcohol or processed foods can have an effect on testosterone levels.
  • Stress: Experiencing stress can have an impact on your testosterone levels. This occurs when the hormone cortisol in your body increases, which can interfere with the functioning of your testicles and lead to a decrease in testosterone production.
  • Physical activity: Engaging in physical activity has the potential to elevate your testosterone levels through the promotion of healthy blood circulation to your testicles resulting in increased muscle mass and a reduction in body fat. It is important to note however that excessive exercise or intense workouts can have a contrasting effect on testosterone levels by triggering an increase in cortisol and inflammation.
  • Sleep: Getting sleep is crucial for maintaining testosterone levels. When you don't get sleep it can disrupt your sleep wake cycle leading to lower testosterone levels. Additionally, it may increase cortisol levels while reducing growth hormone production.

How to Optimize Your Testosterone Levels Naturally

As you can observe marijuana might not actually decrease your testosterone levels as some individuals assume. In reality the impact of marijuana, on testosterone production can be quite intricate and variable depending on factors such as the quantity, frequency and manner of consumption. Additionally, your unique genetic makeup and physiology also play a role in this equation.

If you're interested in optimizing your testosterone levels here are a suggestions you can consider;

  • Cut back on. Stop using marijuana. Marijuana can have effects on your well being and may impact your testosterone levels. Making an effort to reduce or eliminate marijuana use can enhance function and increase hormone production.
  • To support the production of hormones it's important to maintain a rounded diet. Ensuring that your diet contains healthy amounts of protein, healthy fats, zinc, vitamin D and other essential nutrients can play a role in boosting testosterone levels and preventing imbalances in hormone levels.
  • Make sure you handle your stress levels well. Long term stress can bring down your testosterone levels by boosting cortisol and affecting the function of your testicles. Effectively managing your stress can assist in reducing cortisol and boosting testosterone. There are ways to handle stress, such as practicing meditation, doing breathing exercises, engaging in yoga, pursuing hobbies or spending time with friends.
  • Make sure to incorporate moderate exercise into your routine. Engaging in activity on a consistent basis can have positive effects on your testosterone levels by promoting better blood circulation to your testicles, helping build muscle mass and reducing overall body fat. However, it's important to avoid overtraining or exercising excessively and intensely as this can actually have the opposite effect on testosterone levels by increasing cortisol levels and inflammation. Strive for an approach with exercises of moderate intensity and duration while also keeping in mind not to exercise too close to bedtime.
  • It's important to make sure you get sleep and rest. Maintaining optimal testosterone levels relies on getting sleep and rest. When you don't get sleep it can disrupt your rhythm, increase cortisol levels and reduce growth hormone production; all of which can lower your testosterone levels. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep every night. Try to avoid consuming caffeine or alcohol as well as exposure to blue light before bedtime.


To sum up, it is not necessarily true that marijuana lowers testosterone levels. The impact of marijuana on testosterone production can vary depending on factors like consumption amount, frequency, method, as individual genetics and physiology. If you aim to optimize your testosterone levels it may be beneficial to consider reducing or quitting marijuana use while adopting a lifestyle that supports hormone production. By doing so, you can enhance your well being and experience the advantages of having optimal testosterone levels.

James Freeman


Meet James Freeman, a California native whose passion for fitness emerged during challenging times, reshaping his life. With over two decades of coaching experience, he's not just a coach; he's a real-life example, shedding over 100 pounds in a journey to a healthier lifestyle. Beyond his coaching career, James is passionate about inspiring at-risk youth and promoting wellness in schools. In his downtime, he enjoys swimming and cycling, connecting with nature. Join him on his Instagram and LinkedIn profiles for insights into his empowering fitness journey.