Apr 15, 2016 5:40 PM

Weed and Bodybuilding: Will Cannabis Affect Your Results?

Every bodybuilder knows how much effort it takes to have a perfect body. Sportspeople have to follow strict diets, focus on workouts, and spend a lot of time in the gym. To achieve success in bodybuilding, they also have to monitor the level of their hormones, such as growth hormone, testosterone, and estrogen. Thus, if your results in bodybuilding are important to you, it should be interesting to you to learn how weed can affect your body.

Cannabis Influence on Hormones


According to this cannabis study, THC contained in marijuana has a potential to decrease testosterone production for a short period of time. The authors of the study performed a series of animal tests and discovered that THC could eliminate the activity of the hypothalamus that is allegedly responsible for testosterone secretion. However, another study revealed that the hypothalamus produced only 5% of the body's testosterone. Thus, THC can reduce the production of testosterone by just 5% for less than a 24-hour period. After you develop tolerance to cannabis, you will need more THC to impact your hypothalamus.


There was a study that found a link between marijuana consumption and the increase in breast tissue in men. Fortunately, these findings were not supported by the subsequent investigations. However, cannabis really interacts with estrogen in both males and females. Another study that investigated male and female rats discovered that female rats with increased estrogen levels experienced the pain relieving effect of cannabis more intensively. After weed consumption, THC begins to compete with estradiol to connect with the brain’s estrogen receptor. Therefore, females who have higher estrogen levels than males receive more available THC that binds with endocannabinoid system. In simple words, male bodybuilders do not have to fear about their breast growing, while sportswomen need less medical cannabis for pain relief than their male friends.

Growth Hormone

Human growth hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland. It stimulates the growth and regeneration of the body cells. Thus, if you want to build your muscles, your body will require this hormone, which is also important for the growth of tissue in the brain and organs. A study on rats found that concentrated THC can suppress the production of growth hormone. Under the influence of THC, the hypothalamus releases somatostatin, also known as growth hormone-inhibiting hormone, which prevents the HG production.

There is a study on humans, however, that casts some doubt on the previous findings. The study concluded that while THC decreases testosterone levels for a while, it also enhances the production of growth hormone and cortisol, albeit insignificantly.

In effect, the studies seem to show that medical cannabis can only slightly affect human hormones; it has no lasting harmful effect on bodybuilder’s development. What bodybuilders should pay more attention to is marijuana's effect on their behavior.

Cannabis Effects on Your Behavior

It is also important to consider marijuana's influence on human behavior before buying cannabis at your local dispensary. Some strains of cannabis have a sedative effect, and you should keep that it in mind if you want to smoke weed before your workout. However, cannabis can be a perfect medication if you need to relax and calm down after stressful workouts. A sound sleep induced by marijuana will let your muscle restore and grow.

Moreover, weed can also increase your appetite and help you get some additional weight for your muscles. But be careful with your dosage, as cannabis can make you forget about your strong diet for a while. Thus, consult your local medical marijuana doctor and monitor your condition when you use cannabis.

If you are a bodybuilder who likes cannabis, let us know about your weed experience in the comments below.

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