More and more, scientists are coming to find how many substances in our environment work as endocrine disruptors – having an unintended or unwanted effect on certain hormones.  Some examples of these are BPA, phthalates, pesticides, and PABA (like you find in sunscreen).  For years now, we have also known that using Marijuana chronically can have similar hormone effects, thereby affecting your libido, your sex life, and of course, your body.  But it almost seems as if society is unaware of the effects of Marijuana as more and more public opinion sways in tolerating its use.

One of the well-known effects of Marijuana is that it lowers testosterone levels.  It is thought that it may have this effect by decreasing the hormones FSH and LH that the brain secretes to signal the testicles to produce testosterone.  This decrease in testosterone can make men feel tired, with little or no sexual desire, as well as have them tend to lose muscle mass and put on fat instead.  Some men may also develop increase in their breast tissue (i.e. man-boobs).

With a chronic decrease in testosterone, men can also have shrinkage of their testicles, as the brain no longer sends them the signal to work as hard.  Needless to say that it will affect sperm motility, so a man’s effective sperm count will also fall.   This can significantly impact couples trying to get pregnant.  These effects are reversible, however, and the body can stabilize within a few months after discontinuation.  As cannabinoids and THC are stored in fat tissue for long periods of time, this should be included when calculating time to improvement.

Along with this decrease in testosterone, Marijuana use can also raise your cortisol.  This has detrimental effects over the long-term as well, including decreased immune system, increase in belly fat, decrease in the body’s ability to heal, and increased blood pressure.  Since the entire body works in concert, these effects slowly impact your overall health, making you more susceptible to chronic illness.  These are effects that pertain not just to men, but to women too.

And if all of these weren’t enough, Marijuana has been found to cause damage to the interior of blood vessels.  It decreases nitric oxide production, which is the substance that helps tell blood vessels to dilate in order to get an erection.  The damage to the lining of the blood vessels can become permanent as it adds up over time.  Congratulations, you now have erectile dysfunction.  And since women have erectile tissue as well (think clitoris, G-spot, U-spot, and vestibular bulbs), this can decrease the sensitivity of these vessels over time, making stimulation of those areas less pleasurable.  These effects are attributed to the Marijuana itself, so it really doesn’t matter if you are using a joint, a bong, or a vaporizer.  You can exhale now.

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