Marijuana and Hormones - A Biological Cocktail
Have I got your attention?!
Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the world. I know you’ve heard it all before, drugs are bad blah blah blah, but I urge you to take 5 minutes to read about one area of your body – the hormones – and whether or not you knew about the negative effects of cannabis to your body.
The primary psychoactive component of marijuana is Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Not to be confused with CBD (Cannabidiol), which is also derived from cannabis or hemp and is served primarily in the form of an oil and will not get you high at all. Sorry about that.
What Effect Does THC Have on My Body, Aside From Getting Me High…
Hormones are helpful chemical messengers secreted by the endocrine system, a network of glands and organs that release hormones into the body. There are approximately 50 different hormones in your body. The major endocrine glands include the hypothalamus, pituitary, pancreas, pineal, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, ovaries and testes. No you don’t need to remember them all, just keep reading.
Researchers believe that THC has a massive impact on the body’s central nervous system as well as the hypothalamus as they can change the neurotransmitters in both structures and disrupt the regulation of the lower central section of the brain that connects the endocrine system with the central nervous system. Quite simply, your internal environment, memory, learning, control of movement, growth and sexual functions are all up for grabs when you smoke that joint.
Maybe hold off for a while. Keep reading.
What Other Areas of Your Body Does Weed Affect?
There are negative effects of cannabis which interact with a lot of your body’s major systems, glands, hormones and functions. Sleep, mood, metabolism, balance, appetite, bone growth, stress, fertility and body temperature are just a few of the areas that THC interacts with and I cannot emphasise enough the effects it has on your overall being.
So How Does THC Affect You and Your Hormones?
This is not just about recreational grass that gives you effusive feelings of happy happy joy joy. It’s also about how this drug can disrupt your body’s natural rhythms and cause permanent changes.
Did you know that THC’s chemical structure is similar to the brain chemical anandamide, and that our bodies recognise it (THC) and allow it to alter our normal brain communication. That’s right, it slides right in there but instead of helping regulate your body, marijuana affects mental health, your lungs, and immune system because it messes with your very sensitive hormones.
Body Out of Balance
So now we laugh off the hallucinated gargoyles while driving with your friends. Add alcohol and you all start giggling uncontrollably until someone pees their pants. Then we experience the munchies and want to Menulog a pizza at 2am (right Snoop), because the ‘high’ it gives you also affects areas that control and stimulate not just your moods but also your appetite. And as harmless as this appears, marijuana affects mental health too when the body behaves in ways it is not accustomed. So now that you’re feeling mellow and more than a little uncoordinated…. think about your poor hormone production and decreased sex drive. No sexy feely for you (maybe just peed underwear) – am I right! Errr yep.
It’s All Quite Harmless, Right…?
Obviously you’re probably thinking that the occasional spliff will make little or no difference compared to a fully-fledged stoner, but that may or may not be true. The THC from cannabis is such a potent being that the impact it has on everyday mood and energy levels has the scientific community in all shapes and forms trying to shout out loud that the risk is just not worth taking. Stop and think of your body. You know it better than anyone else, but the same aforementioned doctors and scientists also know that to keep a body healthy and self-regulating is one very fine balancing act.
Permanent or Reversible Effects?
Stress, illness and underlying hereditary factors may push a normal body out of sync at any point. With denial being a ‘river in Egypt’, how many of you reading this are going to admit to being stressed, ill or suffering from dad’s bald patch. Yep….thought so.
Obviously chronic consumption of cannabis can have strong negative effects on all the endocrine glands (your poor hormones). Marijuana affects mental health, and your emotional and physical states. However the good news now you’ve stubbed out that 4th cone for the day, is that those same medical researchers mentioned above have proven that after stopping frequent THC use, the body can recover and restore normal endocrine function. So if you’re thinking of eliminating the negative effects of cannabis or at least cutting down, then moderation is the key.
I’m proud of you.
How Can I See What My Hormone Levels Are Doing?
What you can also do is visit your physician and get them to line up Neurotransmitter and Hormone tests. Specifically getting one that measures serotonin and dopamine as well as cortisol, melatonin, sex hormones and heavy metals will not only keep you informed, but also give you peacce of mind.