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  • Olivia Castro

How does marijuana affect hormones?

Do Hormones Affect Marijuana?

Hormones can affect everything in your body from appetite, stress and mood regulation, sleep and body temperature. This may have you wondering, how does marijuana affect all these different hormones? Here’s what you need to know.

Hormones are the “body's chemical messengers [which] travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs.” There are 50 different types of hormones in the body. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is another system that helps regulate the body. Marijuana interacts with the ECS which is why marijuana can affect appetite, stress and fertility.

Marijuana and appetite

Many patients may experience the “munchies.” This is because marijuana increases appetite and intensifies the pleasure we experience while eating.

Marijuana appears to influence leptin hormones levels which help regulate food intake, energy expenditure and the body’s natural body weight. It has been shown that marijuana consumers have lower levels of leptin on average which could point to why marijuana consumers tend to have lower body fat percentages, obesity rates, BMIs and a smaller waist size. The higher your body fat percentage, the higher your leptin hormone levels are.

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 cannabis with a high THC amount will elevate your cortisol levels and the effects of this vary person to person based on frequency of use. For those that do not consume cannabis frequently, this spike in cortisol levels can increase blood pressure and heighten anxiety. For those who use more often, they can become habituated to this spike which will lower their response to stress.

Cortisol is also used when getting up in the morning. A dose of cortisol is what helps you get out of bed and slowly declines as the day goes on. For frequent cannabis consumers, this cortisol peak in the morning is lessened, making it hard to wake up and jumping into 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 negatively affect female fertility. Based on studies such as this one, women actively trying to get pregnant should avoid marijuana unless the therapy benefits far outweigh the fertility risks.

There also has been a positive link when it comes to female sex drive and marijuana. Another study shows that women who used marijuana before intercourse reported an increase in sex drive and a improvement in orgasm versus women who did not use. Overall the research is mixed and more studies need to be conducted to definitively say how marijuana impacts fertility.

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 Arkansas 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 Arkansas Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at (844) 249-8714 and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process and schedule you for an evaluation appointment.

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