Cannabis & Your Hormones: A Complex Connection
What thoughts come to your mind when you think of Cannabis? If you are unfamiliar with the term, it is another name for Marijuana, a psychoactive drug that comes from the Cannabis plant and is used for both medical and recreational purposes. The term ‘borderline drug’ is often associated with Marijuana and the first image that jumps to most people’s minds is a rolled-up joint.
There is more to Cannabis than just a “high” feeling. In fact, 483 different compounds constitute Cannabis, over 60 of which are cannabinoids, i.e, compounds that connect with cannabinoid receptors in our brains, and only one of these—tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—is mainly responsible for the high or stoned feeling associated with Marijuana.
A multitude of experimental researches is being conducted on various strains of the weed, and you would be surprised at how the results are moving the field of medicine towards natural remedies.
The connection these studies draw between Cannabis and hormones is sure to astound you. As per a study was done in 2002, it was noted that, in animals, THC alters various hormones. These include prolactin, growth hormone, prolactin, and steroids.
Since the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the early 1990s, new revelations about how cannabis compounds impact hormones and hormone-related conditions have come forth.
What is the link between the two, you might ask now?
The neurotransmitter signaling systems in our bodies are closely connected, and ECS and the endocrine system are both a part of them. This is what lets the cannabinoids, both internally produced as well as those coming from Cannabis, impact the working of the endocrine system. Due to this, it may affect the production and alter the behavior of hormones in both the reproductive system and other circumstances.
To add to this, research suggests that the ECS might, in fact, play a major role in the production of hormones in the hypothyroid-pituitary-gonadotropin (HPG) axis. This is responsible for stimulating follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which further leads to the production of steroid hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, androgen, etc.
Multiple studies establish that the responses of males and females differ in how Cannabis affects endocrine hormones.
Post-pregnancy benefits of Cannabis
Marijuana maintains the prolactin levels. Prolactin is a hormone released from the anterior pituitary gland that stimulates milk production after childbirth. While an increase of prolactin levels may lead to stress, depression, anxiety, and conditions such as estrogen dominance and osteoporosis, suppressed prolactin hormones may impact postpartum and fertility in a negative way. By regulating the levels of prolactin, Cannabis plays a vital role.
While pregnancy is beautiful, in the first few weeks after birth, over 80% of the new mothers face hormonal fluctuations, mood swings, nausea, and insomnia. If these symptoms persist for over a month, there is a high possibility of you suffering from postpartum depression (PPD). Marijuana works wonders as a natural anti-depressant in those sensitive days when clinical drugs such as benzodiazepines can be a risk. It helps restore the hormonal balance, restores diet, and helps with depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Marijuana and Menopause
If you are a woman nearing or experiencing menopause, Cannabis may cause a significant positive impact. While common symptoms are mood swings and anxiety, menopause may cause sexual discomfort, osteoporosis, and insomnia.
Cannabis may be the natural remedy to help you fight this hormonal disbalance instead of opting for clinical treatments such as Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT). According to a study, “The cannabinoids CBD, CBG, CBC, and TCHV have been found to help stimulate bone growth and help prevent the onset of osteoporosis after menopause.” Cannabis can also help avoid insomnia by inducing sleep.
Affect on other hormones and other impacts
While Marijuana is considered to influence Thyroid hormone and HGH (human growth hormone) in a positive way, more research is currently underwork regarding these. HGH levels are regulated by the drug, and in the right amount, this suppresses the growth of cancerous cells. HGH levels also play an important role in a woman’s fertility and physiological cycle, so these influences of Marijuana are very welcome.
Further, if you or someone around you deal with depression, anxiety, and stress, Cannabis has anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties. It can also act as a natural substitute for pain-relief and anti-inflammatory chemical drugs.
How to use Marijuana, and where to find it
Cannabis, thanks to multiple research and known positive impacts, is now available legally in a number of states. While you may find them in physical shops, it is safer to buy quality strains from trustable online portals. Among the available strains, Indica is one of the most popular due to the high THC content.
You can use Marijuana canada in a number of ways, including smoking a joint, using a vape pen or topicals such as gels or oils, drinking it as tea or ingesting supplements. It is more or less a personal choice which way you decide to use it.
Though still thought of as just a psychotic drug by many, the positive impacts of Cannabis are many, and in a way, it is like a beacon for finding remedies in nature. While much of the research is undergoing, Marijuana has established its exceptionally revolutionary medical abilities.