So, is there any direct connection between the two? Whatever other negative or positive effects that it might have on someone’s health, that’s not the topic here. That’s a massive subject. And you can research on your own to weigh out the benefits and drawbacks for yourself.
The typical response that you’ll usually get when it comes to the issue of marijuana and bodybuilding is usually something along the lines of, you know, if you smoke weed, then, you’ll just end up lazy and unmotivated. You’ll skip workouts, you won’t train intensely, you’ll get the munchies and over eat, you won’t be able to focus, so on and so forth. And I personally think that’s just kind of a lazy almost cliché answer at this point, because it doesn’t say anything at all about the dosage and the frequency involved, individual differences that might come into play or what the actual research says on the issue. So when it comes to weed and bodybuilding, the main issues of concern are basically hormonal. So, the way that it affects levels of testosterone, growth hormone and estrogen. And I have reviewed the research that is available. And as far as I can tell, there are no studies, currently, that show that moderate marijuana use has a significant long-term effect on those hormones that would cause you to gain muscle or burn fat less effectively. At least not to a degree that would be noticeable. So, with testosterone, you basically see small short-term decreases after smoking, which then go back to baseline fairly quickly afterwards. And even when test levels do drop, they still stay within the normal range. Heavy use might be a different story. But again, the studies are still mixed. Some show lower levels, but again, still within the normal range. And other show no real difference at all. And again, remember that the simple act of increasing or decreasing testosterone levels that really doesn’t say anything on its own, because in terms of it affecting muscle growth, those levels have to be raised or lowered, and to a significant enough degree and then sustained over prolonged period in order for it to really matter. So, after testosterone, you have growth hormone. In this area, you only see decreases when very large doses of pure THC are given. And even then the decrease is pretty minor and it’s temporary. And one study even showed an increase in growth hormone. And when it comes to estrogen, again, mixed results.
I’m not going to go into all the details here. Some in-vitro research. So, basically test tube studies that were done on rat cells. Those have shown an estrogen lowering effect. But then the research that was done on live rats, couldn’t replicate it. And research — some research has shown a negative effect, but only at very high doses. And I will provide some references in the description box below, if you do want to check them out. So, based on the studies that I’ve seen as well as just general anecdotal evidence, I personally can’t see any good reason to tell you that moderate use of marijuana would slow down your rate of muscle growth or a fat loss. And even if it did, it probably would be very minor and you probably wouldn’t even notice it. Now, that obviously assumes that your overall training and your diet remain exactly the same.
If marijuana use causes behavioral changes, which is then carry over to your bodybuilding program, that’s obviously a different story. For example, if it causes you to significantly over eat on a consistent basis, because of increases in appetite, then of course, that’s going to have consequences when it comes to fat gain. Or if you consume it close to your training sessions, and you find that it lowers your workout quality or either you end up skipping all together, obviously, that’s not a good thing either. But again, those are behavioral changes that are within your control. And they aren’t a direct result of marijuana itself, physically lowering your body’s muscle building or fat burning capability. Now, what about frequent heavy use?
My stance there is just that I don’t see enough information for me to comfortably say that that’s not going to have any effect. It very well might not have an effect, but I just don’t know for sure. So, if you’re someone who is using it daily or multiple times a week, again, it might be totally fine. I don’t know. But I would say to just take the facts that I’ve given into consideration. Do some research on your own. And then, weigh it off against how it affects you personally, and what you’re fitness goals are and then just decide for yourself. As for moderate use, so maybe once a week or less, again, I’m not advocating that you smoke or don’t smoke pot, but from a pure bodybuilding perspective, I really can’t see it being a problem. It’s possible that there are other health reasons why you shouldn’t smoke it. But that’s beyond the scope of this video, and it’s something that you’ll just have to research and decide for yourself. So, thanks for watching guys. I hope that was an unbiased evidence-based answer to the question. I know that some people do get flustered by this topic. But it’s 2015, alcohol is a drug, the stuff in your pre-workout is a drug. There are a lot more serious things to worry about in my opinion, than if someone smokes a bit of pot here and there, just my opinion.