T Nation


I wanted to get as much information as I can about affects of marijuana on weight lifting. As a side note, I want real statistical information, not myths about how bad marijuana is, but truth about what affect it has on muscle repair or lifting.


Not much i dont think. I smoke it now and again and i still seem to make good gains. It`s nice to relax at night with one, especially if you are still Buzzing from the Gym :slight_smile:

I conducted a study where I got my dog, my 79 year old mother, and a Brazilian Parrot really, really high, and then had them perform various lifts. The dog’s endurance was through the roof, my mother’s bench was good, but her squats were off, while the Parrot flew to a nearby perch, refused to lift and actually heckled me throughout the exercise. My real interest is mushrooms, and the parrot likes those, so I should have more complete results after I finish those tests.

I know that pro bodybuilders take it. Have no idea why. By the way, last week it was legalized in England. No mentioning of that in american mass media.

You came to the wrong forum to ask that question, be prepared to 1) Get Ignored 2) Get Flamed or 3) Get Praise from fellow smokers. If you think about it logically, the smoke will damage your lungs and will cause free radicals to run amok in the body, so aside for hindered O2 consumption you have to deal with free radicals slowing down your progress in the gym becuse you won’t able to recover as quick. Also THC I believe has an affinity to estrogen receptor sites causing an increase in estrogen in the body, once again not a good thing for anyone who wants to put on any sort of muscle. But I believe an occasional and I mean occasional joint is fine, I put it on the same level as having a couple of beers every now and then, which I know people on the forum do, so anyone who is going to flame this guy, don’t be hypocritical.

Charles Poliquin has said that it has been shown to lower circulating T levels, not good for recovery. Look it up on PubMed and see what they say

has anyone seen “pumping iron?” arnold used to get high on a regular basis. it is basically similiar to taking a muscle relaxer. however i doubt any of the benefits, outweigh the side effects.

Marijuana lowers T levels and is bad for weightlifting.

Marijuana Smoking vs Cannabinoids for Glaucoma Therapy
JAMAVol. 116 No. 11,
November 1998

It is undisputed that smoking of marijuana plant material causes a fall in intraocular pressure (IOP) in 60% to 65% of users which can benefit sufferers of glaucoma

Does Marijuana Use Cause Long-term Cognitive Deficits?
JAMAVol. 287 No. 20,
May 22/29, 2002

Both of these laboratory studies found minimal cognitive deficits after marijuana administration in experienced users and suggest that recent marijuana use is a minimal confounder in experienced marijuana users. Data from well-controlled laboratory studies in combination with data from retrospective studies can ultimately provide a more comprehensive view of marijuana-related effects on human cognitive performance.

Therapeutic Marijuana Use Supported While Thorough Proposed Study Done
JAMAVol. 281 No. 16,
April 28, 1999

The investigators said the data suggest marijuana may help with pain relief, nausea, and appetite stimulation….“Marijuana’s potential as medicine is seriously undermined by the fact that people smoke it, thereby increasing their chance of cancer, lung damage, and problems with pregnancies, including low birth weight,” Benson said. “For that reason, we do not recommend smoking marijuana for long-term medical use. While we see a future in the development of chemically defined cannabinoid drugs, we see little future in smoked marijuana as a medicine.”

Marijuana and Glaucoma
JAMAVol. 116 No. 11,
November 1998

Where do marijuana and the cannabinoids fit in? Since our present therapy is directed only at lowering IOP, we must ask whether marijuana lowers the IOP. The answer in humans is an unequivocal yes. Several good studies show that smoking a marijuana cigarette reduces the IOP in normal subjects from approximately 15 to 11 mm Hg, a 24% reduction. The Goldmann equation indicates that the higher the IOP, the greater the IOP-lowering effect for a given suppression of fluid formation or enhancement of fluid drainage. In a group of patients with glaucoma and ocular hypertension, with starting IOP of approximately 30 mm Hg, smoking a similar marijuana cigarette decreased IOP to approximately 21 or 22 mm Hg, also a 20% to 25% reduction. This result is comparable with that of other glaucoma medications, including the recently approved ones.

I have not been able to find any studies showing a decrease in testosterone, however, from I have found any studies that supposedly showed this were conducted in adolescents. The truth is, marijuana clearly has a place in medicine, however, because of the stigma attached, there are very few studies geared towards finding a use or examining any possible benefits…much like steroid use. Steroids decrease circulating testosterone by the way, so I would assume that someone worried about this effect would stay away from those as well. There is a cancer risk from smoking it which is why some groups are trying to find ways around that problem by ingesting it instead. Marijuana is an illegal drug so that should be the defining factor, however, it appears to be no more harmful than LEGAL alcohol and cigarette smoke, both of which are chemically addictive while marijuana has proven not to be. -Professor X

Acute effects of smoking marijuana on hormones, subjective effects and performance in male human subjects.

Cone EJ, Johnson RE, Moore JD, Roache JD.

Four healthy male subjects smoked two marijuana cigarettes or one marijuana cigarette and one placebo cigarette, or two placebo cigarettes on separate days in a random order crossover design. Each marijuana cigarette contained 2.8% delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Plasma hormones and THC were measured before and after each smoking session. Plasma LH was significantly depressed and cortisol was significantly elevated after smoking marijuana. Nonsignificant depressions of prolactin, FSH, testosterone and free testosterone and elevation of GH also occurred. Concurrent measures of subjective effects via subscales of the Addiction Research Center Inventory, Single Dose Questionnaire and a Visual Analog Scale were generally elevated. Significant impairment on a psychomotor performance task paralleled elevations in subjective effects, hormone effects and peak THC determinations. Although all the hormone effects were within normal basal ranges, interactions between these systems, and their effects on behavior cannot be discounted.

NIDA Res Monogr 1984;44:46-64 Related Articles, Books, LinkOut

Endocrine effects of marijuana in the male: preclinical studies.

Harclerode J.

Marijuana affects a variety of hormones that are regulated by hypothalamic function and it appears that the psychoactive ingredient, THC, is the major compound responsible for this action. It is probable that THC affects these hormones through its ability to alter various neural transmitters in the hypothalamus or neural transmitters in the CNS which impinge on the hypothalamus. The dopaminergic and serotonergic fibers seem to be particularly important. The two gonadotropins, LH and FSH, secreted by the pituitary gland are of major importance to reproduction in the male. Both gonadotropins appear to respond to a single releasing factor from the hypothalamus, GnRH, which is sensitive to catecholamine neurotransmitters. The THC-induced block of GnRH release results in lowered LH and FSH which is responsible for reduced testosterone production by the Leydig cells of the testis. Other hormones that might have a synergistic or antagonistic effect upon reproduction in the male are the adrenal cortical hormones, prolactin, thyroid hormones, and growth hormones. THC appears to depress prolactin, thyroid gland function, and growth hormone while elevating adrenal cortical steroids. Chronic exposure of laboratory animals, such as rats, mice, and monkeys to marijuana and to the various cannabinoids in marijuana has altered the function of several of the accessory reproductive organs. Reports of reduced prostate and seminal vesicle weights, as well as altered testicular function, have been partially explained by the effect of marijuana in lowering serum testosterone needed for proper function and support. Although some of the change in organ weight may be due to lowered testosterone production by the Leydig cells of the testis, some of the weight changes may be due to a direct action of THC, and perhaps some of the other nonpsychoactive cannabinoids in marijuana, on the tissue themselves. Also, of concern are the reports that acute cannabinoid treatments affects the quality and quantity of spermatozoa produced by the testis. The question is still unanswered as to whether or not the effects observed on spermatozoa are due to a direct action of the cannabinoids on spermatogenesis, or whether some of the observed effects may be due to altered hormone levels which are necessary for the support of spermatogenesis. Reduced testosterone and FSH may be important in producing the observed changes in sperm production by the seminiferous tubules. Many of the effects on the endocrine system caused by chronic treatment of animals with THC are completely reversible with time and there is reason to believe that tolerance develops to these effects with acute exposure to THC

Prof. X, most of the studies I came across were non-human, but still interesting…I used testosterone and THC as key words.

Thanks, MK, however, I am not one to worry much about non-human studies besides the fact that they bring attention to a possibility of them doing the same in humans. I also understand that many of the studies concerning this drug are biased, much like most research on alcohol or steroid use. There are very limited studies actually done using healthy humans as the test subjects which has a lot to do with any findings.

The latest MD has a blip about a study showing that Marijuana smokers tend to consume upwards of 30-40% more calories than their non-smoking counterparts, however those who smoke did not have higher bodyfat levels or body mass indexes despite their increased calorie intake. These findings suggest marijuana causes increased caloric expenditure through unknown means. Why would anyone flame someone for asking this? There are no stupid questions right? Just stupid answers and stupid people.

thc and canabinoid are potent anti oxidants, that should settle the free radical thing. i honestly think that it might lower T levels atleast somewhat.

I think it was on this forum awhile back, but someone had stated that it takes 7 - 9 joints a week to have any real affect on T levels.

Any studies on thc or cannabinoids to be antioxidannts, cause I would be curious to see it. Thanks

uhh i stole this from a guy on elite which he copied out of discover magazine. '“Hampson and his colleagues of the National Institute of Mental Health find that THC and cannibidiol, two chemicals found in the marijuana plant, are potent antioxidants which could prevent the death of brain cells in stroke victims. Unlike THC, cannibidiol is not a psychoactive substance–in other words, it doesn’t cause a high–and it few side effects. In studies using rats neurons, Hampson’s group determined that cannibidiol is at least as powerful as vitamins C and E in mopping up dangerous oxidizing compounds released during a stroke. The marijuana-derived chemical could even be useful for treating Alzheimer’s, which may also involve neuron damage caused by oxidation. Hampson’s work appears in the July Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Who knew pot could help the brain?”

Just to let you know the affects of marijuana on the endocrine system, fuck bodybuillding for a minute here… Marijuana gave me severe gyno which I had to get surgery for to help the appearance… THATS FUCKED UP HUH?

How did marijuana give you gyno? Is this what the doctor told you?

I’ve always been a health nut and into weight training theory’s and methods since I was 13. I was one of the fastest on the track team and made state my first year in wrestling as well as broke the pull up, push up, and sit up record in my gym class. I was the strongest pound for pound in my advanced strength training class in high school. I also started smoking bud in 6th grade and I feel it has not had any hindering effects on my health mentally or physically although I have been pot free for almost a year because I just sort of got over that stage of my life and found other ways of making myself have even more fun and/or relaxe with methods such as NLP/DHE/self hypnosis instead of marijuana or alchol. If I could go back and start over I probably wouldn’t change my experience with the insight it gave me. I didn’t consider it a drug, ever, and think if people want to smoke/eat it then smoke or eat it. If you believe it will be detrimental to your life then it’s like a self fulfilling prophecy and it will. If you believe it enhances your performance in everything you do, then it will. I believe it’s the individuals state of mind that influence marijuana’s effect on you.

Peace and freewill

Well said, but moderation is also key.