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Cannabis and Testosterone

Cannabis and Testosterone: What you need to know Cannabis legalization is fast spreading across borders, and every day is an…

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Cannabis and Testosterone: What you need to know

Cannabis legalization is fast spreading across
borders, and every day is an exciting day to know more about marijuana. The
effect of cannabis on the human body has been fascinating to scientists all over
the world for decades now. But with legalization, the scope of research has
also expanded. Today they work to uncover the various health benefits one can
derive from marijuana usage and the different forms of presenting it to the
users.

The cannabis works with the endocannabinoid
system in the body. The active cannabinoids present in cannabis bind with the
CBD receptors in the body to control the release of enzymes as well as ensure
the proper functioning of the body. This way, they guide the body to become
healthier. Given the cannabinoids interact with the ECS, it is natural that it
also affects the sex hormones. The use of cannabis can have both intended as
well as unintended effects on testosterone or male sex hormones in the body.
Here is a closer look at how cannabis can affect these levels.

Cannabis – The Natural way to Boost Testosterone

The path to understanding the true
relationship between cannabis and testosterone
can only come from breaking down the plant into its truly beneficial components
– THC and CBD. These are the two major cannabidiols present in the cannabis
plant that are responsible for its medicinal benefits. Even the cannabinoids
from the Budget Buds improve the functioning of
our endocannabinoid systems, which is also responsible for regulating enzymes
and hormones.

THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is responsible for
immediately shooting up your testosterone level the moment you smoke. This is
an unnatural jump of testosterone levels in the body. Some believe that this
sudden shoot up could be the reason behind regular marijuana users suffering
from acne and baldness or excessive hair loss. 
But currently, no study gives a conclusive argument towards this effect
of marijuana. Also, the quantity of marijuana that could cause such serious
effects are above regular consumption levels of humans.

Another study aims to
back up counterpoints to the above argument. It indicates that THC can help
raise the cortisol levels in the body. Cortisols have the property of reducing
testosterone levels naturally in the body, which could be the reason behind low
testosterone levels in stoners. But, this effect of spiking cortisol levels is
less observed in case of frequent users. This indicates the probability that
regular and moderate consumers could benefit from this plant.

There are counterarguments to the above studies which
suggest that THC as an endocrine rupture could, in fact, block GnRH release by
the hypothalamus. This leads to lower testosterone levels in the body. Another study
conducted with 27 subjects (men aged between 21-26) who used marijuana every
day for about 3 weeks. The surprising results of the study indicated no
significant change in plasma testosterone levels. This included a few users
consuming beyond the indicated limits. Certain strains and concentrates such as
shatter could
have a positive effect on testosterone levels and more about the same can
become available only with improved research.

It is obvious that the use of in-vitro or
animal-based research gives such mixed opinions about the effects and hence
cannot be conclusive of the actual effects of this plant on humans.

Cannabis can Increase Your Sperm Count

A study
published in the Human Reproduction journal was indicative of improved sperm
count in regular marijuana users. The study aimed to understand a comparison
between men who smoked cannabis regularly vs ones who never used. The result of
the study was quite surprising given that men who smoked regularly had a better
sperm count compared to the ones who have never used drugs. A few more studies
conducted with monitored levels of marijuana exposure also indicated similar
results.

A new study aimed to
understand the effects of moderate usage of marijuana on sperm count. The study
involved 662 men as subjects along with their partners. Their fertility was
under observation over 17 years at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility
clinic. On average, about 11 percent of this set agreed to use marijuana
regularly but at a moderate amount. The results were that these men had an
average concentration of 63 million sperm per ml of semen compared to 43
million per ml in case of non-marijuana smokers. While there were a few
exceptions to these findings, the fact that various external factors such as
alcohol use, age, cigarette smoking also affect sperm count indicates that we
are yet to get closer to conclusive clinical evidence.

In fact, these studies contradict the previous
ones that showed marijuana could negatively affect
sperm count. Although the current proof seems encouraging, it is
important to know that there are few to no findings that can conclusively prove
the effectiveness of Marijuana in increasing sperm count. You can purchase some
amazing strains for medicinal benefits from the best online dispensary. Canada
is among the few countries where you can experience strains that can bring
medicinal benefits to the body.

Marijuana and Moobs

For years marijuana usage and its relation to
an increase in breast size of men have been a question. It could be that the
falling testosterone levels cause domination of estrogen, which could result in
a visible change in the size of the breast. Although there was only one serious
human clinical trial in the 1970s conducted to observe these effects, most of
the studies currently
available are oblivious to help us reach any conclusions.

The Mode of Ingestion Matters.

Dr. Buka shared that the mode of delivery of cannabis to the body could become a crucial deciding factor. THC is a useful cannabidiol which has various health benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties, antibacterial properties, that are closely related to countering skin aging. But methods such as smoking could, in fact, strip away the amazing benefits of the substance due to cons of their own. In such cases choosing the right mode for delivering these components to your body could decide if cannabis has a positive or negative effect on testosterone levels.

Authorship;

Tammy Taylor

The post Cannabis and Testosterone appeared first on The Marijuana Facts.

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Growing

How to Identify Pests in Your Cannabis Grow

Experienced and novice cannabis growers alike understand that pests can ruin a crop, no matter how well watered, fed, or tended. One of the keys to making sure that your plants grow into healthy, robust, and consumable cannabis is to keep a close eye o…

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Experienced and novice cannabis growers alike understand that pests can ruin a crop, no matter how well watered, fed, or tended. One of the keys to making sure that your plants grow into healthy, robust, and consumable cannabis is to keep a close eye on any pests that might infiltrate your grow, then take the appropriate steps to eradicate them without ruining your garden. Not only will it help keep the plants alive, thriving plants have more energy to produce trichomes and terpenes, making for better bud

Let’s take a look at some common pests found on cannabis plants, how to identify them, and lastly, get rid of them for good. With just a little maintenance and vigilance, your cannabis garden can be pest-free.

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Common Pests Found on Cannabis Plants

According to the Smithsonian Institution, there are likely more unclassified insects in the world than classified, and the running guess is somewhere between 2 million and 30 million. Thus, this is by no means a definitive list of bugs that feed on cannabis but should serve as a good starting point for most pest problems. 

Caterpillars

Before a caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly and flits away, it can be very hazardous to your cannabis plants. You know that book The Very Hungry Caterpillar? Turns out it’s a true story about how caterpillars eat everything in sight, including that tasty cannabis. Caterpillars can be very dangerous because they tend to go unnoticed, especially if they are a borer caterpillar, meaning they burrow into the plant and eat it from the inside out. But even caterpillars on the exterior will nosh away, potentially causing great damage to your plants. 

To figure out if caterpillars are ruining your plants, inspect the leaves weekly for holes from feeding, droppings on the leaves that look like tiny black specks, holes, and damage to the stems, and yellowing on upper leaves.

Natural enemies of caterpillars are wasps and praying mantises, and introducing those to the environment could make a difference. These options are typically easier for outdoor grows, but can also work indoors with some preparation. Other interventions include using a product like Bug Blaster spray or neem oil (which you can make at home).

Neem oil use has been controversial in some cannabis circles, as there is a belief among some that it may play a role in CHS (Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome), however, no definitive statements can be made without more research. The connection between neem oil and cannabis hyperemesis syndrome has yet to be fully explored or verified, but it’s still good to be aware and to be sure to closely follow usage directions.

Aphids

Even house plants have the occasional plague of aphids. Tiny and red, yellow, black, pale, green, or brown, these bugs can be easy to miss because they cling to the underside of leaves, reproduce quickly, and drain your plant of nutrients. Outdoor grows tend to fare a little better in the battle against aphids since natural predators are present, but indoor plants can be decimated quickly by these teensy pests. Not only do they siphon nutrients away from the plant, they leave a sweet substance called “honeydew” that attracts other insects and turns the leaves black and moldy

Aphids and their honeydew on a plant

The honeydew left behind from aphids leads to further damages to the plant by attracting even more pests. photo credit

Because that honeydew attracts other pests, if you begin to notice a lot of ants or ladybugs coming around your plants, it’s a pretty good sign that you’re well into an aphid problem. Aphids can be hard to shake, but wasps and ladybugs are natural predators. Nonetheless, you should visually inspect the underside of plant leaves at least once a week. If introducing predators doesn’t ameliorate the problem, there are a couple of natural solutions to get rid of cannabis pests to try, like garlic or tomato leaf water. 

Spider Mites

Spider mites are like the supervillains of cannabis pests: uber reproductive, zombie-like in their ability to come back from what you thought was death, capable of spinning webs while eating everything in sight then completely disappearing before turning up again – they’re nearly impossible to spot and even harder to eradicate. Spotting spider mites is difficult because they are minuscule, but doing a daily inspection of both sides of your plant leaves could help to prevent a massive infestation.

Signs of spider mites begins with speckles, then a browning or yellowing of leaves, and premature leaf death.

If any parts of your plant are covered in fine webbing, that’s a sure sign you’re in a bad spot. The best way to avoid mites is to stay vigilant with your leaf inspections. If you do notice signs of mites, try introducing a fan into the environment. Strong air currents make it difficult for mites to breed. Spider mites also prefer temperatures of 60-80 degrees, so experimenting with temperature might also slow an infestation down. Since mites are likely to come back, consider a spray like Azamax or Spinosad to get rid of them for good (again, be sure to follow use directions carefully).

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are just as hungry as caterpillars, but their gourmet meal is from the stem and roots of your plants and not the leaves. Beginning at the topsoil level, both larvae and adults will munch their way down into the root system, badly impact plant drainage, and compromise the structural stability of your plants. However, they’re nearly impossible to spot because they are dark in color, as is soil.

Fungus Gnats

Although fungus gnats are small, the damage they leave behind is mighty. photo credit

Seeing swarms of gnats near the base of your plant is one sign you’ve got a fungus gnat problem. Other symptoms are stems that weaken and simply fall over, adult plants that start to droop, wilt, spot, or yellow, or plants that stop growing altogether. 

Fungus gnats love moist conditions, so keeping the top layer of soil dry is a smart preventative measure. Some other hacks to try include placing a cloth on top of the soil to prevent female gnats from laying eggs or laying a sticky pad near the plant’s base to stick larvae. You could also mix some peroxide and water and spray it around the area of gnat infestation. A common-sense tactic for an indoor grow is to put screens on the windows and the doors closed to keep gnats out. 

Why Pests and Bugs Are Attracted to Cannabis

Something to keep in mind about pests, in general, is that they love a monoculture or a space dedicated to growing only one crop. Researchers from the University of California Davis theorize that if an insect makes itself at home in that one crop, it has a large food supply, creating an all-you-can-eat kind of scenario for the pest, making it that much harder to eradicate. As you likely don’t want to introduce other plants into a cannabis garden (for a number of reasons), this issue will always exist to some degree when dealing with weed. 

This is why, as mentioned, another option is to introduce other beneficial insects. Not only do they prey on harmful pests, but they are also an excellent chemical-free pest control option. The bugs already want to be there, you’re just bringing them to the dinner table. 

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The Wrap Up

Identifying pests should be a regular ritual, just like watering and delivering nutrients to your plants. When you keep them pest-free, all that hard growing work will hopefully pay off in healthy and efficacious plants. Once you’ve harvested, you can move on to other fun challenges like doing a proper cure for your cannabis harvest, and how to store your cannabis stash


How do you deal with pests in your cannabis grow? Share your techniques in the comments!

Photo Credit: ilovegrowingmarijuana (license)

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Connecticut

Governor of Connecticut Pushes For Legalizing Adult-Use Cannabis In Budget Address

Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont proposed legalizing recreational cannabis in his budget address this week.

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Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont proposed legalizing recreational cannabis in his budget address this week.

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News

South Dakota Governor Delays Implementation of Medical Marijuana Initiative

It seems that Governor Kristi Noem isn’t quite done derailing voter-approved cannabis initiatives.

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It seems that Governor Kristi Noem isn’t quite done derailing voter-approved cannabis initiatives.

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