New study finds pot doesnt lower testosterone

A new study by Dr. Robert Block at the University of Iowa disputes the commonly held notion that marijuana alters the level of testosterone and other sex hormones.

The study contradicted a widely publicized 1974 study by Dr. R.C. Kolodony, which reported decreased testosterone levels in men who smoked marijuana chronically.

The U. of Iowa study found that chronic marijuana use had no effect on testosterone, luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, prolactin and cortisol in men or women.

Noting that six other studies had failed to show lowered testosterone levels in men, Dr. Block concluded: "It appears that marijuana, even heavy use of the kind that's typical in the United States, doesn't alter testosterone levels." However, he cautioned that heavy use might have other adverse effects, including "possible effects on reproductive function and mild, selective cognitive impairments associated with heavy, chronic use."

Block's study is published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Vol. 28:121-8 (1991).

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