Working out for many Americans is very important. A recent study showed that 51.6% of Americans report exercising three or more days per week for at least 30 minutes. That’s a lot of people! Many existing marijuana users or exercisers who aspire to use weed are asking whether it’s good or bad to smoke weed before or after a workout. One of the main area that specifically bodybuilders are concerned with is whether it affects muscle growth.

This article will talk about some of the most well documented studies in this field and give you more information as to whether you should smoke weed or whether you should quit when working out.


The facts for Muscle Growth

Most bodybuilders will be well aware of the kinds of the kinds of hormones that affect their overall growth. Marijuana has been proven to affect these kinds of hormones. Let’s talk about some of the hormones that it affects so that you know the facts before working out.

The information shown below were the results of both rat and human tests, they were medically published and have been administered by doctors within the field of human biology. If you would like to read up on the information shown, then please check out the papers cited below:



Studies have shown that the THC within Marijuana can reduce testosterone production. This is not a permanent loss, but studies on rats showed that weed directly reduces hypothalamic-pituitary axis or HPA. It is known that the HPA is directly responsible for some of your Testosterone production, so by taking marijuana you are reducing the power of your HPA, therefore not allowing your body to produce as much testosterone. Testosterone is a mainly male hormone which has been proven to help with muscle growth. Human studies were performed and a similar result was found. With this being said, testosterone still stayed at a stable level while marijuana was present within the human system.


Human Growth Hormone

The Human Growth Hormone (GH) is produced within your body by the pituitary gland. It is primarily responsible for cell growth and recreation of new cells. When you are building muscle, you are essentially tearing your muscle as a microscopic level, and the GH helps to produce new cells and fix those tears within the muscles in order to make them bigger and more defined.

It has been shown in a 2002 study that when THC was ingested in to a rats system, the THC reduced the amount of GH produced. This inadvertently can have an affect on the muscle growth of your body. The science behind this is that the THC affects the hypothalamus and this reduces the somatostatin chemical, which the body directly uses for HG production.



Marijuana doesn’t help when you’re working out and based on the scientific fact’s it would be fair to say that it can negatively affect the building of muscle over a short period of time. With this being said, damage is not permanent and marijuana may only affect your hormones for a short period of time.

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