Marihuana inhibits dihydrotestosterone binding to the androgen receptor

Endocrinology. 1980 Sep;107(3):848-50. doi: 10.1210/endo-107-3-848.


Marihuana and its constitutents delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9-THC) and cannabinol (CBN) were tested for their ability to interact with the androgen receptor in rat prostate cytosol. Smoked marihuana condensate, delta 9-THC, and CBN inhibit specific binding of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to the androgen receptor with a dissociatin constant of the inhibitors (Li) of 2.1-5.8 X 10(-7)M. in addition, other metabolites of delta 9-THC were also androgen antagonists. This data suggests that the anti-androgenic effects associated with marihuana use results, at least in part, from inhibition of androgen action at the receptor level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Cannabinoids / pharmacology*
  • Cannabis
  • Dihydrotestosterone / metabolism*
  • Dronabinol / pharmacology*
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Prostate / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Androgen / drug effects
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Steroid / metabolism*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Cannabinoids
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Receptors, Steroid
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • Dronabinol