Male and Female Hormones, Pain, and the Opioid Receptors

Hi everyone, I’m Joshua Porch, and welcome to this latest teaching from Bio Hacking Academy.

In this lesson, I’m going to be teaching some revolutionary things that most people have no clue about, even though these things have a serious impact on your quality of life, whether you are a man or a woman.

Most people don’t realize it, but Estrogen (in it’s couple of forms) and the various Estrogen receptors have a LOT to do with pain sensitivity in men and women alike, though in slightly different ways in each sex. Estrogen and anything that activates their receptors blocks the mu opioid receptors. That’s the type of receptor that vicodin, morphine and other commonly abused (and effective) opioid pain killers activate. There are other types of opioid receptors, but they don’t produce euphoria like the Mu receptor does.

Because Estrogen blocks the Mu receptor, it can increase pain in people who already have some sort of injury, chronic pain condition, or who are already taking opioids on a regular basis for any reason. Granted, Estrogen does have its place because it also increases Mu opioid receptor density at the same time as blocking it (that’s how it works with almost all types of receptors in the human body). Still, any kind of compound that increases Estrogen and lowers testosterone can worsen pain in both men and women, but especially men.

Women’s bodies have adapted to the high level of Estrogen and increases in it’s activity have less of an effect on women’s pain perception as it does in men.

How do I know this?

Well, the discovery initially came by accident. I had noticed that certain herbs or medicines in the past had worsened my pain, and some had made it better, but aside from actual opiates, I never understood the full reason why some things increased my pain and others helped it. What I later learned is that most of the herbs and medicines I’d tried that increased my pain happened to also increase Estrogen levels by raising aromatase enzyme levels, OR they mimicked Estrogen in some way and were in some way a partial or full agonist at one of the Estrogen receptors.

I learned that THC was one of these, but it turned out that THC had a U-shaped curve regarding pain relief, that low and high doses improved my pain but medium doses made my pain worse. I later learned that it had to do with re-sensitization and up-regulation of the mu-opioid receptors. You see, if I had Kratom in my system, a very low dose of THC would make the Kratom more effective because that small dose of a Mu-receptor antagonist (THC) made them more sensitive to the Kratom that was already attached to them. 

Then, whether I was taking Kratom or not at the time, medium doses of THC would act as a Mu-opioid receptor antagonist (blocker) at pretty solid strength, and it would make my pain worse, a lot worse. It would make the muscles tense up and feel constantly electrocuted. 

Finally, high doses of THC would do something totally different. They would block the Mu-opioid receptors so much that they would begin to rapidly multiply and increase in number to try to make up for it. At the same time, the increased cortisol and GABA receptor blocking activity of the THC would cause my body to release endorphins which would then attach themselves to the newly created Mu-opioid receptors and then would relieve my back pain. However, at this point, the THC psychoactive effects would be so strong that it was scary and uncomfortable, not fun at all. It was so bad that most of the time I couldn’t stand feeling that way and decided that THC must just not be a viable pain relief option for me anymore since the only dose that fully relieved my pain made me lose my sanity and feel like I was dying.

I didn’t know this at the time, but THC stimulates one of the Estrogen receptors, so in a sense it mimics Estrogen. At the same time, THC also increases cortisol which increases the aromatase enzyme which then causes your body to make more Estrogen. A double whammy! At the time that I was taking prescription THC pills (legally prescribed to me), I knew that sometimes they helped my pain and sometimes they didn’t but I didn’t understand why at the time. 

Probably a year or more later after I had finally stopped taking THC pills (and switched to Kratom instead), I tried something else, which led me to another accidental discovery that has helped me out a lot since then. I found this pheromone infused soap and it was pretty cheap compared to other pheromone products. It was about $10. I honestly just tried it to see what all the fuss was about. I had no idea if it was going to affect random women’s attraction to me or not, but I figured it’d be a cheap experiment to see if it’d have any merit. That’s when I learned something I never knew before about pheromones.

It turns out that they are actually other male hormones besides Testosterone, specifically they are Testosterone metabolites. They have a REAL, very noticeable affect on men and women when applied physically to their bodies. When I tried the soap for the first time (“Bond” by Tactical Soap Company), I didn’t feel anything until a few minutes after my first shower. Then I felt almost as if I had been injected a testosterone shot! I felt Alpha as heck! I felt like the top dog, like what I imagine it feels like to be the richest, most attractive jock in high school, who had 12 girls hanging on his arm everywhere he goes.

I learned a few important things experimenting with this Pheromone infused soap. First, it made me feel like I had much higher testosterone levels than I actually had. I knew that the Kratom was lowering my testosterone, but I had to have it to control my back pain. Nothing else really worked to relieve my pain. Back when I had been taking testosterone replacement therapy shots, I felt a lot better during the days when my testosterone was high (the shots caused high and low days). I had problems with the doctors and insurance company, so that’s why I stopped taking it. However, when I was on Testosterone, I felt a lot better. My pain was lessened and I had much more energy and physical stamina, and a spectacular mood that mimicked the feeling of being a successful CEO or celebrity. The pheromone soap mimicked the feeling very closely, about 90% similarity. I found that taking Rhodiola capsules with it amplified the awesome feelings from it even more!

Second, I learned something that was not so fun. See, the pheromones only last a few hours before they begin to wear off, and when they wear off, I began to feel depressed, moody with a “lump in my throat” kind of feeling, I’d feel edgy, and my pain would increase to equal or greater levels than it was before using the pheromone soap. There is always a crash with any supplement, medicine or recreational drug. Hormones are no exception. 

At first, I didn’t know why this was happening, this sudden worsening… then something hit me. Pheromones were ANDROGENS, that is, male hormones, and they stimulated the androgen receptors just like Testosterone. So when they wore off, it had the same effect as taking their opposite compound (Estrogen). Androgen rebound mimics or increases Estrogen. Estrogen rebound mimics or increases Androgens. That’s how it works in men and women alike. 

Once I had this realization, all the pieces of the puzzle started to fit together to form a big picture. Everything that mimicked Estrogen or caused it’s levels to increase caused all of the same symptoms of having low Testosterone! Everything that lowered Estrogen or raised/mimicked an Androgen (like Testosterone) made me feel better in every way (for the most part).

One problem I did notice when I was receiving the Testosterone shots was that they would initially cause a lightheaded feeling along with shortness of breath. I didn’t know why this occurred, but it only happened when the levels of Testosterone suddenly got above a certain level… I guess above what is a physiologically normal level. This is what would happen when first getting my Testosterone shot, and when I later tried some experimental Testosterone boosters that were really strong, certain doses of them had the same effect on me even though they weren’t injections of actual Testosterone. 

It wasn’t long before I learned why this happened. Cortisol, while it does break down muscle tissue, is also important and vital to proper breathing. Testosterone lowers cortisol, and that sudden lowering of cortisol along with other factors related to how Testosterone affects blood oxygen levels is what is responsible for the lightheadedness that comes right after the injection. However, this also causes a sudden surge of muscle building and pulling sugar out of the blood and drawing it into the muscles to be stored as glycogen. 

Then, I came to another realization. If Estrogen blocks the Mu-opioid receptor, and if Estrogen and Testosterone have opposite functions, then Testosterone must activate the Mu-opioid receptor. Sure, the shots didn’t completely get rid of my back pain in absence of Kratom, but they boosted the effect of the Kratom in regards to pain relief and euphoria. Thus, I came to realize that Testosterone did function partially like a traditional opiate, but it was weaker than Kratom or Vicodin (Hydrocodone). That made everything make a lot more sense in my mind. 

I’m going to wrap this up now. 

I found that continual use of Testosterone-boosting and Estrogen-lowering supplements, along with gradually increasing exercise, along side my Kratom, gave me the best balance of pain relief and improvement of my fitness. I’m still in the process, still in the journey of improving my body, as my musculature, fat levels and overall physical stamina have gone up and down over the years depending on my income and life responsibilities at the time. I decided that enough was enough though. I was determined to do whatever it took to keep a constant (even if slight) improvement going in my fitness and aesthetics, no matter what is going on in my life. While I still have a ways to go, I believe that I’ve finally found the right balance of cheap, easily available herbs (aside from the Kratom) to allow me to overcome health and fitness challenges that have plagued me for most of my life.

I believe that by taking note of the insights and strategies I mentioned in this article/post, you too can improve your fitness, pain levels and many other things by manipulating the Estrogen system in your body. It IS important to give your body some periods of time to recover, however, to let Estrogen levels return to normal or even elevate for a short time. Estrogen does have health benefits, and it can also re-sensitize the Androgen receptors as well as the Mu-opioid receptors, leading to your body being more sensitive to Testosterone and Endorphins (or other opioids) and gaining whatever benefits may come from those compounds (whenever they are needed). 

I suggest (as my personal, non-medically-licensed opinion) that men and women seeking improvement in their pain levels and fitness take Testosterone-boosting and Estrogen-lowering supplements either on a 3-day-on then 1-day-off schedule, or a 3-week-on then 1-week-off schedule. Women should take half of the recommended dose for men. If women begin to develop masculinization or other severe problems (which is unlikely with OTC test boosters), either stop the supplementation entirely or cut it down to 1-week-on then 1-week-off and repeat this cycle. If problematic side effects for women or men get bad enough, stop use all together. 

Through Bio Hacking Academy, I teach people how to alter their physiology (how their body works inside) in order to help people reach their goals, but every method I teach has the possibility of causing unwanted side effects. No change in supplements, medicines or food is completely side effect free. It is up to you, the consumer, to decide if the side effects of a given treatment or method are worth the benefit. I simply teach people how different important functions in the body work, and how to alter them as closely as possible to your liking… but that is it. It is up to you to do the work, and use common sense and judgment to decide if something that I or anyone else is recommending you do to your body is right for you.

I hope this has been an impactful and insightful message, and I look forward to seeing and hearing from you how these tips have helped improve your fitness, health and overall quality of life!

Until next time,

Joshua Porch 

(Founder and Owner of Bio Hacking Academy)