Relationship Between Cannabis Use and Erectile Dysfunction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Struggling to orgasm? Or want to increase your libido? Here’s how CBD can help you! Studies show that CBD Oil may be a great choice to help treat Erectile Dysfunction (ED) by affecting blood flow, testosterone levels, & more.
Relationship Between Cannabis Use and Erectile Dysfunction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
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Globally, there is increasing usage and legalization of cannabis. In addition to its reported therapeutic effects, cannabis has several health risks which are not clearly defined. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most common male sexual disorder and there are plausible mechanisms linking cannabis use to ED. No attempt has been made to collate the literature on this topic. The aim of this review was to summarize the prevalence and risk of ED in cannabis users compared to controls.
A systematic review of major databases from inception to January 1, 2019, without language restriction, was undertaken to identify studies investigating cannabis use and presence of ED. The analysis compared the prevalence of ED in cannabis users versus controls. Consequently, the odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) was calculated, applying a random-effect model.
Five case–control studies were included with data from 3,395 healthy men, 1,035 using cannabis (smoking) and 2,360 nonusers. The overall prevalence of ED in cannabis users was 69.1% (95% CI: 38.0–89.1), whilst the correspondent figure in controls was 34.7% (95% CI: 20.3–52.7). The OR of ED in cannabis users was almost four times that of controls (OR = 3.83; 95% CI: 1.30–11.28; p = .02), even if characterized by high heterogeneity (I 2 = 90%) and the prediction intervals overlapped 1.00 (95% CI: 0.35–7.26).
Data suggest that ED is twice as high in cannabis users compared to controls. Future longitudinal research is needed to confirm/refute this and explore if a dose–response relationship between cannabis and ED may be evident.
The term cannabis is used to denote several psychoactive preparations of the Cannabis sativa plant, of which the major psychoactive constituent is ∆-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (Pertwee, 2008). It is the most widely cultivated, trafficked and consumed substance, with approximately 147 million people, 2.5% of the world population, consuming cannabis annually (Cohen et al., 2019). Cannabinoids, which are compounds present in the Cannabis sativa and structurally similar to THC, are commonly used in medicine.
There is emerging evidence in the scientific literature about the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis for conditions such as pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cancer and weight loss, and moderate-quality evidence for Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, Huntington’s disease, glaucoma, anxiety, and depressive symptoms (Fraguas-Sanchez & Torres-Suarez, 2018; Scherma et al., 2018; Zuardi, 2006). Although cannabis has been used for therapeutic purposes and has wide-ranging potential uses in medicine, with increasing legalization, the psychoactive properties limit its adoption. In some countries, cannabis is illegal (most of Europe), in others, it is considered a “soft narcotic” (UK and USA) or legal (mainly countries in South America, Asia, Africa) (Nestoros et al., 2017). The main concerns about legalization are due to the uncertain consequences it could have on public health (Kilmer, 2017). In fact, cannabis use can result in several adverse health outcomes. Cannabis intoxication seems to impair cognitive and psychomotor function and can increase the risk of psychotic symptoms, including addiction and cannabis use disorder (Volkow et al., 2014). Moreover, smoking cannabis can negatively impact the respiratory system, from the trachea epithelium to lung function impairment (Cohen et al., 2019). Finally, when cannabis is used during pregnancy, it has been reported to be associated with harmful effects on fetal development and reduction in birth weight (Fried, 1993). Moreover, there has been limited emerging evidence that cannabis use may be associated with erectile dysfunction (ED) (Shamloul & Bella, 2011). There are two main mechanisms hypothesized to explain this link: a central pathway via the hypothalamus and a peripheral pathway on the corpus cavernosum (Argiolas & Melis, 2005; Gratzke et al., 2010). ED is the most common sexual health issue in men and is associated with a substantial range of mental, physical, and psychological adverse effects, including anxiety, low mood, and reductions in couple’s quality of life (Wiltink et al., 2010; Yafi et al., 2016). Thus, understanding emerging risk factors for ED, particularly in relation to the increasing legalization of cannabis, is highly important. Given this background, we aimed to summarize the prevalence of ED in cannabis users compared to controls through a meta-analytic approach.
Data Sources and Literature Search Strategy
This systematic review adhered to the PRISMA (Liberati et al., 2009) and MOOSE (Stroup et al., 2000) statements and followed a structured but unpublished protocol. Two investigators (NV and DP) independently conducted a literature search using PubMed, EMBASE, SCOPUS, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Clinicaltrials.gov, without language restriction, from database inception to January 18, 2019 for studies investigating cannabis use and presence of ED. Any inconsistencies were resolved by consensus with a third author (MS).
In PubMed, the following search strategy was used: “(cannabis OR cannabi* OR Marihuana OR Marihuanas OR Marijuana OR Marijuanas OR Ganja OR Hashish OR 9tetrahydrocannabinol* OR delta3-thc OR sp-104 OR sp104 OR 1972-08-3 OR Dronabinol OR Marinol OR dronabinolum OR deltanyne OR tetrahydrocann* OR cannabinoid* OR canabinoid*) AND (ED OR erectile function OR sexual dysfunction OR sexual function)”. Similar search strategies were used in the other databases. Conference abstracts and reference lists of included articles were hand-searched to identify and potential additional relevant articles.
Inclusion criteria for this meta-analysis were: (i) observational studies (case–control, cross-sectional and prospective) reporting the prevalence/incidence of ED in people using cannabis versus nonusers; (ii) using a validated tool for the detection of ED (e.g., the International Index of Erectile Function, IIEF-5) (Namazi et al., 2018) and (iii) reporting the use of cannabis, also through self-reported information. Studies were excluded if (i) they did not include humans and (ii) a control group of cannabis users was not included.
Two independent investigators (NV and DP) extracted key data from the included articles in a standardized excel sheet. A third independent investigator (MS) checked the extracted data. For each article, data were extracted regarding study authors, year of publication, country in which the study was conducted, condition, number of participants, participant demographics (mean age), and type of cannabis used.
The primary outcome was the prevalence of ED in cannabis users compared to controls.
Assessment of Study Quality
Study quality was assessed by two investigators (DP and MS) using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) (Luchini et al., 2017; Wells et al., 2012). A third reviewer was available for mediation (NV). The NOS assigns a maximum of nine points based on three quality parameters: selection, comparability and outcome.
Data Synthesis and Statistical Analysis
All analyses were performed using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (CMA) 2.
The analysis compared the prevalence of ED in cannabis users versus controls. Consequently, the odds ratio (OR) with its 95% confidence intervals (CIs) was calculated, applying a random-effect model (Higgins & Green, 2008).
As presented in Figure 1 , the searches yielded 452 nonduplicated articles. After excluding 421 articles based on title/abstract review, 31 articles were retrieved for full text review and 5 articles (Aldemir et al., 2017; Aversa et al., 2008; Elbendary et al, 2009; Kumsar et al., 2016; Mialon et al., 2012) were included in the qualitative/quantitative synthesis.
Study and Patient Characteristics
The five case–control studies included a total of 3,395 healthy men (1,035 using cannabis in the form of smoking and 2,360 nonusers). Three studies were carried out in the Middle East and two in Europe. The IIEF5 was used as a tool for the detection of ED in all the five studies. Four studies compared healthy subjects with patients with ED, whilst Aversa et al. (2008) compared patients affected by organic and nonorganic ED. The mean age of the participants was 20.1 (SD = 1.5). In all studies, the consumption of cannabis has been through smoking. Only one study assessed the duration of cannabis use in months (Aldemir et al., 2017).
The median quality of the studies was six (range: 5–7), indicating a good quality of the studies, according to the NOS ( Table 1 ).
Descriptive Characteristics of the Studies Included.
|Author (year)||Country||Type of cannabis used||Total population (cannabis; controls)||Mean age of the population (standard deviation)||NOS|
|Aldemir et al. (2017)||Turkey||Smoking||80 (47; 33)||NA||6|
|Aversa et al. (2008)||Italy||Smoking||64 (24; 40)||30 (2)||6|
|Elbendary et al. (2009)||Egypt||Smoking||686 (66; 620)||NA||7|
|Kumsar et al. (2016)||Turkey||Smoking||80 (47; 33)||NA||5|
|Mialon et al. (2012)||Switzerland||Smoking||2485 (845; 1640)||19.6 (1.3)||5|
|Total||3395 (1035; 2360)||20.1 (1.5)|
NOS: Newcastle Ottawa Scale.
Prevalence and Odds Ratio of ED in Cannabis Users Versus Controls
The overall prevalence of ED in cannabis users was 69.1% (95% CI: 38.0–89.1), whilst the correspondent figure in controls was 34.7% (95% CI: 20.3–52.7).
Figure 2 presents the odds ratio of ED in cannabis users versus controls. The odds ratio of ED in cannabis users was almost four times than controls (OR = 3.83; 95% CI: 1.30–11.28; p = .02). This outcome was characterized by a high heterogeneity (I 2 = 90%). In a sensitivity analysis, after removing a study that was an outlier (Aversa et al., 2008), the recalculated OR was 2.34 (95% CI: 1.04–5.94; p = .03; I 2 = 88%. The prediction intervals overlapped 1.00 (95% CI: 0.35–7.26).
Odds ratio of erectile dysfunction in people using cannabis compared to controls.
The presence of a possible publication bias (Egger’s test: 3.92 ± 0.81; p = .02) was observed. However, the trim and fill analysis did not change this estimate. The fail-safe number was 35, indicating a low number of studies for bringing the p-value over the alpha.
This is the first systematic review and meta-analysis to assess cannabis use and the prevalence of ED. This meta-analysis included five case–control studies with a total of 3,395 men, demonstrating a higher prevalence of ED in cannabis users (more than two-thirds) and leading to four times increased odds ratio of ED in cannabis users compared to controls. These results were characterized by high heterogeneity as shown by the I 2 and the prediction intervals, suggesting that some differences in the association between cannabis use and ED exist.
Considering that the causes of ED may be psychological, organic or most commonly a mix of both, different hypotheses can explain this outcome. One of the possible mechanisms is attributed to the endocannabinoid system through the binding of receptors in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus which regulates erectile function and sexual behavior of males (Argiolas et al., 2005). This mechanism could also explain why cannabis can improve sexual function in some patients affected by conditions or symptoms such as depression, anxiety disorder and pain (Gobbi et al., 2019; Huang et al., 2016). Growing evidence, both in animal and human studies, reported a peripheral effect of cannabis on ED, specifically on corpus cavernosum where cannabinoid receptors are present (Gratzke et al., 2010; Melis et al., 2006). Future longitudinal studies are necessary to confirm/refute this and explore the potential differing effects based on the type, potency and frequency of cannabis used.
The effects of cannabis on male health are, to date, poorly investigated both in terms of fertility and sexual health. Regarding fertility, contrasting data have been reported on testicular function and, whereas some authors highlight that smoking cannabis once per week is enough to impair the testicular function (Gundersen et al., 2015), Nassan et al. (2019) recently observed no sperm quality differences between cannabis user and controls. Cannabis seems to be clearly related to multiple adverse sexual health outcomes, but scientific evidence is limited. Cannabis use is associated with earlier and more frequent sexual activity, having multiple and causal sexual partners, inconsistent contraceptive use and being diagnosed with a sexually transmissible infection (Smith et al., 2010). Surprisingly, only a few studies reported the association between cannabis and ED using validated tools. At a time when there is increasing legalization of cannabis, these results suggest that cannabis use may be associated with ED, a particularly undesirable outcome in males (McCabe & Matic, 2008). Given that ED is associated with a range of adverse health outcomes in males, understanding this potential relationship could be a considerable public health issue (Rajanahally et al., 2019).
The main limitation of the present study is that few studies were available and those were contained small samples. Only one article reported information on duration (mean 87.7 months) of cannabis use identifying a slight negative correlation between sexual intercourse satisfaction and duration of cannabis use (Aldemir et al., 2017). The sample characterization of the study by Aversa et al., different from others, did not compare healthy participants with individuals experiencing ED, rather participants affected by organic and nonorganic ED. Finally, there were only case–control studies that could be affected by reverse causality, that is people with ED more frequently used cannabis. Despite limitations, this study has strengths. In fact, as well as being the first systematic review and meta-analysis on this topic, this study has considered objective validated tools to asses ED. This study is focused on two emerging conditions that represent an important public health concern: ED which is one of the most common worldwide male sexual disorders and is projected to affect 322 million men in 2025 (Shamloul et al., 2011) and cannabis use, which estimates suggest between 2.7% to 4.9% of the population have at least tried (Anthony et al., 2017).
In conclusion, considering the high prevalence of ED and cannabis use and the potential harmful effects of cannabis use on male sexual and general health, it is necessary to increase and improve the knowledge on this topic in order to achieve a general consensus on the best clinical and public health strategies.
Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
Funding: The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: BS is supported by the Health Education England and the National Institute for Health Research HEE/ NIHR ICA Programme Clinical Lectureship (ICA-CL-2017-03-001). The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research, the Department of Health and Social Care or the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation.
5 Surprising Ways CBD Can Help You Have the Best Sex of Your Life
Struggling to orgasm? Or want to increase your libido? Here’s how CBD can help you!
These products are not intended for use by persons under the age of 21. It’s important to consult your doctors with any medical concerns, and before making any changes or adding supplements to your health plan.
CBD or cannabidiol has gone beyond being a celebrity trend and is now a go-to for wellness and medicinal purposes. It has been linked to decreasing inflammation, anxiety, nausea, and more. In fact, what may have seemed like the “cool” thing to do for fun has actually helped hundreds, if not thousands of people (and even pets) with a myriad of ailments!
But while we’ve grown accustomed to hearing what it can do “medical” wise, there’s much to explore as to what it can do for us in bed. According to studies, all of these benefits have resulted in an increase in pleasurable experiences in the bedroom. Still not sure how? Here are five ways CBD can help improve your sex life:
Top Five CBD Benefits For Sex
1. CBD helps women with pain during sex
According to studies, 40 percent of women suffer from “dyspareunia” during sex – this is the medical term for genital pains that happen before, during, or after sex. Symptoms include penetration (be it sexual or even inserting your tampon), a burning or aching pain during thrusting and throbbing pain that lasts even after intercourse.
Dyspareunia makes it difficult for women to enjoy sexual intercourse. Basically, one’s pain is signaled through your endocannabinoid system involving your endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptors. To decrease the pain, CBD alters the chemical structure of the latter to decrease the pain, and increase relief.
Nirvana CBD offers CBD shots that come in a myriad of delicious flavors so that it’s easy to take! Before intercourse, you can take one shot which contains 33mg of CBD, and wait for the relaxing and calming effects to kick in for an enjoyable sexual experience.
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2. CBD relieves anxiety
If you suffer from anxiety, then having sex may seem like a chore to you. Sex is a mental and emotional experience that needs a relaxed mind to enjoy. Being anxious not only affects your performance, but it can hinder you from getting into the mood at all. Thankfully, CBD has been proven effective in easing one’s anxiety.
CBD increases the brain’s sensitivity to serotonin and lowers cortisol, both resulting in lowered anxiety and heightened sexual performance. If you know you’re about to get intimate with someone, it’s best to take CBD 30 minutes or an hour before “go time” so that the CBD has time to enter your bloodstream and to take effect.
Some of the best CBD oils that people swear by are from Nirvana CBD. Their best selling product is the CBD Vanilla Tincture which tastes like candy, so it’s easy to digest. All you have to do is shake the bottle, fill the dropper, and empty it under your tongue. Hold the liquor for a minute, swallow, and wait for it to take effect!
3. CBD Increases Orgasms
At the end of the day, great sex equates to great orgasms – and not being able to reach that point may be disappointing for both parties. If you or your partner have been struggling to hit the big O, then don’t worry – CBD to the rescue. In 2019, a study showed that cannabis extracts were effective in increasing longer and intense orgasms.
This has to do with CBD being a major vasodilator that relaxes blood vessel muscles, which then allows blood to rush to your sexual organs to increase and increases nerve sensation around them. All of this results in enjoyable and pleasurable orgasms you’ll want again and again.
If you want to hit the big O, then you can either take a CBD shot or CBD oil with a dropper. But if you’re looking for CBD that’s easier for you on-the-go and that’s easier to take, you should buy Nirvana CBD oil capsules. Each bottle contains 30 gel capsules, each with 25 mg of broad-spectrum CBD that you can simply pop into your mouth for ingestion.
4. CBD for Erectile Dysfunction
With about 30 million men suffering from erectile dysfunction in the United States, it’s no surprise people are looking for organic and safe ways to address the issue. Though more studies need to be conducted, it’s been said that since CBD has a myriad of anti-anxiety effects, the blood vessels become relaxed enough to increase and speed up the blood flow to the penis.
If you suffer from erectile dysfunction and it takes too long for your penis to get up, if it’s able to get up at all – then CBD is your new best friend. You can opt for the CBD oil, shot, or capsule, but there are CBD gummies too. Nirvana CBD has CBD gummies that come in pineapple, grape, apple, and more. Whatever the flavor, it’s sure to put a smile on your face – before and after sex!
5. CBD increases your Libido
Apart from chemistry and a physical attraction, another thing necessary for great sex is an increase in energy level. One way to kill this is by being stressed or anxious, after all, studies have shown that the stress hormone cortisol is the culprit behind lowering your libido. Take note that this may be applicable to women only though, especially ladies with sexual performance anxiety.
For women, CBD reduces the cortisol by triggering the serotonin receptor and activates their parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) which makes them calm and more sensually receptive, thus increasing their sexual arousal. To really get into the mood, you may want to start off with a sensual massage – good thing there’s CBD body lotion!
The Nirvana CBD body lotion is usually used to target problem areas that need pain relief, but it can also be used all over the body to give off an overall soothing effect.
Click here for CBD Body Lotion and get ready for a fun night in bed!
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CBD and Erectile Dysfunction: Does CBD Help Improve Sex Life?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects millions of Americans every year. But like many conditions affecting people every day, cannabidiol (CBD) may offer a solution – but there’s a significant emphasis on “may.”
Realistically, we don’t know how to use CBD or cannabis plant extract for erectile dysfunction. There are a lot of questions to answer before we know if CBD oil can help.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. The indirect evidence provides some clues on how to use CBD oil for erectile dysfunction or the role of the endocannabinoid system.
If you’re looking for help without conventional medication, it doesn’t hurt to see what CBD can do to help with libido, ED, sexual performance, sexual pleasure, and more.
How does CBD Affect Libido?
We don’t have much data on how CBD affects libido – if at all. So far, studies have shown mixed results supporting and doubting whether CBD can improve your sex drive.
For instance, a 2015 study by du Plessis et al. noted that heavy cannabis use among males led to an increased chance of ED. However, THC is a factor, making it difficult to determine if CBD, THC, or other compounds in cannabis are responsible for those adverse effects.
At the same time, a 2018 review in the Journal of Affective Disorders noted how CBD might have a calming effect, potentially reducing things – like performance anxiety – that hamper sex drive. We’ll get into a lot more detail on that later.
Does CBD Make You Last Longer in Bed?
CBD may help you last longer in bed – at least according to many anecdotal claims. There’s also no feasible way to collect that kind of data in a controlled lab setting. Theoretically, peer-reviewed research would rely on self-reporting.
CBD Oil for Erectile Dysfunction
Unfortunately, no peer-reviewed studies specifically focused on CBD oil as a potential treatment for erectile dysfunction. However, erectile dysfunction isn’t an isolated condition. Instead, it’s a consequence of other underlying issues, both physical and mental.
Early evidence suggests CBD oil can help mitigate some physical and psychological factors known to cause erectile dysfunction. We’ll cover those later.
What Research Says about CBD and ED
We all know that endocannabinoid (ECS) receptors exist in the central nervous system (CB1) and many areas of the body, including the immune system (CB2). However, a 2009 article from Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences found CB1 receptors in the testes of lab rats.
This discovery is incredibly relevant because CB1 receptors are primarily found in the central nervous system, whereas the peripheral areas mostly contain CB2.
So what does this mean for erectile dysfunction? It proves that the ECS’s reach extends to the reproductive system in rodents. If the same is true for humans, it may be possible to use CBD oil for erectile dysfunction.
According to a 2014 study published in Biomed International, cannabis has a long history as a sexual aid. People who follow the Ayurveda lifestyle – an ancient Hindu health approach involving herbal remedies, yoga breathing, and strict diet – claim the plant helps improve ejaculatory function and performance.
However, there’s no hard evidence to support these anecdotes.
A 2017 study in JCI Insight revealed CBD’s potential to help with blood pressure. However, it focused on arteries to the heart, not the reproductive system. Consequently, we can only infer from this existing research whether CBD oil can help with ED.
But if the same mechanism works with erectile dysfunction, CBD oil could help dilate reproductive blood vessels and increase blood flow to the penis. This effect may improve sexual function.
Does CBD Oil Increase Testosterone?
Research isn’t conclusive – at least not yet – but what we have so far doesn’t indicate a connection between CBD and increased testosterone.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health tested the effects of several cannabinoids on hormones in monkey and rat test subjects. Admittedly, it was heavily THC-focused. However, testosterone levels in monkeys remained unchanged. Rodents showed a decrease in testosterone levels at very high – and impractical – doses.
A 2019 review in the Journal of Applied Toxicology revealed more bad news. The article analyzed over 30 pieces of existing literature covering studies on men, rodents, monkeys, and invertebrates. The publication says CBD shrunk mammalian testes, impaired fertility, and reduced general blood hormone concentration.
They further say:
“Moreover, chronic doses of CBD have impaired sexual behavior in mice. From the studies identified in this review, it is possible to conclude that CBD has negative effects on the reproductive system of males.”
But the authors also say research is limited, calling for a deeper look at CBD’s potential benefits and risks to the male reproductive system.
Overall, those studies don’t indicate that CBD can increase testosterone – at least not directly, anyway.
But what about indirect routes? Could some of CBD’s benefits help increase or balance testosterone?
This brings us back to some information and studies we covered earlier. Specifically, CBD’s potential benefits against things that affect testosterone production – like anxiety and high blood pressure (hypertension) – can make a difference.
Overall, it’s best to proceed with caution before using cannabis or CBD for the treatment of any condition. With luck, the research could one day shed more light on the subject, but we’re a far cry from FDA-approved CBD treatments for hormonal deficiencies.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
There are many causes of erectile dysfunction (ED), ranging from temporary problems to chronic health conditions. Furthermore, erectile dysfunction can be a symptom of something else, making it more than just a roadblock to your sex life.
Physical Causes of ED
The Urology Care Foundation provides an extensive list of physical reasons for why you may experience ED. Below are some common causes:
- High blood pressure
- Impaired blood flow to the penis
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Prostate issues
- Injuries to the spine or pelvic area
- Medicinal side effects
- Hormone imbalance
Psychological Causes of ED
You may feel healthy, but sometimes the root of sexual dysfunction lies beyond the physical causes of ED. According to the Urology Care Foundation, several emotional factors can contribute to ED.
- Performance anxiety
- Anxiety disorders
- Stress from work, friends, or family
- Guilt or shame
- Relationship problems
Lifestyle Causes of ED
While we can’t control some of the things that trigger erectile dysfunction, there are many ways we can actively reduce the chance of ED affecting sexual performance.
- Tobacco use
- Drugs and alcohol
- Lack of exercise
How CBD May Help with Erectile Dysfunction
How can CBD oil help with erectile dysfunction? Based on what we see so far, the answer lies in treating some of the underlying issues responsible for ED.
Anxiety and Depression
Sexual health and mental health are intertwined. Even if you don’t have a chronic issue like anxiety or depression, those states of mind can still trigger erectile dysfunction.
A 2018 review in the Journal of Affective Disorders examined cannabis’ impact on depression, stress, and anxiety. Based on the research, CBD oil could reduce anxiety and depression for some individuals.
Keep in mind THC was a factor, making it difficult to determine which (if any) cannabinoid was responsible for the therapeutic effects.
Hormone imbalance can also lead to ED. But while a natural supplement like CBD may not – at least according to current research – impact testosterone, hemp-derived CBD may still impact other hormones.
According to a 2006 study from Endocrine Reviews, the endocannabinoid system and endocrine system are closely linked, so much so that CBD could alter hormones meant to reach other glands. This helps contribute to the body’s equilibrium or “homeostasis.”
Although theoretically promising, nobody has explored this connection’s impact on erectile dysfunction.
Links to Diabetes
Erectile dysfunction isn’t just a source of anxiety, stress, and depression that disrupts your sex life. Sometimes, it’s a sign of something more sinister.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 34.2 million Americans have diabetes (1 in 10), while a staggering 88 million (1 in 3) are on the cusp of developing the condition (prediabetes).
We don’t recommend foregoing conventional treatment for diabetes because the research into CBD isn’t solid enough to take such a risk. However, a 2012 study in Obesity discovered that the ECS might play a role in blood sure regulation and insulin activity.
Although the research focused more on the endocannabinoid 2-AG and the ECS as a whole, they noticed that obese individuals have higher endocannabinoid levels. The authors theorized:
“Thus, the increased endocannabinoid levels observed in human obesity may constitute an initial compensatory mechanism to improve insulin function and to overcome insulin resistance associated with obesity.”
In plain English, this means the higher endocannabinoid presence for obese patients could be the first line of defense against insulin resistance and irregular blood sugar levels.
Links to Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis refers to the buildup of fatty plaque that blocks arteries and shrinks blood vessels. This condition reduces blood flow and – in time – potentially leads to life-threatening health complications.
“The potential ability of CBD treatment in humans to reduce the cardiovascular (as well as behavioral) response to stress could have significant effects on the development of atherosclerosis and hypertension [high blood pressure], which are known to be accelerated by stress.”
In other words, CBD’s possible two-pronged approach to cardiovascular and mental health may help reduce the chance of developing or exacerbating atherosclerosis.
Is It Worth Trying CBD for ED?
Yes, it is worth trying CBD for ED, just like it’s worth trying for any other symptoms or just as a nutritional supplement.
While studies so far show CBD may not help increase testosterone levels, many of its other reported benefits might help mitigate some of the mental and physical factors that lead to erectile dysfunction.
There’s promising evidence that CBD products can address many of the issues above, thanks to their relationship with the endocannabinoid system.
CBD Products to Try for Erectile Dysfunction
Although the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t examined cannabidiol for erectile dysfunction, CBD products are still widely available for you to try.
CBD oils are pretty self-explanatory. You ingest a pre-measured dose and wait for the effects. However, due to the delay of 15 to 45 minutes, it’s not a viable option for instant results.
On the other hand, regular daily doses could help keep things like anxiety, depression, stress, and other ED-related health issues in check.
Many people use CBD creams for their possible anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. However, there are other products besides simple creams and balms.
Some vendors offer sexual lubricants made with hemp-derived CBD. There’s no research about the effectiveness of these products, but anecdotal evidence suggests it helps increase sexual pleasure and improve sex life.
Vaping or smoking carries the advantage of virtually instant effects. However, we know nothing about how vaping CBD can directly impact ED. But again, cannabidiol’s other alleged health benefits can quickly address some of the underlying factors, like stress and performance anxiety.
How do I Use CBD Oil for Erectile Dysfunction?
To use CBD oil for erectile dysfunction (or anything else), you first need to discuss it with a doctor. If you get the go-ahead, gradually titrate the dose per the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you need help figuring out your ideal dose, Colorado Botanicals offers an excellent beginner’s guide that addresses everything you need to know as a new CBD user.
When to Take CBD?
When to take CBD depends on your needs. Some consume their dose in the morning, the evening, or split throughout the day. There’s no established rule, so experiment to see what works for you.
However, if you choose vaping or topicals, your CBD consumption will vary on an as-needed basis due to the instant effects. For instance, you might vape CBD when hit with a sudden case of performance anxiety.
How Long for CBD Oil to Take Effect?
CBD oil typically takes effect in 15 to 45 minutes.
Is it Safe to Take CBD?
It’s safe to take CBD oil in most cases. However, some people experience minor side effects that typically go away fast.
However, if you take any prescription medications, we recommend avoiding ingestible CBD products without medical supervision.
The Bottom Line: Does CBD Improve Sex Life?
There’s no denying that the cannabis plant has enormous potential, but a lack of evidence makes it difficult to learn how to use CBD oil for erectile dysfunction. But if you think CBD will instantly cure sexual dysfunction, erectile or otherwise, we’re sad to say the evidence so far doesn’t support that.
Still, CBD’s more established (but still unconfirmed) benefits can address many of the underlying problems that contribute to ED.
From mental health issues like stress, anxiety, and depression; to injuries or poor health habits, CBD could ease those contributing factors and improve your sex life.
However, the Food and Drug Administration isn’t eager to get behind cannabidiol. And not to sound like a broken record, but we need much more research to see how CBD oil can help – if at all.
Considering the ambiguity behind CBD’s relation to erectile dysfunction (if any), it’s best not to get too excited. Don’t start using CBD or any supplement without first taking medical advice from a doctor or other licensed health professional.
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