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Does cbd oil for pain affect libido

The Beginner’s Guide to CBD and Sex: Libido, Orgasms and Hormones

Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, seems to be the coolest thing since sliced bread. Because of the nationwide legalization of hemp-derived CBD, brands old and new have been coming out of the woodwork with CBD-infused skincare, body oils, tinctures, edibles, suppositories, drinks and more.

In the sexual wellness industry, CBD has been touted as a magical cure-all product that can improve your sex life exponentially. In reality, CBD is only a supporting actor that contributes to holistic sexual wellness. Nonetheless, CBD still deserves that Oscar for all the ways that it can support your sexual health.

If you’ve always been curious whether or not to keep CBD products on your nightstand, here’s the 411. (Spoiler alert: CBD is “fetch,” as Gretchen Weiners would say.)

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In this article

In Brief

CBD works with the endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammatory pain, improve brain function, lower cortisol levels and relieve muscle tension.

For people with vaginas, CBD’s sexual benefits include increased lubrication, heightened arousal, and pain relief for those who experience painful sex.

For people with penises, CBD may help with erectile dysfunction by increasing blood flow, allowing the penis to stay erect for longer.

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So what is CBD?

CBD is derived from the controversial plant Cannabis sativa. As many of us learned from that first high school party bong rip, different strains of cannabis can induce a relaxed high, courtesy of CBD’s naughty cousin Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive chemical compound that locks you to your couch to count pink hallucinatory clouds when you smoke weed.

A common question when people pick up CBD products: Will this get me high? The answer is no. CBD products derived from cannabis plants may contain a small amount of THC, but usually not enough to get you high. A small percentage of THC won’t affect you, plus it’s the ratio between THC and CBD in a product that really matters.

CBD counteracts the loopy high that THC gives you. So if a product had a 250mg of CBD and 250mg of THC (a 1:1 ratio), the psychoactive effects of THC are kept in check by that amount of CBD — all while still giving you the pain-relieving, muscle-relaxing, anxiety-relieving effects of both cannabinoids. Most CBD products contain amounts of CBD that vastly outweigh the minimal THC content.

You’ll also want to look out for CBD that’s derived from hemp instead of cannabis. Hemp naturally contains little to no traces of THC, meaning it won’t get you high at all. In most states, CBD is legal as long as it’s derived from hemp. Each state has different product testing requirements, which you can find on Leafly’s State-by-State CBD Guide.

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How does CBD work?

CBD and THC are both cannabinoids that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. Think of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) as a traffic system that regulates homeostasis. Inside the ECS, there are receptors, enzymes and naturally occurring endocannabinoids that act as traffic signals or stop signs to facilitate neural communication between the brain and the body.

Naturally occurring endocannabinoids affect the body’s energy balance, appetite stimulation, blood pressure, memory, learning and pain receptivity. When we’re stressed, depressed or anxious, a few traffic signals in the ECS might be out of order, causing energy crashes, appetite imbalance, high blood pressure, brain fog and inflammatory pain. When CBD enters the body, it mimics the naturally occurring endocannabinoids and swoops in to get those traffic signals working at their normal — or sometimes, even faster — pace.

What are the benefits of CBD?

The benefits of CBD products are generally determined by the terpenes the brand uses for flavor. Terpenes are the chemical compounds in plants that give it its smell and flavor. The terpene limonene, for example, is naturally found in citrus fruits like lemons and oranges. Combined with a CBD oil, limonene gives the body an uplifting, energizing effect.

CBD and Erectile Dysfunction: Are There Benefits?

Yvelette Stines, MS, MEd, is an author, writer, and communications specialist specializing in health and wellness.

Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

Jamin Brahmbhatt, MD, is board-certified in urology. He is an assistant professor at UCF College of Medicine and chief of surgery at Orlando Health South Lake Hospital.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects approximately 52% of people between the ages of 40 and 70 years of age who have a penis. It is estimated that there will be 322 million cases globally by the year 2025.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound derived from the cannabis plant that has become increasingly popular as a natural treatment for a range of health conditions. Some research suggests that CBD has the potential to help manage pain, reduce anxiety, and improve mood.

While there’s currently no evidence that CBD can effectively treat ED, CBD has been shown to help with some of the underlying physical and psychological causes of ED.

This article will look at the possible benefits of CBD for ED, how to use the oil, and the potential risks and side effects.

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What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection more than 75% of the time. It can be frustrating, and it also can impair the quality of life for those who experience it.

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This condition may be triggered by a number of factors, including hormonal changes, side effects from medication, reduced blood flow, stress, or psychological concerns.

In addition, certain health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, sleep disorders, alcoholism, obesity, and Parkinson’s disease have been shown to increase the risk of developing ED.

What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 85 active chemical compounds found in the cannabis (marijuana) plant. Unlike the cannabis compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it does not cause the feeling of getting “high.”

Researchers have found that CBD has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties. It shows promise as a treatment for mood, sleep, and pain disorders due to its effects on the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system involves a body-wide network of cannabinoid receptors that help regulate a number of important functions, including digestion, immunity, inflammation, reproductive health, and pain. CBD can activate these receptors, which may have potential health benefits.

Benefits of CBD Oil for ED

There is currently no research on the benefits of using CBD to treat erectile dysfunction specifically. And one recent review suggested that CBD may impair male sexual function.

However, there is evidence that CBD may be beneficial in treating underlying health conditions that can cause ED. In particular, CBD has been shown to aid in reducing stress and anxiety in multiple studies. It also shows potential for managing depression, performance anxiety around public speaking, and social anxiety.

Stress, anxiety, and depression are all known to impair libido and increase the risk of ED. The effects of CBD may help improve libido in people who struggle with ED due to psychological reasons. More research needs to be done to determine the effectiveness of CBD and the best dosage.

CBD has also been shown to lower blood pressure. This has the potential to improve circulation, which may help facilitate more blood flow to the penis.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Overall, using CBD oil is considered generally safe. Some people may experience a reaction or side effects such as fatigue, change in weight and appetite, and diarrhea.

Studies have also shown that CBD can interfere with certain medications, so it is important to contact your healthcare provider before trying any alternative treatments like CBD for ED.

Best CBD for Erectile Dysfunction

There are different ways that you can use CBD oil for your ED.

Topical oils and CBD-infused lubricants can be applied to the penis and the medicine will go directly to the skin. This can help promote blood flow to the penis, which can aid in getting a firm erection. Be sure to read the ingredients of these products as some may include additives that could cause sensitivity or a reaction.

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The other way to use CBD is to consume it. Consumable forms of CBD include:

  • Chewing gum
  • Vaporized
  • Creams
  • Gummies
  • Liquid oils

When choosing a CBD product, you’ll find there are three main types of CBD oil on the market. They include the following:

  • Isolate CBD: This contains just CBD.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD: This contains CBD and other cannabinoids but not THC.
  • Full-spectrum CBD: This contains CBD and all other cannabinoids, including 0.3% or less trace amounts of THC.

Studies have shown that other cannabinoids may help increase the bioavailability and the activity of CBD due to a mechanism known as the entourage effect. For this reason, most proponents recommend using a broad or full-spectrum CBD.

Dosage

There currently is no clinically recommended dosage for CBD oil. The effects vary from person to person, and it may take some experimentation to find a dose that is effective for you. Before trying CBD for ED, contact your healthcare provider and ask for their advice.

How to Buy CBD

CBD has been legalized across the United States and it is increasingly widely available. Places where you can get CBD oil include:

  • Manufacturer websites and retail locations
  • Large e-commerce sites
  • Health and wellness shops
  • Marijuana dispensaries

Summary

CBD has garnered some interest as a potential natural treatment for ED. While there’s limited evidence that CBD can treat ED specifically, the compound has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and improve blood flow, which may be beneficial for ED.

A Word From Verywell

Dealing with ED can be frustrating, embarrassing, and hard on your relationship. If you are struggling with the condition, it’s important to talk with your healthcare provider, as ED can be indicative of an underlying health issue.

Your healthcare provider can help you rule out any health issues and help you understand your treatment options. CBD is one alternative option that is safe and easily accessible, so it may be worth trying along with other treatments.

There are many paths to treating ED effectively, and finding what works best for you may take some trial and error. But there is a way forward to a healthy, thriving sex life.

Frequently Asked Questions

During sex, CBD oil or a CBD-infused lubricant can be used externally on the genitals as you would any lubricant. It is thought to stimulate blood flow, reduce stress, and increase pleasure. You can also take CBD oil orally before having sex to help reduce performance anxiety and improve blood flow.

Some research suggests that CBD oil may help to lower blood pressure and increase blood flow. In terms of ED, increasing blood flow may help support erections.

There are a number of lifestyle habits that you can try that may help ED. These include exercising regularly, trying stress-reducing activities like yoga and meditation, eating a healthy diet, and creating space to take care of yourself.