If CBD, the main constituent in hemp plants and the non-psychotropic chemical in cannabis (meaning, it won’t get you high), can calm the mind, can it also benefit your sex life?
This question has been contemplated by researchers in a few studies (like this one that focuses on sexual arousal in women, and this one that explores the role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in sexual behavior.
The Sexy Side of CBD
The ECS consists of tiny receptors located throughout the human body (and all other animals, both vertebrates and invertebrates). Full-spectrum CBD oil indirectly activates the ECS, which in turn produces a myriad of physiological actions that make the body work better. There are ECS receptors in sex organs. ECS receptors are also ubiquitous in the brain. So does that mean that CBD can stimulate libido, enhance performance and your enjoyment of sex?
Researchers writing in The Journal of Sexual Medicine (that’s the link above on sexual arousal in women in case you’re into steamy academic writing) concur with previous research that suggests ECS concentrations are directly tied to female sexual arousal.
How did the researchers prove this? By showing the female participants “erotic film stimuli”. Physiological sexual arousal was measured via vaginal photoplethysmography, which is a device not sold in sex shops, but rather, it’s a simple medical device that measures blood flow. The women’s blood concentrations of endocannabinoids were measured immediately prior and after watching the adult entertainment.
CBD Reduces Sexual Performance Anxiety
To be sure, more research is needed to draw any conclusions. But one theory circles back to the intro of this article. Most of the research done on CBD thus far has focused on its anxiety-reducing effects. And by reducing anxiety, CBD may indirectly boost sexual performance. If you’re feeling less anxious, you won’t be as likely to have performance anxiety, and you’ll be more in the mood to get it on in the first place.
Now, this doesn’t mean that if you squeeze a dropper-full of CBD oil under your tongue, you’re going to feel the same sensation as a “little blue pill” or the female equivalent. CBD doesn’t stimulate sexual appetite like that because CBD isn’t a one-trick pony. It doesn’t just perform one physiological action.
By interacting with the ECS, and unlocking the receptors, CBD creates a chemical cavalcade that encourages homeostasis. Homeostasis is when all bodily systems are functioning smoothly. And when all organs and hormones are performing in a more balanced state, normal sexual function is more likely.
CBD & Blood Flow
But maybe there is a side of CBD that can act like a little blue pill. If CBD can help reduce anxiety and calm the mind, perhaps it can also help relax blood vessels, a necessary physiological action required for an erection.
To date, there are no studies on CBD and erectile dysfunction (ED). Unfortunately, the first study listed in Pubmed for CBD and erectile dysfunction points to research which concludes that heavy marijuana smokers are more likely to experience ED. Even though CBD is the second-most prevalent constituent in marijuana, it’s the THC, the chemical that gets marijuana users high, that researchers believe may cause ED.
CBD & Arousal
Cannabis, which contains both CBD and THC, has been shown in a very small study to enhance libidio in people with low sex drive. It’s important to emphasize that as in the ED study above, in this study, participants were given marijuana, not pure CBD. It was found that the marijuana users in the study, after they got high, experienced a significant increase of activity in the area of the brain—the nucleus accumbens—that heavily lights up in addiction behavior.
Can CBD Better Your Sex Life?
Don’t rely on research studies to draw any conclusions. Experiment with it yourself. There’s no harm in doing so because high-quality CBD is non-toxic, non-habit forming and won’t get you high. CBD also has been shown to reduce inflammation, which is another way it may benefit your sex life. Experiencing less pain will allow you to better enjoy intimacy. Try adding pure CBD oil to natural anti-inflammatory creams or sexual lubricants to enhance your experience.
By better balancing the way your body functions, CBD may help you enjoy a better sex life.