How CBD might help with erectile dysfunction

Published Mar 31, 2023 01:00 p.m. ET
Unsplash / charlesdeluvio

Most men will experience and struggle with erectile dysfunction (ED) at some point in life. It’s a much more common sexual disorder than most people think because it's still a taboo topic that can be embarrassing to admit, so most who are afflicted just don’t talk about it. Unfortunately, avoiding the subject isn’t going to help and this is a condition that can adversely impact far more than performance in the bedroom. It can also cause anxiety, stress, and depression which can result in a decreased quality of life.

Although ED may have several potential causes such as physical and psychological factors, there are many effective treatment options and therapies available and recently some studies have suggested that CBD could be one way to find relief.

Cannabidiol (CBD), is a non-psychoactive cannabis compound that has garnered plenty of attention in the medical community due to its potential health benefits. CBD may help to reduce anxiety, pain, and inflammation, but could it also help with ED? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the research.

ED and the endocannabinoid system

In order to give you a better understanding of how CBD may have the potential to treat erectile dysfunction, we need to begin with the basics of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a network of receptors that work to regulate many different bodily functions and physiological processes like mood, pain, appetite, and sexual function.

This complex system plays a significant role in sexual responses including but not limited to penile erections. Scientific research has proven that the endocannabinoid systems activation may result in an erection, and it’s also shown how dysregulation of this integral system may contribute to ED.

What the science says about CBD and ED

Unfortunately, there’s been minimal research into the effects of CBD on erectile dysfunction. Still, some studies have suggested that cannabidiol may have the power to improve sexual function in men.

According to the results of one study published in 2019 in the Journal of Clinical Medicine a single 300mg dose of CBD improved anxiety levels and sexual function in men. Another published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine revealed that men who admitted to using cannabis seemed to have a much lower chance of experiencing ED.

Of course, it is important to note that these studies do show how cannabidiol may help to improve sexual function in men, but without further research, it’s impossible to completely understand why it has this effect or how effective it truly is for men who are actively experiencing erectile dysfunction. Without more important information, there is also no way to know how much CBD would be necessary to see positive results.

How CBD might help with erectile dysfunction

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, and by doing so it can activate its regulating abilities, by binding to receptors throughout the body, which may help to treat ED. This therapeutic cannabinoid does have the potential to deliver anxiolytic and anti-stress effects that may alleviate some of the psychological factors that are known to trigger erectile dysfunction.

We also know cannabidiol has the power to reduce some types of inflammation due to its vasodilatory effects which could help to improve blood flow to different areas of the body including the penis, and since a lack of blood being sent in that direction may cause ED, it only makes sense to assume improving blood flow could, at least in some cases, alleviate the condition.

Lastly, scientific research seems to confirm CBD’s ability to enhance sexual arousal and desire, likely due to the crucial role the ECS plays in controlling these aspects of sexual function. However, we do not fully understand how or why this occurs.

In conclusion

Scientific research on how cannabidiol affects erectile dysfunction is still in its infancy, and though initial studies do suggest the cannabinoid could have the potential to improve sexual function in men, by reducing stress and improving blood flow and sexual desire there is still much we do not know like which dosage or delivery method may be most effective to achieve positive results.

If you’re considering trying CBD to treat ED then we highly recommend speaking with your primary healthcare provider first to be sure that it’s safe, as this cannabinoid does have the potential to interact with certain medications, including a few that are used to treat this condition.

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