4 min

How Does CBD Affect Your Sex Life?

4 min
CBDshop Research

CBD oils, lotions, capsules, and lubes are being used pre-sex in an effort to enhance pleasure. Anecdotal reports claim the cannabinoid works wonders, but what does the research have to say?

A bedroom is a place of physical intimacy where partners get to know each other on a deeper level—a place where couples can unleash their fantasies and fulfil each other’s desires. But for many, the bedroom can be an anticlimactic domain of embarrassment and disappointment. Around 5% of 40-year-old men experience erectile dysfunction, and only 29% of women reach orgasm during intercourse. An estimated 1 in 3 men experience premature ejaculation, and 17% of women between ages 18–50 report vaginal dryness during sex.

Despite what adult movies and chick flicks suggest, sex isn’t always a rampant act of extreme pleasure. But it doesn’t have to be a constant disappointment either. People of all genders are on the search for remedies to tackle the aforementioned issues. They’re using the likes of pharmaceutical pills, sex therapy, and breathing exercises to get the job done.

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It might be time to add cannabis to this repertoire. We’re not suggesting you should fly high before you fornicate (unless that’s your thing). It’s CBD that is gaining traction between the sheets.


CBD And Sex

CBD has achieved fame due to coverage of its therapeutic potential. Research details anti-convulsant[1], anti-inflammatory[2], neuroprotective[3], and antioxidant potential. But is the molecule really a sex tonic?

Scientific literature into CBD and sex is lacking, but early findings (referenced below) suggest the cannabinoid may decrease stress and anxiety, relax muscles, and reduce pain—all factors that can contribute to better sex. However, high-quality human trials are needed before these effects can be confirmed.

Anecdotal surveys provide a unique peek into the world of cannabinoid-fuelled copulation. 5,398 Americans participated in a survey[4] inquiring about CBD use in the bedroom. Over 9% of respondents claimed to have used the cannabinoid specifically for sex. Men reported lasting 31% longer on average, whereas 33% of women achieved orgasm faster. Interestingly, 72% of men and 76% of women experienced more intense orgasms. Although anecdotal evidence falls toward the bottom of the evidence hierarchy, such surveys provide interesting insights whilst the science is lacking.

So, can CBD actually improve your sex life? Can it really prolong your sexual experiences and enhance orgasms? There’s no clear answer to these questions. Let’s look at what the research has to say so far.


CBD And Sex-relaxed Anxiety

Anxiety is an erection killer. The condition contributes to erectile dysfunction (ED), a sexual condition that affects between 18–30 million American men. Anxiety is one of numerous physiological and psychological causes–alongside high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease–that prevents men from getting it up.

Anxiety, stress, and nervousness all contribute toward psychological ED. The body initiates erections via a complex process involving the nervous system, various muscles, increased blood flow, and hormones. Stress and anxiety can obstruct this process by sabotaging messages sent from the brain that trigger an increase in blood flow to the penis.

Performance anxiety and stress are also psychological causes of premature ejaculation. This condition can be detrimental to sexual relationships and leave partners dissatisfied.

Might a pre-sex dose of CBD help take the edge off anxiety and subsequently improve sexual performance? The cannabinoid significantly reduced subjective anxiety in humans during double-blind, placebo-controlled research[5] on social anxiety disorder (SAD). Further research[6] found CBD to reduce anxiety in SAD patients made to perform a simulated public speaking test. Research involving sex-related anxiety hasn’t been conducted, and there are still a lot of questions yet to be answered. It’s believed that the cannabinoid may mitigate anxiety by impacting the limbic and paralimbic brain regions.


Could CBD Make Sex Less Painful?

Pain and sex don’t seem like they should exist in the same sentence (except for sadomasochists). Sex is almost always associated with intense pleasure, delight, and release. But the act can also induce pain, especially in women. In fact, physical discomfort during sex is extremely common. Approximately 75% of women report experiencing pain during sex at some point in their lives.

Women commonly experience pain at the vulva (external parts of the vagina), the vestibule (vaginal opening), or within the vagina. Pain can also occur in the lower back and pelvic region. An array of factors can contribute to painful sex. Gynecological issues such as cysts, vaginismus, and skin conditions can be underlying causes, as can problems involving the sexual response.

The sexual response is a cycle that starts as a person becomes aroused and ends at orgasm. The cycle is composed of four stages: desire, arousal, orgasm, and resolution. Issues within the first two stages can lead to pain during intercourse. Sexual desire enhances blood flow to the genitals and initiates vaginal lubrication. Arousal intensifies these effects whilst causing the vagina to swell and the clitoris to become more sensitive. These biological occurrences make sex physically easier, and psychological problems can prevent them from taking place.

Negative emotions—embarrassment, shame, and fear—and relationship issues can disrupt the sexual response cycle. This, in turn, can make sex painful. Ladies usually turn to lubricants to moisten things up and reduce pain. Now, CBD product manufacturers have started adding the cannabinoid to lubes and lotions. Specific studies on topical CBD for sex-related pain have not been performed, though preliminary data looks hopeful. Sexual organs and tissues house high concentrations of cannabinoid receptors, making them intriguing candidates for topical application of cannabinoids.

A study[7] in the Journal of Experimental Medicine reports on the pain-killing and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD in rodents, noting that the cannabinoid does not generate tolerance. Additional research[8] found that topical CBD promotes an anti-inflammatory effect in rats. This research is extremely early, yet could be foundational in the effectiveness of cannabis lubes for pain prevention and reduction.


Can CBD Help Ramp Up Sex Drive?

Low libido can damage the sexual aspects of a relationship. This common problem has ties to stress, fatigue, and relationship issues. Loss of sexual attraction, poor communication, lack of trust, and becoming overly familiar with a partner can all contribute to a dip in sex drive.

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Sex is the glue that holds many relationships together. Not that it’s all that matters, but it promotes intimacy and openness. When sex becomes less frequent, the fires of a relationship begin to dwindle. So, might CBD be able to spice up your sex life? Whilst the cannabinoid is yet to display efficacy for many causes of low sex drive, early evidence is in favour of an anti-anxiety effect. Anxiety can have a major effect on libido, resulting in lack of desire and avoidance of sex.


Why Not Give It A Go?

How CBD impacts sex isn’t clear-cut. The lack of scientific evidence leaves anecdotes to paint a picture. Many people report increased sexual pleasure after consuming CBD, but only well-designed research will confirm if this outcome is repeatable. In the meantime, why not give it a shot? At the very least, friction will be much less of an issue, if you know what we mean.

Luke Sumpter

Written by: Luke S.
Luke S. is a journalist based in the United Kingdom, specialising in health, alternative medicine, herbs and psychedelic healing. He has written for outlets such as, Medical Daily and The Mind Unleashed, covering these and other areas.

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We are not making medical claims. This article has been written for informational purposes only, and is based on research published by other externals sources.

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  5. SAGE Journals: Your gateway to world-class journal research -
  6. Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients | Neuropsychopharmacology -
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