CBD For Erectile Dysfunction: Can It Help?
Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is one of the most common sexual dysfunctions for men, affecting around 30 million men in the United States alone.
If you’ve spent any time on natural health websites, you may have seen recommendations for cannabidiol, or CBD, as a treatment for erectile dysfunction.
While there’s currently no research showing that CBD is an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction, it might be helpful for treating anxiety that can contribute to ED and other sexual health issues.
Below, we’ve explained what erectile dysfunction is, as well as the key factors that may cause you to experience difficulties getting or keeping an erection.
We’ve also dug into the science behind CBD to find out how it may be helpful for treating some sexual performance issues.
Finally, we’ve listed the science-based treatment options that are available if you’re affected by ED.
CBD for Erectile Dysfunction: The Basics
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a variety of factors, from physical health issues to factors like stress, anxiety or use of certain medications.
Most people with ED use medications like sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra®) to increase blood flow to the penis and treat erectile dysfunction.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is widely available as an oil and in numerous other products. Many of these are promoted as natural treatments for various ailments and health conditions.
Currently, there’s no scientific research showing that CBD is an effective treatment for ED or a suitable replacement for medications like sildenafil.
However, some research suggests that CBD may be an effective treatment for anxiety, which is occasionally a causative factor in ED.
If you have ED, it’s best to talk to a licensed healthcare provider to find out about your ED treatment online options before relying on something like CBD.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
Erectile dysfunction is a common medical condition in which you may find it difficult to develop or maintain an erection. You may have ED if you:
Are able to get an erection, but find it difficult to do so consistently when you want to have sex
Are able to get an erection, but can’t maintain it long enough for enjoyable sex
Can’t get an erection at all
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from physical health issues to psychological conditions, medications and even certain habits and lifestyle factors.
Common physical causes of ED include high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (clogged arteries), type 2 diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and physical health conditions that affect your penis, such as Peyronie’s disease.
Psychological causes of ED include anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and guilt or concerns about sexual behavior.
Medications that may cause ED include antidepressants, antiandrogens, tranquilizers and some medications used to treat high blood pressure.
Habits and lifestyle factors that may cause ED include smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, illicit drug use, lack of physical activity and being overweight or obese.
Although ED becomes more common with age, it can affect men of all ages. In fact, one study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that approximately one out of every four men seeking help for ED is under the age of forty.
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What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical that’s extracted from the cannabis sativa plant. Unlike many other cannabinoids, CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive activity, meaning it won’t make you feel the typical high associated with cannabis.
CBD and other cannabinoids work by binding to the cannabinoid receptors located throughout your central nervous system and organs. Your cannabinoid receptors play a role in a variety of functions, from learning and cognition to cardiac function, energy metabolism and more.
Currently, CBD is being studied as a potential new medication for conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease and others.
CBD is available in a wide range of products, from CBD oil to capsules, gummies, sleep aids and even personal care products. It’s also used as an additive in CBD-infused smoothies and health foods.
Does CBD Treat Erectile Dysfunction?
Search online for terms such as “CBD sex products” and you’ll come across hundreds of CBD products such as lubes, massage oils, capsules and “love potions” that claim to boost your sex drive, strengthen your erections and improve your sexual performance.
Despite the promises made about certain CBD products, right now, there’s no reliable scientific evidence showing that CBD treats erectile dysfunction or improves sexual performance.
There’s also no scientific evidence that CBD improves blood flow to your penis or has any effect on the muscles or nerves involved in erections.
In general, most research on cannabis and sexual health is mixed, with different studies finding positive and negative effects on sexual performance.
For example, a scientific review published in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics found that use of cannabis and cannabinoids had a negative effect on sperm function and mixed effects on reproductive hormones in men.
On the other hand, a recent study published in Sexual Medicine found an association between frequency of cannabis use and increased sexual function in men. Interestingly, the men in this study showed improved erectile function with cannabis use.
The study authors do make the point that “the clinical significance of this is likely low, and selection bias may limit the generalizability of these findings.”
There’s also some evidence that cannabis use may increase activation in the areas of the brain responsible for arousal. For example, a 2017 study found that cannabis use increased activation of certain parts of the basal forebrain in people exposed to erotic photos.
It’s important to note that this research looked at the effects of cannabis as a whole, not specific cannabinoids such as CBD. As such, their findings may not apply to products that contain CBD or other isolated cannabinoids.
Overall, there just isn’t enough scientific research available to confidently say that CBD can treat erectile dysfunction or other sexual health issues.
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CBD and Sexual Performance Anxiety
One area where CBD may be useful is in treating and managing anxiety, including anxiety about sexual performance.
Sexual performance anxiety is a feeling of nervousness and anxiety that can happen before and during sex. As we’ve covered in our guide to sexual performance anxiety and ED, anxiety that’s related to sex may contribute to sexual performance issues, including erectile dysfunction.
While there’s no research on CBD and sexual performance anxiety specifically, some studies of CBD have found that it may have benefits for treating anxiety.
For example, a 2020 review published by the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association found that CBD showed promising results as an alternative treatment for anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder.
However, as the Anxiety and Depression Association of America has pointed out, there currently isn’t enough evidence to state that CBD is an effective treatment for anxiety.
CBD Safety and Side Effects
CBD products appear to be safe for most adults. However, there are side effects associated with cannabidiol and other cannabis products that you should be aware of if you’re thinking of using CBD, whether for its possible effects on sexual performance or other effects.
When taken by mouth, reported side effects of CBD include drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, lightheadedness and a reduction in blood pressure levels.
Currently, there’s limited information available on the potential side effects of topical products containing CBD. There’s also little research on the safety and potential side effects of CBD products for people under the age of twenty-one.
In addition to possible safety issues with CBD itself, it’s important to be aware that most CBD products aren’t subject to the same regulations as FDA-approved medications, or even many dietary supplements.
How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Although CBD isn’t proven to treat erectile dysfunction, several safe, science-based treatments are available that can improve your erectile health and sexual performance.
Currently, the most effective treatments for ED are medications called PDE5 inhibitors. These work by increasing blood flow to the erectile tissue of your penis, allowing you to easily get an erection when you’re sexually aroused.
Popular PDE5 inhibitors used to treat erectile dysfunction include:
Sildenafil. The active ingredient in Viagra, AKA generic Viagra, sildenafil is a popular ED medication that’s designed to provide relief from erectile dysfunction for approximately four hours.
Tadalafil. The active ingredient in Cialis®, tadalafil is a long-lasting ED medication that remains effective for up to 36 hours.
Vardenafil. The active ingredient in Levitra®, vardenafil provides relief from ED for four to eight hours per dose.
Avanafil. Available as Stendra®, avanafil is a newer ED medication that works quickly and is less likely to cause certain side effects than older PDE5 inhibitors.
All ED medications require a prescription. We offer a range of FDA-approved ED medications online, following a consultation with a physician who will determine if a prescription is appropriate.
Our guide to PDE5 inhibitors goes into more detail on these medications and how they work to treat ED.
In addition to ED medications, making changes to your habits and lifestyle can help to improve your erectile health and sexual performance. Try to:
Maintain a healthy weight. Research shows that obesity is a significant risk factor for erectile dysfunction in men. In fact, even being mildly overweight can have a negative impact on your erectile health. Try to maintain a healthy body weight to keep health issues like ED at bay. Although body mass index (BMI) is far from perfect at assessing your health, aiming for a BMI in the 18.5 to 24.9 range is a good general target. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has a handy calculator that you can use to determine what your BMI is.
Exercise on a regular basis. Reliable erections are all about blood flow. Research into the effects of exercise and ED has found that regular exercise is linked to improvements in erectile function. In addition to improving your erectile health, regular exercise can help to lower your risk of heart disease, strokes and other health risks. Aim for at least 15 minutes of exercise per day to keep your heart healthy and your sexual performance optimal.
Quit smoking. Smoking can significantly increase your risk of developing ED by causing damage to your blood vessels and vascular system. If you smoke, try to quit. Our guide to quitting lists science-based techniques that you can use to give up smoking for good.
Treat any underlying health issues. Finally, it’s important to treat any underlying health problems that may contribute to ED, particularly issues like high blood pressure or heart disease. Not only do these affect your erectile health — they can also have a major negative effect on your general health and wellbeing over the long term if left untreated.
You can learn more about treating ED through healthy habits and lifestyle changes in our guide to naturally protecting your erection.
While CBD may offer benefits for sleep, anxiety and other health issues, there isn’t any scientific evidence to show that it’s effective at treating ED or improving your sexual performance.
If you’re affected by ED, the most effective treatment options are PDE5 inhibitors like sildenafil, tadalafil and others. These work by improving blood flow to your penis, making it easier for you to get and keep an erection when you’re aroused.
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Learn More About Treating ED
Erectile dysfunction is very common and usually treatable. Our full guide to ED covers everything from the causes of erectile dysfunction to treatments and prevention strategies that you can use to improve your erections and optimize your sexual health.
Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.
- Definition & Facts for Erectile Dysfunction. (2017, July). Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/definition-facts
- Symptoms & Causes of Erectile Dysfunction. (2017, July). Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes
- Capogrosso, P., et al. (2013, July 1). One Patient Out of Four with Newly Diagnosed Erectile Dysfunction Is a Young Man—Worrisome Picture from the Everyday Clinical Practice. Journal of Sexual Medicine. 10 (7), 1833-1841. Retrieved from https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(15)30428-8/fulltext
- Cannabidiol (CBD). (2020, August 31). Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/1439.html
- Meissner, H. & Cascella, M. (2020, July 4). Cannabidiol (CBD). StatPearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK556048/
- Zou, S. & Kumar, U. (2018, March). Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 19 (3), 833. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877694/
- Du Plessis, S.S., Agarwal, A. & Syriac, A. (2015, November). Marijuana, phytocannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and male fertility. Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. 32 (11), 1575–1588. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4651943/
- Bhambhvani, H.P., Kasman, A.M., Wilson-King, G. & Eisenberg, M.L. (2020, September). A Survey Exploring the Relationship Between Cannabis Use Characteristics and Sexual Function in Men. Sexual Medicine. 8 (3), 436–445. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7471121/
- Androvicova, R., et al. (2017, July). Individual prolactin reactivity modulates response of nucleus accumbens to erotic stimuli during acute cannabis intoxication: an fMRI pilot study. Psychopharmacology. 234 (13), 1933-1943. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28401285/
- Skelley, J.W., Deas, C.M., Curren, Z. & Ennis, J. (2020, January-February). Use of cannabidiol in anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. 60 (1), 253-261. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31866386/
- Can CBD Help with My Anxiety and Depression? (2019, June). Retrieved from https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/cbd
- Skrypnik, D., Bogdański, P. & Musialik, K. (2014, February). Obesity–significant risk factor for erectile dysfunction in men. Polski Merkuriusz Lekarski. 36 (212), 137-41. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24720114/
- Assessing Your Weight. (2020, September 17). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/index.html
- Lamina, S., Agbanusi, E.C. & Nwacha, R.C. (2011, November). Effects of Aerobic Exercise in the Management of Erectile Dysfunction: A Meta Analysis Study on Randomized Controlled Trials. Ethiopian Journal of Health Science. 21 (3), 195–201. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3275865/
- How much exercise is optimal for heart health? (2016, February). Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/how-much-exercise-is-optimal-for-heart-health
- Kovac, J.R., Labbate, C., Ramasamy, R., Tang, D. & Lipshultz, L.I. (2015, December). Effects of cigarette smoking on erectile dysfunction. Andrologia. 47 (10), 1087–1092. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4485976/
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.
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.
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.
The other way to use CBD is to consume it. Consumable forms of CBD include:
- Chewing gum
- 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.
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
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.
CBD Erectile Dysfunction
CBD is a beneficial non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is useful in enhancing sex life. Using cannabis relaxes your sexual performance and makes it not only exciting but enjoyable. It’s the goal of most partners to have a fulfilling and enjoyable sex life. However, it’s all about experiencing the joys of better performance and erection. Everybody needs something to help them relax and feel sexual pleasure during intercourse.
Sex is a primal instinct that makes us human, so don’t hide from it if you have erectile dysfunction. Consult a urologist to help you curb your erectile dysfunction and enjoy a better sexual performance with your partner. Cannabis helps a lot in this regard and boosts your performance. The herb also relieves certain health conditions, thereby improving your overall well-being.
How Does CBD Curb Erectile Dysfunction?
There are plenty of sexual benefits you get by using CBD. The most notable benefit is its potential to reverse erectile dysfunction. The condition is primarily because of tissue damage or poor blood flow to your genitals. Besides, CBD has the ability to boost your sexual energy naturally.
Based on recent research findings, erectile dysfunction is more prevalent in aging men. Aging creates dioxin, which is a toxin that causes erectile dysfunction. However, you can reverse the condition by using CBD to flush out dioxin from your body.
Using cannabis gives you better sensation during sexual intercourse. For you to feel the sexual urge, your body must function well. Lifestyle and psychological factors can inhibit your sexual excitation system. You need to ensure that you are fully healthy and in the right mood for sexual activity.
CBD helps bring the two major factors together to reduce feelings of anxiety, stress by initiating a series of chemical reactions. Users of cannabis are less nervous, which allows them to express themselves better. Besides, CBD gives you psychoactive stimulation.
Some people experience pain while having sex, don’t worry. CBD reduces any pain, and women can use CBD-oils to lubricate their organs to improve blood flow. CBD oil also stimulates your natural lubrication to make sexual performance smoother and less painful. Therefore, CBD also helps women as much as it helps men. Women going through menopause benefit immensely. Using CBD-oil lubricant increases serotonin levels while decreasing inflammation. This helps you to reach climax and feel sexual pleasure.
How to Use CBD-Oil to Enhance Your Sexual Performance
Erectile dysfunction is a known cause of stress and depression in relationships. However, you don’t have to suffer in silence when there are remedies. Before you start using any of these remedies, consult a doctor to learn about the effects and the preferred method of use or dosage. Too much use is dangerous.
Use CBD lube
CBD lube is popular and doesn’t get you high. However, exercise caution as it’s not latex friendly and can make the condom burst. Many women agree that CBD lube increases sex, pleasure, and excitement. Besides, it doesn’t have any discernible smell. The lube relieves penetration pain during intercourse and relaxes the tissues around the sex organ.
Stay under 2.5 mg if you want to improve your sex life without getting high. It mostly about heightening your senses and subtle relaxation, which makes intercourse exciting. You don’t feel the effects of cannabis, which enables you to enjoy sexual performance and mental alertness. Microdosing allows you to have a fantastic time with your partner.
Although cannabis is highly popular, use it in moderation if you don’t want to get high during sexual performance. Remember, you want to feel the excitement and pleasure, which is difficult to achieve if you are high. CBD has proven to be a resourceful remedy for declining sexual performance and erectile dysfunction. Consult a urologist to know the best usage methods that will work for you best and enhance your sexual excitement.