Cannabidiol (CBD) is gaining popularity as a natural fix for common aches, pains and anxieties. But few people are talking about how helpful CBD can be for another common problem: sexual dysfunction.
There are lots of things that can ruin the mood or cause problems during intimate moments. And while none of these problems are the fault of the person experiencing them, they can produce feelings of shame, guilt, frustration or depression—and they can deeply affect romantic partnerships.
There’s a lot of talk about how cannabis can help with sexual issues. But for those who don’t live in places where cannabis is legal, or who aren’t interested in the mind-altering effects of cannabis, there’s another solution. Thankfully, hemp-derived CBD can help. Studies are now showing that CBD can provide myriad benefits for folks having sexual difficulties.
If you’re experiencing challenges with your sex life, you aren’t alone. Sexual dysfunctions are incredibly common, affecting about 43% of women and 31% of men. And there are many things that can go wrong.
Some simply lack the desire to have sex, or have difficulty getting aroused. These issues can sabotage sex before it even gets started. Studies show that approximately 30% of women and 15% of men have hypoactive sex drives and simply don’t crave sex as much as the rest of the population.
For others, the problems come with the sex itself. Arousal is one big issue, and it affects both men and women—between 10–20% of people have a hard time getting aroused during a sexual encounter.
Folks suffering from arousal issues may crave sex, but simply have difficulty becoming or staying aroused. For women, this can correlate to vaginal dryness and lack of pleasurable sensations, and for men the main symptom is erectile dysfunction.
For women, other common issues include painful sex or difficulty coming to orgasm, both of which affect 10–15% of women.
Men seem to have the opposite problem. Their most common sexual complaint is premature ejaculation, which affects 30% of men.
Sex can certainly come with a lot of problems, but luckily CBD can help with many of them. In recent years, researchers have discovered various ways that CBD can help with sexual dysfunction.
Here are the top four ways that CBD can help reawaken the romance and alleviate sexual difficulties.
When it comes to sexual difficulties, some issues are physical, but many have psychological components, too. Sex can be complicated, and many people have anxieties surrounding it. Maybe it’s anxiety for the act itself, or maybe it’s just that anxiety from unrelated issues are distracting you from the moment. Either way, anxiety can be a big problem and can really kill the mood.
Thankfully, many report that CBD is a big help, calming nerves and quieting the mind. And the research backs this up, showing that CBD can lower anxiety.
Another common issue during sex is physical pain. There are many reasons why pain may happen during sex, but it can really impact your ability to enjoy the pleasurable sensations of intimacy. And painful sex may even contribute to other problems, like anxiety.
If pain during sex is your main problem, CBD can help you, too. Studies show that CBD can reduce pain—and many report feeling less pain when using CBD during sex.
Try an inhaled or edible CBD option before your next sexual experience to avoid painful sensations.
Pain and anxiety both play big roles in sexual dysfunction, but sometimes the problem is with inadequate feelings of pleasure.
Interestingly, CBD can help with this as well. “CBD increases blood flow and nerve sensation, which can help enhance sexual pleasure and intensify orgasms for all parties,” explains Dr. Evan Goldstein, an expert in queer sexual health and wellness. This is good news for men and women alike, who may be able to increase pleasurable sensations and orgasms through CBD use.
Perhaps this link is due to CBD’s interaction with our bodies’ natural endocannabinoids. Certain fatty acids break down endocannabinoids, and CBD inhibits those same fatty acids. So, CBD increases the general level of endocannabinoids.
To add to this picture, some endocannabinoids seem to be involved with sexual pleasure. Researchers recently discovered that our bodies have elevated levels of certain endocannabinoids right after sex
The scientists working on this project believe that these endocannabinoids may be related to the pleasurable sensations of sex. So, CBD may enhance pleasurable sensations by elevating endocannabinoid levels. As CBD allows for the endocannabinoid system to process more of these endocannabinoids, it may actively increase pleasurable sensations.
While the increase in pleasurable sensations that CBD brings can help with overall arousal, CBD has another benefit for men suffering from erectile dysfunction. One big factor in erectile dysfunction is the presence of dioxins in the body. These toxins can lead to erectile dysfunction as well as low sperm count.
Interestingly, some recent research suggests that CBD actually helps flush dioxins from the system, which may help treat erectile dysfunction directly.
There can be various reasons your sex life isn’t as fulfilling as you want it to be. But CBD may be able to ease sexual anxiety and pain, and that can go a long way to helping you get your mojo back.
Photo credit: Jeremy Banks
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