What can affect your sex life?
Having a fulfilling sex life depends on many factors. From your stress levels to your age, your emotional state or medical issues, intimacy and pleasure are complex facets of our lives.
According to researchers , here are some of the things that could be preventing you from enjoying a full sexual life:
- Eating a diet high in refined carbs, simple sugars and saturated fat.
- Having high blood pressure
- Having high stress levels
- Lack of communication
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Poor sleep habits
Because of this complexity, there is no one size fits all answer, and no single change will completely “fix” any particular issue. However, many people claim CBD has helped them have a more fulfilling relationship with sex. Based on that information, researchers are trying to understand how they relate. Here’s what we know about it.
CBD, cannabis and sex
While scientists don’t fully understand the relation between CBD and sexual function, some studies show interesting results.
The cannabis plant has 200+ different active compounds, called cannabinoids. Certain studies show that cannabinoids like CBD and THC could boost libido, while others found those same compounds decrease it.
While these findings seem confusing, they complement each other. In several studies [1,2] researchers found that chronic cannabis use lowered sex drive in males. As such, the more frequent the consumption, the lower their sex drive . Women have a similar reaction to cannabis use: according to another study , low doses of cannabis had no effect on female libido, but high doses inhibit sexual desire.
However, according to this study  the lowered sex drive tends to happen with chronic cannabis use, and not when subjects took specific compounds as supplements. Here’s what you should know about it.
How CBD could improve your sex life
Although the specifics are still being studied, researchers found a low CBD intake could improve certain aspects that might hinder your sex life.
One of the main ways in which CBD can improve your libido is by reducing anxiety .
CBD, a cannabinoid, showed positive effects as a complementary anxiety treatment in pre-clinical trials . This compound alters serotonin signals in the brain, and in low doses can boost this hormone, also called one of the “happy hormones”. Low serotonin levels are associated with depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.
Anxiety around sexual performance is very common. In fact, around 10% of people state their anxiety interferes with their sexual life . As such, treating anxiety may improve sexual desire. This topic hasn’t been researched for long, and most of the evidence about it is anecdotic.
A recent study found using CBD to lower anxiety might improve the subject’s sex life by calming the psychological distress around sexual performance.
Improved lubrication and blood flow
One of the main sources of sexual discomfort for women is lack of proper lubrication. Ensuring proper blood flow to the genitals makes it easy to reach adequate lubrication and make intimacy more comfortable. On the other hand, good blood flow also improves libido and erection in men.
According to a 2019 study , CBD can enhance blood flow and give women longer, more satisfying orgasms. This means that, for people that struggle with intimacy, this might be a good option.
While results are still in the early stages, it’s encouraging to see more and more studies with positive results. Of course, it’s possible CBD could enhance sexual pleasure but we still need more clinical trials to have definitive answers. In the meantime, it might be something to try if you want to spice up your sex life.
(Update August 2022: Note that new studies have come out that CBD could reduce male reproductive potency. Read more here.)
- du Plessis, S. S., Agarwal, A., & Syriac, A. (2015). Marijuana, phytocannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and male fertility. Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics, 32(11), 1575–1588. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10815-015-0553-8
- Becky Lynn, Amy Gee, Luna Zhang, James G. Pfaus. 2020, Effects of Cannabinoids on Female Sexual Function, Sexual Medicine Reviews, Volume 8, Issue 1, Pages 18-27, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sxmr.2019.07.004.
- Harvard Health. 11 ways to help yourself to a better sex life. Available here.
- Can CBD Help with My Anxiety and Depression? Anxiety And Depression Association Of America. Available here.
- Pyke RE. Sexual Performance Anxiety. J Sex Med 2020;8:183–190. Available here.