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Relationship Between Cannabis Use and Erectile Dysfunction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Struggling to orgasm? Or want to increase your libido? Here’s how CBD can help you! We're learning more and more about the medicinal uses for cannabis every day, so it's only natural that we ask: can it help with ED?

Relationship Between Cannabis Use and Erectile Dysfunction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

Abstract

Globally, there is increasing usage and legalization of cannabis. In addition to its reported therapeutic effects, cannabis has several health risks which are not clearly defined. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most common male sexual disorder and there are plausible mechanisms linking cannabis use to ED. No attempt has been made to collate the literature on this topic. The aim of this review was to summarize the prevalence and risk of ED in cannabis users compared to controls.

A systematic review of major databases from inception to January 1, 2019, without language restriction, was undertaken to identify studies investigating cannabis use and presence of ED. The analysis compared the prevalence of ED in cannabis users versus controls. Consequently, the odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) was calculated, applying a random-effect model.

Five case–control studies were included with data from 3,395 healthy men, 1,035 using cannabis (smoking) and 2,360 nonusers. The overall prevalence of ED in cannabis users was 69.1% (95% CI: 38.0–89.1), whilst the correspondent figure in controls was 34.7% (95% CI: 20.3–52.7). The OR of ED in cannabis users was almost four times that of controls (OR = 3.83; 95% CI: 1.30–11.28; p = .02), even if characterized by high heterogeneity (I 2 = 90%) and the prediction intervals overlapped 1.00 (95% CI: 0.35–7.26).

Data suggest that ED is twice as high in cannabis users compared to controls. Future longitudinal research is needed to confirm/refute this and explore if a dose–response relationship between cannabis and ED may be evident.

The term cannabis is used to denote several psychoactive preparations of the Cannabis sativa plant, of which the major psychoactive constituent is ∆-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (Pertwee, 2008). It is the most widely cultivated, trafficked and consumed substance, with approximately 147 million people, 2.5% of the world population, consuming cannabis annually (Cohen et al., 2019). Cannabinoids, which are compounds present in the Cannabis sativa and structurally similar to THC, are commonly used in medicine.

There is emerging evidence in the scientific literature about the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis for conditions such as pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cancer and weight loss, and moderate-quality evidence for Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, Huntington’s disease, glaucoma, anxiety, and depressive symptoms (Fraguas-Sanchez & Torres-Suarez, 2018; Scherma et al., 2018; Zuardi, 2006). Although cannabis has been used for therapeutic purposes and has wide-ranging potential uses in medicine, with increasing legalization, the psychoactive properties limit its adoption. In some countries, cannabis is illegal (most of Europe), in others, it is considered a “soft narcotic” (UK and USA) or legal (mainly countries in South America, Asia, Africa) (Nestoros et al., 2017). The main concerns about legalization are due to the uncertain consequences it could have on public health (Kilmer, 2017). In fact, cannabis use can result in several adverse health outcomes. Cannabis intoxication seems to impair cognitive and psychomotor function and can increase the risk of psychotic symptoms, including addiction and cannabis use disorder (Volkow et al., 2014). Moreover, smoking cannabis can negatively impact the respiratory system, from the trachea epithelium to lung function impairment (Cohen et al., 2019). Finally, when cannabis is used during pregnancy, it has been reported to be associated with harmful effects on fetal development and reduction in birth weight (Fried, 1993). Moreover, there has been limited emerging evidence that cannabis use may be associated with erectile dysfunction (ED) (Shamloul & Bella, 2011). There are two main mechanisms hypothesized to explain this link: a central pathway via the hypothalamus and a peripheral pathway on the corpus cavernosum (Argiolas & Melis, 2005; Gratzke et al., 2010). ED is the most common sexual health issue in men and is associated with a substantial range of mental, physical, and psychological adverse effects, including anxiety, low mood, and reductions in couple’s quality of life (Wiltink et al., 2010; Yafi et al., 2016). Thus, understanding emerging risk factors for ED, particularly in relation to the increasing legalization of cannabis, is highly important. Given this background, we aimed to summarize the prevalence of ED in cannabis users compared to controls through a meta-analytic approach.

Methods

Data Sources and Literature Search Strategy

This systematic review adhered to the PRISMA (Liberati et al., 2009) and MOOSE (Stroup et al., 2000) statements and followed a structured but unpublished protocol. Two investigators (NV and DP) independently conducted a literature search using PubMed, EMBASE, SCOPUS, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Clinicaltrials.gov, without language restriction, from database inception to January 18, 2019 for studies investigating cannabis use and presence of ED. Any inconsistencies were resolved by consensus with a third author (MS).

In PubMed, the following search strategy was used: “(cannabis OR cannabi* OR Marihuana OR Marihuanas OR Marijuana OR Marijuanas OR Ganja OR Hashish OR 9tetrahydrocannabinol* OR delta3-thc OR sp-104 OR sp104 OR 1972-08-3 OR Dronabinol OR Marinol OR dronabinolum OR deltanyne OR tetrahydrocann* OR cannabinoid* OR canabinoid*) AND (ED OR erectile function OR sexual dysfunction OR sexual function)”. Similar search strategies were used in the other databases. Conference abstracts and reference lists of included articles were hand-searched to identify and potential additional relevant articles.

Study Selection

Inclusion criteria for this meta-analysis were: (i) observational studies (case–control, cross-sectional and prospective) reporting the prevalence/incidence of ED in people using cannabis versus nonusers; (ii) using a validated tool for the detection of ED (e.g., the International Index of Erectile Function, IIEF-5) (Namazi et al., 2018) and (iii) reporting the use of cannabis, also through self-reported information. Studies were excluded if (i) they did not include humans and (ii) a control group of cannabis users was not included.

Data Extraction

Two independent investigators (NV and DP) extracted key data from the included articles in a standardized excel sheet. A third independent investigator (MS) checked the extracted data. For each article, data were extracted regarding study authors, year of publication, country in which the study was conducted, condition, number of participants, participant demographics (mean age), and type of cannabis used.

Outcomes

The primary outcome was the prevalence of ED in cannabis users compared to controls.

Assessment of Study Quality

Study quality was assessed by two investigators (DP and MS) using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) (Luchini et al., 2017; Wells et al., 2012). A third reviewer was available for mediation (NV). The NOS assigns a maximum of nine points based on three quality parameters: selection, comparability and outcome.

Data Synthesis and Statistical Analysis

All analyses were performed using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (CMA) 2.

The analysis compared the prevalence of ED in cannabis users versus controls. Consequently, the odds ratio (OR) with its 95% confidence intervals (CIs) was calculated, applying a random-effect model (Higgins & Green, 2008).

Results

Search Results

As presented in Figure 1 , the searches yielded 452 nonduplicated articles. After excluding 421 articles based on title/abstract review, 31 articles were retrieved for full text review and 5 articles (Aldemir et al., 2017; Aversa et al., 2008; Elbendary et al, 2009; Kumsar et al., 2016; Mialon et al., 2012) were included in the qualitative/quantitative synthesis.

Study and Patient Characteristics

The five case–control studies included a total of 3,395 healthy men (1,035 using cannabis in the form of smoking and 2,360 nonusers). Three studies were carried out in the Middle East and two in Europe. The IIEF5 was used as a tool for the detection of ED in all the five studies. Four studies compared healthy subjects with patients with ED, whilst Aversa et al. (2008) compared patients affected by organic and nonorganic ED. The mean age of the participants was 20.1 (SD = 1.5). In all studies, the consumption of cannabis has been through smoking. Only one study assessed the duration of cannabis use in months (Aldemir et al., 2017).

The median quality of the studies was six (range: 5–7), indicating a good quality of the studies, according to the NOS ( Table 1 ).

Table 1.

Descriptive Characteristics of the Studies Included.

Author (year) Country Type of cannabis used Total population (cannabis; controls) Mean age of the population (standard deviation) NOS
Aldemir et al. (2017) Turkey Smoking 80 (47; 33) NA 6
Aversa et al. (2008) Italy Smoking 64 (24; 40) 30 (2) 6
Elbendary et al. (2009) Egypt Smoking 686 (66; 620) NA 7
Kumsar et al. (2016) Turkey Smoking 80 (47; 33) NA 5
Mialon et al. (2012) Switzerland Smoking 2485 (845; 1640) 19.6 (1.3) 5
Total 3395 (1035; 2360) 20.1 (1.5)

NOS: Newcastle Ottawa Scale.

Prevalence and Odds Ratio of ED in Cannabis Users Versus Controls

The overall prevalence of ED in cannabis users was 69.1% (95% CI: 38.0–89.1), whilst the correspondent figure in controls was 34.7% (95% CI: 20.3–52.7).

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Figure 2 presents the odds ratio of ED in cannabis users versus controls. The odds ratio of ED in cannabis users was almost four times than controls (OR = 3.83; 95% CI: 1.30–11.28; p = .02). This outcome was characterized by a high heterogeneity (I 2 = 90%). In a sensitivity analysis, after removing a study that was an outlier (Aversa et al., 2008), the recalculated OR was 2.34 (95% CI: 1.04–5.94; p = .03; I 2 = 88%. The prediction intervals overlapped 1.00 (95% CI: 0.35–7.26).

Odds ratio of erectile dysfunction in people using cannabis compared to controls.

The presence of a possible publication bias (Egger’s test: 3.92 ± 0.81; p = .02) was observed. However, the trim and fill analysis did not change this estimate. The fail-safe number was 35, indicating a low number of studies for bringing the p-value over the alpha.

Discussion

This is the first systematic review and meta-analysis to assess cannabis use and the prevalence of ED. This meta-analysis included five case–control studies with a total of 3,395 men, demonstrating a higher prevalence of ED in cannabis users (more than two-thirds) and leading to four times increased odds ratio of ED in cannabis users compared to controls. These results were characterized by high heterogeneity as shown by the I 2 and the prediction intervals, suggesting that some differences in the association between cannabis use and ED exist.

Considering that the causes of ED may be psychological, organic or most commonly a mix of both, different hypotheses can explain this outcome. One of the possible mechanisms is attributed to the endocannabinoid system through the binding of receptors in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus which regulates erectile function and sexual behavior of males (Argiolas et al., 2005). This mechanism could also explain why cannabis can improve sexual function in some patients affected by conditions or symptoms such as depression, anxiety disorder and pain (Gobbi et al., 2019; Huang et al., 2016). Growing evidence, both in animal and human studies, reported a peripheral effect of cannabis on ED, specifically on corpus cavernosum where cannabinoid receptors are present (Gratzke et al., 2010; Melis et al., 2006). Future longitudinal studies are necessary to confirm/refute this and explore the potential differing effects based on the type, potency and frequency of cannabis used.

The effects of cannabis on male health are, to date, poorly investigated both in terms of fertility and sexual health. Regarding fertility, contrasting data have been reported on testicular function and, whereas some authors highlight that smoking cannabis once per week is enough to impair the testicular function (Gundersen et al., 2015), Nassan et al. (2019) recently observed no sperm quality differences between cannabis user and controls. Cannabis seems to be clearly related to multiple adverse sexual health outcomes, but scientific evidence is limited. Cannabis use is associated with earlier and more frequent sexual activity, having multiple and causal sexual partners, inconsistent contraceptive use and being diagnosed with a sexually transmissible infection (Smith et al., 2010). Surprisingly, only a few studies reported the association between cannabis and ED using validated tools. At a time when there is increasing legalization of cannabis, these results suggest that cannabis use may be associated with ED, a particularly undesirable outcome in males (McCabe & Matic, 2008). Given that ED is associated with a range of adverse health outcomes in males, understanding this potential relationship could be a considerable public health issue (Rajanahally et al., 2019).

The main limitation of the present study is that few studies were available and those were contained small samples. Only one article reported information on duration (mean 87.7 months) of cannabis use identifying a slight negative correlation between sexual intercourse satisfaction and duration of cannabis use (Aldemir et al., 2017). The sample characterization of the study by Aversa et al., different from others, did not compare healthy participants with individuals experiencing ED, rather participants affected by organic and nonorganic ED. Finally, there were only case–control studies that could be affected by reverse causality, that is people with ED more frequently used cannabis. Despite limitations, this study has strengths. In fact, as well as being the first systematic review and meta-analysis on this topic, this study has considered objective validated tools to asses ED. This study is focused on two emerging conditions that represent an important public health concern: ED which is one of the most common worldwide male sexual disorders and is projected to affect 322 million men in 2025 (Shamloul et al., 2011) and cannabis use, which estimates suggest between 2.7% to 4.9% of the population have at least tried (Anthony et al., 2017).

In conclusion, considering the high prevalence of ED and cannabis use and the potential harmful effects of cannabis use on male sexual and general health, it is necessary to increase and improve the knowledge on this topic in order to achieve a general consensus on the best clinical and public health strategies.

Footnotes

Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Funding: The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: BS is supported by the Health Education England and the National Institute for Health Research HEE/ NIHR ICA Programme Clinical Lectureship (ICA-CL-2017-03-001). The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the National Institute for Health Research, the Department of Health and Social Care or the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation.

5 Surprising Ways CBD Can Help You Have the Best Sex of Your Life

Struggling to orgasm? Or want to increase your libido? Here’s how CBD can help you!

These products are not intended for use by persons under the age of 21. It’s important to consult your doctors with any medical concerns, and before making any changes or adding supplements to your health plan.

CBD or cannabidiol has gone beyond being a celebrity trend and is now a go-to for wellness and medicinal purposes. It has been linked to decreasing inflammation, anxiety, nausea, and more. In fact, what may have seemed like the “cool” thing to do for fun has actually helped hundreds, if not thousands of people (and even pets) with a myriad of ailments!

But while we’ve grown accustomed to hearing what it can do “medical” wise, there’s much to explore as to what it can do for us in bed. According to studies, all of these benefits have resulted in an increase in pleasurable experiences in the bedroom. Still not sure how? Here are five ways CBD can help improve your sex life:

Top Five CBD Benefits For Sex

1. CBD helps women with pain during sex

According to studies, 40 percent of women suffer from “dyspareunia” during sex – this is the medical term for genital pains that happen before, during, or after sex. Symptoms include penetration (be it sexual or even inserting your tampon), a burning or aching pain during thrusting and throbbing pain that lasts even after intercourse.

Dyspareunia makes it difficult for women to enjoy sexual intercourse. Basically, one’s pain is signaled through your endocannabinoid system involving your endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptors. To decrease the pain, CBD alters the chemical structure of the latter to decrease the pain, and increase relief.

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2. CBD relieves anxiety

If you suffer from anxiety, then having sex may seem like a chore to you. Sex is a mental and emotional experience that needs a relaxed mind to enjoy. Being anxious not only affects your performance, but it can hinder you from getting into the mood at all. Thankfully, CBD has been proven effective in easing one’s anxiety.

CBD increases the brain’s sensitivity to serotonin and lowers cortisol, both resulting in lowered anxiety and heightened sexual performance. If you know you’re about to get intimate with someone, it’s best to take CBD 30 minutes or an hour before “go time” so that the CBD has time to enter your bloodstream and to take effect.

Some of the best CBD oils that people swear by are from Nirvana CBD. Their best selling product is the CBD Vanilla Tincture which tastes like candy, so it’s easy to digest. All you have to do is shake the bottle, fill the dropper, and empty it under your tongue. Hold the liquor for a minute, swallow, and wait for it to take effect!

3. CBD Increases Orgasms

At the end of the day, great sex equates to great orgasms – and not being able to reach that point may be disappointing for both parties. If you or your partner have been struggling to hit the big O, then don’t worry – CBD to the rescue. In 2019, a study showed that cannabis extracts were effective in increasing longer and intense orgasms.

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This has to do with CBD being a major vasodilator that relaxes blood vessel muscles, which then allows blood to rush to your sexual organs to increase and increases nerve sensation around them. All of this results in enjoyable and pleasurable orgasms you’ll want again and again.

If you want to hit the big O, then you can either take a CBD shot or CBD oil with a dropper. But if you’re looking for CBD that’s easier for you on-the-go and that’s easier to take, you should buy Nirvana CBD oil capsules. Each bottle contains 30 gel capsules, each with 25 mg of broad-spectrum CBD that you can simply pop into your mouth for ingestion.

4. CBD for Erectile Dysfunction

With about 30 million men suffering from erectile dysfunction in the United States, it’s no surprise people are looking for organic and safe ways to address the issue. Though more studies need to be conducted, it’s been said that since CBD has a myriad of anti-anxiety effects, the blood vessels become relaxed enough to increase and speed up the blood flow to the penis.

If you suffer from erectile dysfunction and it takes too long for your penis to get up, if it’s able to get up at all – then CBD is your new best friend. You can opt for the CBD oil, shot, or capsule, but there are CBD gummies too. Nirvana CBD has CBD gummies that come in pineapple, grape, apple, and more. Whatever the flavor, it’s sure to put a smile on your face – before and after sex!

5. CBD increases your Libido

Apart from chemistry and a physical attraction, another thing necessary for great sex is an increase in energy level. One way to kill this is by being stressed or anxious, after all, studies have shown that the stress hormone cortisol is the culprit behind lowering your libido. Take note that this may be applicable to women only though, especially ladies with sexual performance anxiety.

For women, CBD reduces the cortisol by triggering the serotonin receptor and activates their parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) which makes them calm and more sensually receptive, thus increasing their sexual arousal. To really get into the mood, you may want to start off with a sensual massage – good thing there’s CBD body lotion!

The Nirvana CBD body lotion is usually used to target problem areas that need pain relief, but it can also be used all over the body to give off an overall soothing effect.

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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.

In Conclusion

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.

16 Sources

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.

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  2. Symptoms & Causes of Erectile Dysfunction. (2017, July). Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes
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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.

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