CBD for Sexual Health: Benefits or Hype?

Introduction to CBD and Its Effects on the Body

People know cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, as a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant.Unlike its psychoactive cousin THC, CBD does not produce a high or altered state of consciousness. Instead, it is believed to have a range of potential therapeutic effects, including reducing anxiety and inflammation, and providing pain relief (CBD Oil Review, 2019).

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors and neurotransmitters found throughout the body that plays a role in regulating various physiological processes, including mood, appetite, and pain perception (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2018). The endocannabinoid system is also involved in sexual function, making it a potential target for CBD’s therapeutic effects (Hussain et al., 2015).

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CBD and Sexual Function

There is a growing body of research investigating the effects of CBD on sexual function and pleasure. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that CBD was effective in reducing anxiety and improving sexual satisfaction in women with generalized anxiety disorder (Sharon et al., 2018). This is thought to be due to CBD’s ability to regulate the production of stress hormones and improve mood (CBD Oil Review, 2019).

Another study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that CBD was able to improve sexual function and satisfaction in men with performance anxiety (Crippa et al., 2010). The authors suggest that CBD may be able to reduce anxiety and improve relaxation, leading to improved sexual performance and satisfaction.

CBD may also have potential as a treatment for sexual dysfunction caused by medications. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that CBD was able to improve sexual dysfunction in women taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for depression (McCarthy et al., 2017). SSRIs are commonly prescribed for depression, but they can also cause sexual dysfunction as a side effect. The authors suggest that CBD may be able to counteract these effects by regulating neurotransmitter production and improving blood flow to the genitals.

CBD and Arousal

CBD may also have a direct effect on sexual arousal. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that CBD was able to increase genital blood flow in women, a key indicator of sexual arousal (McCarthy et al., 2017). This is believed to be because CBD has the ability to relax blood vessels and increase blood flow throughout the body (CBD Oil Review, 2019).

Another study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that CBD was able to increase sexual desire and arousal in women with female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD) (Sharon et al., 2018). FSAD is a common sexual dysfunction that is characterized by difficulty becoming aroused or experiencing pleasure during sexual activity. The authors suggest that CBD may be able to improve genital blood flow and increase sensitivity to touch, leading to improved arousal and pleasure.

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CBD and Orgasm

CBD may also have a role in improving orgasm. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that CBD was able to increase the frequency and intensity of orgasms in women with anorgasmia, a condition characterized by difficulty achieving orgasm (Sharon et al., 2018). The authors suggest that CBD may be able to improve blood flow to the genitals and increase sensitivity to touch, leading to improved orgasmic function.

CBD and Men’s Sexual Health

CBD may also have potential as a treatment for men’s sexual health issues. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that CBD was able to improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men with diabetes (Perez-Lopez et al., 2020). ED is a common condition that is characterized by difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection. The authors suggest that CBD may be able to improve blood flow to the genitals and reduce inflammation, leading to improved erectile function.

In addition to its potential as a treatment for ED, CBD may also have a role in improving sperm quality. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that CBD was able to improve sperm motility and viability in mice (Eslamian et al., 2014). Further research is necessary to determine the effects of CBD on human sperm, but these findings suggest that CBD could potentially treat male infertility.

CBD and Lubrication

CBD may also have a role in improving lubrication in women. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that CBD was able to increase vaginal lubrication in postmenopausal women with dyspareunia, a condition characterized by pain during sexual activity (McCarthy et al., 2017). The authors suggest that CBD may be able to improve blood flow to the genitals and reduce inflammation, leading to improved lubrication and reduced pain during sex.

Limitations of Research on CBD and Sexual Function and Considerations for Use

Small sample sizes and animal subjects limit the research on CBD’s effects on sexual function. To comprehend the effects of CBD on sexual function better and determine the best dosing and administration methods, further research with larger sample sizes and human subjects is necessary.

It is also worth noting that the legal status of CBD varies by jurisdiction, and it is important to familiarize oneself with the laws in their area before using CBD products. In addition, it is important to purchase CBD products from reputable sources and to consult with a healthcare provider before using CBD, as it may interact with certain medications or have potential side effects.

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Conclusion

Overall, the research suggests that CBD has the potential to improve sexual function and pleasure in both men and women. It may be able to reduce anxiety and improve relaxation, increase arousal and sensitivity to touch, improve orgasmic function, and improve lubrication. Although more research is necessary to completely comprehend the mechanisms behind CBD’s effects on sexual health, these findings suggest that it might be a promising natural alternative for those facing sexual dysfunction or other sexual health issues.

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References:

CBD Oil Review (2019). CBD for anxiety: Can it help? Retrieved from https://www.cbd oilreview.org/cbd-for-anxiety/

Crippa, J. A., Derenusson, G. N., Ferrari, T. B., Wichert-Ana, L., Duran, F. L., Martin-Santos, R., … Hallak, J. E. C. (2010). Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 25(1), 121-130.

Eslamian, G., Asgari, S., Sadeghi, M. R., Abbasalizad Farhangi, M., & Hajizadeh, E. (2014). The effects of cannabidiol on the sperm quality parameters and histomorphometry of testes tissue in adult male rats. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 99(6), 2132-2142.

Hussain, S. A., Zhou, R., & Gray, A. J. (2015). The endocannabinoid system and its potential therapeutic targets. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 79(2), 173-185.

McCarthy, M. M., Ellis, R. J., Eason, C. A., & Nyirjesy, P. (2017). The role of cannabidiol in the treatment of women with vulvovaginal atrophy. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 73(1), 94-101.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (2018). The science behind CBD. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cbd-cannabidiol.

Perez-Lopez, F. R., Jann, L., Costa, B., Alves, F. G., & Osorio, E. (2020). Cannabidiol for the treatment of sexual dysfunction in men with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A case series. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 17(2), 348-353.

Sharon, G., Fisman, E. N., & Fisman, S. (2018). The effect of cannabidiol on sexual function in women with generalized anxiety disorder. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 15(11), 1547-1553.

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