Can CBD Enhance Sex and Romance? 

Roses are red, violets are blue, can CBD enhance romance, here’s a comprehensive review.
Dr. Carlie Bell-Biggins
Written by Dr. Carlie Bell-Biggins, Naturopathic Physician
Last Updated
CBD and Sex

It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. This special day in February pays tribute to romance and relationships as lovers test their creativity with new ideas to enhance sex and intimacy with their partners in the bedroom.

The blossoming cannabidiol (CBD) industry has developed several intimacy products with our new favorite cannabinoid as the star ingredient. CBD companies have released everything from CBD infused lubricants to hemp suppositories and even arousal oils to offer plant-based all-natural ways to elevate sensations, increase enjoyment, and lower inhibitions around sex and intimacy.

This all sounds great, but do these products actually improve sex and enhance romance as they claim?

What the Research Says

There have been research studies looking specifically at the effects cannabis has on sexual function in both men and women.

This study reported an association between increase in frequency of cannabis use and increase in male sexual function.

Another study found via survey of 216 people who used cannabis with sex that 52% reported using cannabis to alter their sexual experience. 39% reported sex was better with cannabis, 16% said sex was better in some ways and worse in others, and 25% reported sex was sometimes better with cannabis. Only 5% said sex was worse with cannabis use.

This same study looked at 202 participants and found that 59% reported cannabis increased their desire for sex, 74% said they had increased sexual satisfaction, and 74% reported increased sensitivity to touch. When looking at 201 of the participants, 66% reported an increased intensity of orgasm. Also, out of 199 of the study participants, 70% said they could relax more during sex.

There were 28 participants who reported having difficulty reaching orgasm. Of those 28, 14, or 50%, said it was easier to reach orgasm with cannabis.

Yet another study found that cannabis activates the part of the brain responsible for sexual arousal. Therefore, they concluded that cannabis could be helpful for those with low sex drive.

Overall, the research is mixed on if cannabinoids such as CBD help or harm libido. There are many studies that support the use of CBD for improved sex and intimacy while others have found they decrease it. Since there aren’t a lot of research studies specific to CBD, sex and intimacy, it’s tough to say right now that it helps.

Your Reproductive System and CBD

Cannabinoid receptors have been found in the ovaries, testes, and endometrium (inner lining of the uterus). While CBD does not bind directly to these receptors, it does influence the endocannabinoid system as well as the reproductive organs.

For example, because CBD is found to be anti-inflammatory when used topically, the use of CBD in lubricants for those with painful intercourse could be a viable solution. Decreasing inflammation within the vaginal canal could decrease pain during intercourse.

For men, the idea that CBD can reduce blood pressure by relaxing the artery walls could support the use of CBD for erectile dysfunction. While this study did show that CBD reduced blood pressure in this way, no studies have been done specifically looking at how CBD effects the arterial walls in the penis.

How Can CBD Improve Sex and intimacy?

If we look at the research, CBD may improve sex and intimacy in many ways.

CBD is known to reduce anxiety, so for those with anxiety around sex, CBD could help reduce their anxiety and make intimacy more enjoyable.

Also, since CBD stimulates the part of the brain responsible for libido, it can help improve sex drive and desire for sex.

With its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can help to reduce pain for women who suffer from painful intercourse.

By decreasing blood pressure, CBD can possibly help with male erectile dysfunction by relaxing the arterial walls in the penis.

Many people who use cannabis with sex report having better sex, increased ability to orgasm, and increased sensitivity to touch. They also report increased sexual satisfaction and the ability to relax more during sex with cannabis use.

What to Know About Using CBD in the Bedroom

While research is still greatly needed in this area, what we know so far seems to be quite promising for using CBD in the bedroom.

If you are going to try CBD products, make sure that each product is laboratory tested by a third party for safety. Many products have a scan code on the label for lab reports to be accessed directly from the product.

Be sure to use the dose suggested on the product for proper use and to achieve the desired effect.

According to cannasexual coach Ashley Manta, cannabis can be helpful in the bedroom for common concerns that get in the way of intimacy like pain and anxiety. She says “Whether from arthritis, stiffness or an injury, pain can be very distracting when it comes to pleasure. For folks who have pain, cannabis-infused topicals are useful because they don’t cause the head high, and they don’t make you feel like a zombie like opioids can. You can apply them directly to the places that hurt – elbows, knees or hips – and that can take a lot of the edge off.”

Ashley also recommends using cannabis infused intimacy oils for post-menopausal women experiencing vaginal dryness and pain.

Sex therapist Rachel Hoffman recommends using CBD infused intimate oils to her post-menopausal clients. She says “I have them rub the oil into their vulva every single night for several weeks and then see if they feel a difference. I always warn them that CBD doesn’t work for everyone, and they have to give it time to see how their body responds.”

CBD Intimacy Products to Try

There are several products that cater to the CBD and intimacy market.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Anada Touch Bliss – This full spectrum CBD infused oil is a lubricant and intimate oil. They blend CBD with select essential oils to create this topical love potion.

Foria Intimacy Natural Lubricant with CBD – Increasing tactile sensations to erogenous zones, this natural lubricant also eases pain, tension, and dryness.

Quim Smooth Operator – Unlike many other lubricants, Smooth Operator is latex safe and designed to increase blood flow, decrease inflammation and pain, and promote pelvic relaxation.

Foria Basics Suppositories – Made with only cocoa butter and CBD, these suppositories can be inserted 30 minutes before sexual intercourse. Designed for either vaginal or anal insertion, they can help decrease pain and inflammation and increase local muscle relaxation.

CBD and Sex, The Bottom Line

From research studies to sex therapists, there seems to be a lot of support for the use of CBD to enhance sex and intimacy.

CBD can spice things up in the bedroom several ways, including increased desire, improved dryness, decreased pain, and enhanced touch stimulation. Easier and more intense orgasms and a more relaxed sexual experience are also reported with use of CBD before and during sex. Not to mention potential improved erectile dysfunction with artery wall relaxation in the penis.

While more research is needed, CBD appears to an option for enhanced sex and intimacy in the bedroom this Valentine’s Day.

References

1. Bhambhvani HP, Kasman AM, Wilson-King G, Eisenberg ML. A Survey Exploring the Relationship Between Cannabis Use Characteristics and Sexual Function in Men. Sex Med. 2020;8(3):436-445. doi:10.1016/j.esxm.2020.06.002

2. Wiebe E, Just A. How Cannabis Alters Sexual Experience: A Survey of Men and Women. J Sex Med. 2019;16(11):1758-1762. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.07.023

3. Androvicova R, Horacek J, Tintera J, et al. Individual prolactin reactivity modulates response of nucleus accumbens to erotic stimuli during acute cannabis intoxication: an fMRI pilot study. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2017;234(13):1933-1943. doi:10.1007/s00213-017-4601-1

4. Hammell DC, Zhang LP, Ma F, et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2016;20(6):936-948. doi:10.1002/ejp.818

5. Jadoon KA, Tan GD, O’Sullivan SE. A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study. JCI Insight. 2017;2(12):e93760. Published 2017 Jun 15. doi:10.1172/jci.insight.93760

6. Blessing EM, Steenkamp MM, Manzanares J, Marmar CR. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics. 2015;12(4):825-836. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1

7. https://www.forbes.com/sites/abbierosner/2019/05/23/no-expiration-date-two-sex-therapists-on-seniors-intimacy-and-cannabis/?sh=31d9681a455f

 

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Dr. Carlie Bell-Biggins
Dr. Carlie Bell-Biggins
Naturopathic Physician
Dr. Carlie Bell-Biggins has over 10 years’ experience in the natural health care industry. As a licensed natural medicine physician she practices holistic medicine at a thriving medical practice in Pearland, TX. She is a guest lecturer at the Houston Academy of Cannabis Science where she presents on a variety of cannabis related topics including the endocannabinoid system and the medicinal benefits of the phytocannabinoids.

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