Can CBD Give Your Sex Life A Boost? Here's What We Know

While little is known about the exact health benefits and risks of CBD, the demand for CBD products has the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "taking an Agency-wide, integrated, and collaborative approach to addressing the regulation of products made from CBD that fall under our jurisdiction." Many CBD products boast that they enhance human sexual experiences by helping to cure sexual-related issues like erectile dysfunction, decreased libidos, or pain during sex. 

Feelings of euphoria and serenity are commonly reported side effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a cannabinoid that's derived from the marijuana or cannabis plant. Cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid made from the same species of plant, has less THC but carries similar properties. Cannabinoids affect the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in your body like a flight control system. ECS works with many of your body's stimulants like how you remember things and how you feel about them, reproduction, cravings, and how you handle pain. The popularity of cannabinoids and CBD use have led to studies showing that using CBD can help reduce sleep disorders, anxiety, nausea, and pain. With so many CBD products on the market, what exactly do we know about CBD and its impact on sex?

How does CBD work?

Many people take CBD to help them fall asleep. If taken an hour before bed, the phytocannabinoids have time to connect to your endocannabinoid system and tell your body it's time to rest. CBD is thought to interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors that are located in the nervous system, where many neuropsychological processes begin. Receptors are chemical structures made of protein that attach to your cells, and when your cells receive stimuli these receptors receive certain signals. While their interaction with the brain isn't fully understood, the human body has a variety of these receptors.

CBD doesn't interact with cannabinoid receptors like THC, as it doesn't appear to bind as strongly to the receptors. Its effects are achieved by binding to serotonin receptors known to influence pain, mood, and sleep. These are conditions known for affecting our quality of sexual pleasure and performance.

The National Library of Medicine states, "that acute CBD induces significant alterations in brain activity and connectivity patterns during resting state and performance of cognitive tasks in both healthy volunteers and patients with a psychiatric disorder." While they, as well as the FDA, feel more research is needed, CBD is becoming more and more commonly used by many to help with neuropsychological processes. 

Can CBD increase sex drive?

It seems there aren't enough studies regarding the overall effects of CBD and sex to have a definitive answer as to whether or not CBD works as an aphrodisiac. However, there have been reported successes where CBD has helped aid erectile dysfunction, as well as acting as an anti-inflammatory agent to aid in vaginal lubrication. 

Serotonin plays an important role as a neurotransmitter for neuropsychological processes and the amount of serotonin in your system affects your mental health. People with low serotonin are often diagnosed with depression or anxiety — Two conditions that can have a severe effect on self-esteem, sexual desire, and performance. Doctor-prescribed treatments for low serotonin typically include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), however, some people have used CBD to manage their symptoms of depression and anxiety. Exercise, talk therapy, and CBD use are ways to decrease the symptoms of depression and anxiety and potentially boost your sexual pleasure.

There are studies that show cannabis activates the part of the brain regarding sexual desire.  However, there isn't enough known about CBD and its use to prove it directly affects and increases libido or pleasure. If you're looking into adding CBD to your sex life or you've already been experimenting and are looking for more information, there just isn't a lot of information on its use. As with any product that's not fully backed by the FDA, proceed with caution. Be cautious with your levels of consumption and be aware of any negative changes you may feel.