CBD and Sex: 3 Ways CBD May Benefit Your Sex Life
Good sex is all about pleasure, and it turns out CBD may be able to help in this department! How so?
First, you should know that the endocannabinoid system has receptors in the uterus, testes, ovaries and even sperm! Second, there are some specific ways CBD itself may be a benefit.
CBD For Sex
3 Ways CBD May Increase Sexual Pleasure
- More pleasure and stronger orgasms – While not a scientific study, a recent survey of men and women using CBD during sex found some super positive effects. Among this group, 31% of men lasted longer, while 33% of women had orgasms more quickly – alleviating two major problems heterosexual couples face in trying to align their mutual pleasure! Not to mention, over 70% of males and females felt their orgasms were more intense. Whether and how these results apply beyond the survey remains unknown, but there’s definitely potential for many men and women to improve their experiences of pleasure together!
- Pain relief – Sadly, many women experience pain during sex – vaginismus (pelvic floor muscle spams) and dyspareunia (painful intercourse) are two possibilities that seriously dampen the fun and pleasure sex can bring to a relationship. While no one has studied the use of CBD specifically for sexual pain (yet!), animal studies find CBD is anti-inflammatory and can relieve pain in rats with arthritis without negative side effects. While there are obviously differences between human sexuality and rat arthritis (last I checked!), anecdotally, some (human!) women are finding success! As sex educator Ashley Manta says, “CBD has been shown to help with inflammation…Cannabinoids like CBD readily absorb into the mucous membranes and can decrease discomfort while enhancing pleasurable sensations.”
- Stimulating sensory nerves – Sex is sensual, involving not only touch, but sight, smell, sound and taste! Quite literally, sensory perception is important to sexual arousal. There are sensory pathways throughout the genital region for both males and females, so it’s logical to think greater sensory sensitivity may boost sexual pleasure. An interesting study on guinea pigs found that the cannabinoid anandamide (AEA) actually stimulates sensory nerves in their airway. What do guinea pig airways have to do with sex between humans?! Well, we can’t say for certain, but researchers do know that cannabidiol increases AEA levels in humans, so it’s plausible that this may be one reason some men and women are finding more pleasure using CBD during their sexual encounters.
While no studies have looked directly at the relationship between CBD and pregnancy, there are some studies that point to potential dangers. In particular, AEA may be associated with miscarriage and preterm labor. If you are trying to get pregnant, already pregnant or engaging in sex with a risk of pregnancy, it may be best to wait until further research confirms whether this applies to humans.
CBD Sexual Dosing for Better Sex
How much CBD should you take? Well, we don’t know for certain, but contrary to cultural norms that say “more is better!” it may actually work better to use low doses of CBD for sex. A 2012 study found, contrary to their hypotheses, that among human(!) females, AEA levels decreased as sexual arousal increased. Researchers were surprised, as they predicted both would increase together, based on studies finding cannabis tends to have a positive effect on female sexuality.
Some animal studies also find a “biphasic” effect of AEA, meaning low doses stimulate behavior while high doses seem to inhibit activity. This study was about mouse behavior in general, not specific to sex, but seem to coincide with the human sex study above. That said, as we saw above, plenty of women (and men!) are finding benefit. As with any health-related product, it is best to start “low and slow” while paying close attention to its effects on your body in particular. You may find that lower doses of CBD actually work better. That’s not a bad thing – it may mean your supply will last even longer!
Sarah has a Ph.D in Sociology with a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Arizona. Her current research spans the fields of trauma, psychology, neurobiology and sociology.