Did you know that medical cannabis use and consumer awareness is at an all-time high? With more people consuming cannabis as medicine, it’s important to understand the effect this plant may have on other areas of your life. Today, we’re focusing on your sex life.
So naturally, it’s reasonable to be concerned when you hear that cannabis use could lead to erectile dysfunction or ED for short. That could be a real mood killer after a romantic evening with your significant other.
Thankfully, we are going to break down if the rumors that cannabis use can lead to ED are true, the scientific pros and cons associated with sexual performance and cannabis, and how to avoid an unfortunate, mood-killing situation in the bedroom this weekend.
The Many Pros of Cannabis Use
Cannabis has been used by civilizations all over the world for healing for thousands of years. Modern science has reaffirmed that cannabis and the many cannabinoid compounds have incredible potential as medicine over the past 25 or so years, a key reason why getting your medical card is a great option for people dealing with health issues like chronic pain, anxiety, seizure disorders and epilepsy, PTSD, Alzheimer’s, and a long list of other conditions.
As it turns out, early research has shown that cannabis can have a profound impact on the human sex drive and sexual performance overall.
Research has shown that for women, cannabis might make sex more enjoyable. In a 2019 study, researchers found that women who used marijuana prior to sex reported increases in sex drive, improvement in orgasm, and a decrease in pain. Other studies seem to show cannabis use could be linked with an increase in overall sexual desire. The study, which involved more than 50,000 men and women, found that marijuana use is “independently associated with increased sexual frequency.” It’s worth noting, however, that while this research is valid and should be looked further into, other research has indicated that people might not experience these same benefits consistently.
Generally, cannabis use is linked with feelings of euphoria, increased sexual desire, and increased arousal and physical sensitivity to touch and sensations, which seems to mesh well with sex on the surface. Unfortunately, however, other research has shown that cannabis might do more harm than good when it comes to sexual performance.
Cannabis Use Cons on Sexual Performance
While cannabis use might have some clear pros, it comes with a multitude of cons for men when it comes to performing properly in the bedroom.
Studies on the impact of cannabis compounds like THC on the body have shown links to penis muscle impairment, temporary dulling of nerve endings in the sexual organs, and difficulty reaching orgasm for men. While early research has been done and shows definitive links to all of the previously mentioned issues, these issues are inconsistent across the board and very heavily based on the frequency of cannabis use, dosage, and method of consumption.
Smoking cannabis seems to be the method of consumption most heavily linked to issues with ED. While that certainly has to do with the compounds in cannabis, as we mentioned above, the physical effects of smoking cannabis could contribute to issues in the bedroom as well.
For example, nearly all medical experts agree that when cannabis is smoked, it can harm your heart and lungs over the long term, potentially increasing your risk of developing cardiovascular health issues that could contribute to ED. In the short term, marijuana can cause an increase in systolic blood pressure. Since high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction are closely linked, this is worth keeping in mind if you’re concerned about your sexual performance.
While it’s possible to avoid much of that cardiovascular damage by using methods aside from smoking to consume cannabis, like tinctures, creams, or oral supplements, you still have to deal with the impacts that THC can have on your muscles and sexual performance overall.
It’s also worth noting that heavy use of cannabis has also been linked to gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts in men, which can be caused by hormone imbalances. Hormone imbalances can have a profound impact on sexual performance and health, which could result in issues like ED.
It’s also worth noting that cannabis can interact negatively with other medications someone might be taking for other health issues, like high blood pressure, blood thinners, blood sugar regulations, just like any other medicine. That’s why it’s so important to speak with a licensed cannabis doctor, like the one’s Leafwell can connect you to in minutes, before mixing cannabis with any other medications.
Cannabis and Sex: The Bottom Line
While we would love to be able to provide and break down a comprehensive study that either definitively proved or disproved the relationship between cannabis and sexual issues like ED, we simply don’t have enough quality science behind it to say for sure one way or another just yet.
While the research we do have has clearly linked sexual performance, either positive or negative, that research is still lacking in human trials. While promising projects have come to fruition this year thanks to medical cannabis programs and worldwide bodies like the U.N. accepting the potential of cannabis as medicine.
Unfortunately, until there’s a change at the federal level when it comes to cannabis, something that’s more likely thanks to the Biden administration’s public stance on cannabis and the continued positive push in public opinion, we’ll have to wait on high-quality research in the U.S.
For this coming Valentine’s Day, at least, maybe skip the joints ahead of date night this time around!
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