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Cannabidiol (CBD) shows potential as a natural treatment for ED. Research is limited, but here’s what to know about the effects of CBD on erectile function. As it turns out, CBD oil could work wonders in the bedroom. Let’s get a little more intimate with the long list of potential benefits of CBD for sex. Cannabidiol or CBD may prolong the effects of sildenafil (Viagra) — but is this combination safe? What are the risks?

CBD and Erectile Dysfunction: Are There Benefits?

Yvelette Stines, MS, MEd, is an author, writer, and communications specialist specializing in health and wellness.

Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

Jamin Brahmbhatt, MD, is a board-certified urologist and Chief of Surgery at Orlando Health South Lake Hospital.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects approximately 52% of people between the ages of 40 and 70 years of age who have a penis. It is estimated that there will be 322 million cases globally by the year 2025.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound derived from the cannabis plant that has become increasingly popular as a natural treatment for a range of health conditions. Some research suggests that CBD has the potential to help manage pain, reduce anxiety, and improve mood.

While there’s currently no evidence that CBD can effectively treat ED, CBD has been shown to help with some of the underlying physical and psychological causes of ED.

This article will look at the possible benefits of CBD for ED, how to use the oil, and the potential risks and side effects.

PeopleImages / E+ / Getty Images Plus

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection more than 75% of the time. It can be frustrating, and it also can impair the quality of life for those who experience it.

This condition may be triggered by a number of factors, including hormonal changes, side effects from medication, reduced blood flow, stress, or psychological concerns.

In addition, certain health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, sleep disorders, alcoholism, obesity, and Parkinson’s disease have been shown to increase the risk of developing ED.

What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 85 active chemical compounds found in the cannabis (marijuana) plant. Unlike the cannabis compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it does not cause the feeling of getting “high.”

Researchers have found that CBD has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties. It shows promise as a treatment for mood, sleep, and pain disorders due to its effects on the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system involves a body-wide network of cannabinoid receptors that help regulate a number of important functions, including digestion, immunity, inflammation, reproductive health, and pain. CBD can activate these receptors, which may have potential health benefits.

Benefits of CBD Oil for ED

There is currently no research on the benefits of using CBD to treat erectile dysfunction specifically. And one recent review suggested that CBD may impair male sexual function.

However, there is evidence that CBD may be beneficial in treating underlying health conditions that can cause ED. In particular, CBD has been shown to aid in reducing stress and anxiety in multiple studies. It also shows potential for managing depression, performance anxiety around public speaking, and social anxiety.

Stress, anxiety, and depression are all known to impair libido and increase the risk of ED. The effects of CBD may help improve libido in people who struggle with ED due to psychological reasons. More research needs to be done to determine the effectiveness of CBD and the best dosage.

CBD has also been shown to lower blood pressure. This has the potential to improve circulation, which may help facilitate more blood flow to the penis.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Overall, using CBD oil is considered generally safe. Some people may experience a reaction or side effects such as fatigue, change in weight and appetite, and diarrhea.

Studies have also shown that CBD can interfere with certain medications, so it is important to contact your healthcare provider before trying any alternative treatments like CBD for ED.

Best CBD for Erectile Dysfunction

There are different ways that you can use CBD oil for your ED.

Topical oils and CBD-infused lubricants can be applied to the penis and the medicine will go directly to the skin. This can help promote blood flow to the penis, which can aid in getting a firm erection. Be sure to read the ingredients of these products as some may include additives that could cause sensitivity or a reaction.

The other way to use CBD is to consume it. Consumable forms of CBD include:

  • Chewing gum
  • Vaporized
  • Creams
  • Gummies
  • Liquid oils

When choosing a CBD product, you’ll find there are three main types of CBD oil on the market. They include the following:

  • Isolate CBD: This contains just CBD.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD: This contains CBD and other cannabinoids but not THC.
  • Full-spectrum CBD: This contains CBD and all other cannabinoids, including 0.3% or less trace amounts of THC.

Studies have shown that other cannabinoids may help increase the bioavailability and the activity of CBD due to a mechanism known as the entourage effect. For this reason, most proponents recommend using a broad or full-spectrum CBD.

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Dosage

There currently is no clinically recommended dosage for CBD oil. The effects vary from person to person, and it may take some experimentation to find a dose that is effective for you. Before trying CBD for ED, contact your healthcare provider and ask for their advice.

How to Buy CBD

CBD has been legalized across the United States and it is increasingly widely available. Places where you can get CBD oil include:

  • Manufacturer websites and retail locations
  • Large e-commerce sites
  • Health and wellness shops
  • Marijuana dispensaries

Summary

CBD has garnered some interest as a potential natural treatment for ED. While there’s limited evidence that CBD can treat ED specifically, the compound has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and improve blood flow, which may be beneficial for ED.

A Word From Verywell

Dealing with ED can be frustrating, embarrassing, and hard on your relationship. If you are struggling with the condition, it’s important to talk with your healthcare provider, as ED can be indicative of an underlying health issue.

Your healthcare provider can help you rule out any health issues and help you understand your treatment options. CBD is one alternative option that is safe and easily accessible, so it may be worth trying along with other treatments.

There are many paths to treating ED effectively, and finding what works best for you may take some trial and error. But there is a way forward to a healthy, thriving sex life.

Frequently Asked Questions

During sex, CBD oil or a CBD-infused lubricant can be used externally on the genitals as you would any lubricant. It is thought to stimulate blood flow, reduce stress, and increase pleasure. You can also take CBD oil orally before having sex to help reduce performance anxiety and improve blood flow.

Some research suggests that CBD oil may help to lower blood pressure and increase blood flow. In terms of ED, increasing blood flow may help support erections.

There are a number of lifestyle habits that you can try that may help ED. These include exercising regularly, trying stress-reducing activities like yoga and meditation, eating a healthy diet, and creating space to take care of yourself.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

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

Bruni N, Della Pepa C, Oliaro-Bosso S, Pessione E, Gastaldi D, Dosio F. Cannabinoid delivery systems for pain and inflammation treatment. molecules. 2018 Sep 27;23(10):2478. doi: 10.3390/molecules23102478. PMID: 30262735; PMCID: PMC6222489.

Bruni N, Della Pepa C, Oliaro-Bosso S, Pessione E, Gastaldi D, Dosio F. Cannabinoid delivery systems for pain and inflammationtreatment. molecules. 2018 Sep 27;23(10):2478. doi: 10.3390/molecules23102478. PMID: 30262735; PMCID: PMC6222489.

Stanley CP, Hind WH, O’Sullivan SE. Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol?. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013;75(2):313-322. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04351.x

By Yvelette Stines
Yvelette Stines, MS, MEd, is an author, writer, and communications specialist specializing in health and wellness.

CBD for Sex: Why CBD Oil Should Have a Place in Every Bedroom

For years, we’ve been boasting about the many physical and mental health benefits of CBD. From stress and anxiety-relief to muscle relaxation, you’re probably familiar with the basics by now. We’re here to talk about something different today… CBD for sex! As it turns out, on top of everything else, cannabidiol could work wonders in the bedroom. Let’s get a little more intimate with the potential benefits of CBD for sex.

Does CBD Oil Improve Libido?

There’s tons of research in the works right now that might provide us with better answers when it comes to CBD oil and the libido in the near future. Here are some of the latest theories about CBD’s effect on sex drive:

Less Stress, More Sex
High levels of the stress hormone, known as Cortisol, have been proven to lower your sex drive and get in the way of intimate activities. CBD oil’s magical ability to make stress melt away can have a positive impact in the bedroom by dropping Cortisol levels and helping you relax before the act. For many, anxiety and stress tend to play a role in sex; CBD can help ease some of that stage fright, getting rid of any mental blocks potentially getting in the way.

The Science of CBD for Sex
Extensive studies have shown a close relationship between CBD and the ECS (Endocannabinoid System). We won’t get into the nitty gritty of this super complex network, but one of its functions is to regulate hormone health. Essentially, we have ECS receptors throughout our bodies (including our sexual organs) that CBD binds to. This bind helps balance hormones, which ultimately leads to an increased libido.

While were on the topic of sex science, CBD also works by increasing our body’s production of a chemical called anandamide, which helps release Oxytocin aka the “love hormone.” These elevated levels tend to have a positive effect on all social interactions, including sexual encounters.

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Pain-Free with CBD Unfortunately for many, including up to 40% of women, painful sex can ultimately be an issue in the bedroom. Another awesome benefit of CBD, is its pain-relieving properties. A recent study, which surveyed 5,398 Americans and focused on 502, found that “26% use CBD to alleviate pain and soreness after sex. Of those, 39% found CBD “moderately to very” effective, 59% found it “slightly to somewhat” effective, and only 2% found it non-effective.” Turns out, the pain-relief, coupled with increased blood flow and more relaxed muscles, has proven to be a pretty great combo for improving sexual activities.

How to Use CBD Oil for Erectile Dysfunction

It’s estimated that some 30 million men in America suffer from Erectile Dysfunction. While we’re not exactly sure what CBD oil does for ED (scientists think it has to do with lowered stress and increased blood flow), some men have sworn it leads to longer-lasting sex and erm… an upward trend in alleviating ED. For those wondering, there’s no specific way to use CBD oil for Erectile Dysfunction; a couple of drops beneath the tongue, 30-40 minutes in advance, should do the trick. As with anything, there can be too much of a good thing. Some studies have shown that chronic use of CBD could actually lower sex drive, whereas intermittent use could give it a much-needed boost.

CBD as a Lubricant

Can you use CBD as a lube? Absolutely! An added benefit of CBD for sex is that it can act as a lubricant between the sheets. Not only is it an all-natural alternative to chemical-based lubes, but CBD also has amazing anti-inflammatory properties, which could make sex more comfortable for both parties. There’s no such thing as the “best CBD oil for the libido,” so feel free to use any Fusion CBD oil on its own or try adding a couple of drops to your favorite lube, or try our newest product, His & Her Pleasure, a CBD-infused lubricant that has multiple benefits in bed for both partners.

Want to try something different tonight by adding CBD to your bedroom routine? Shop Fusion’s 100% pure, organic CBD products.

Does CBD Interact With Sildenafil (Viagra)?

Cannabidiol or CBD may prolong the effects of sildenafil (Viagra) — but is this combination safe? What are the risks?

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Sildenafil (Viagra) is used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED).

Cannabidiol (AKA CBD) is primarily used to manage chronic pain, anxiety, or insomnia — but it has many other health benefits as well.

Some people report using CBD alongside sildenafil to boost its effects — helping to increase erectile function and eliminate concomitant issues like performance anxiety.

Is this combination safe? What are the risks of taking CBD with Viagra (sildenafil)?

Table of Contents

Does CBD Interact With Sildenafil (Viagra)?

Yes. CBD can interact with sildenafil (Viagra) and should be used with caution.

The main concern with using CBD and Viagra is an increased risk of side effects. While uncommon, Viagra can lead to headaches, dizziness, indigestion, and a condition called priapism which involves painful and long-lasting erections.

CBD may also prolong the effects of Viagra by slowing down the body’s ability to eliminate it.

Let’s explore each type of interaction more closely.

A) Slowed Elimination (Metabolic Inhibition)

Drug metabolism occurs in the body due to the effects of a group of enzymes from the P450 family. Metabolic inhibition occurs when two drugs need the same enzymes to get metabolized. Hence, they end up competing against each other for the said enzymes. This action could result in slowing down the metabolism of one or both drugs.

Sildenafil is extensively metabolized by CYP450 enzymes, especially CYP3A4 (major route) and CYP2C9 (minor route). CBD also gets metabolized by these same enzymes.

Because of this ability, if CBD and sildenafil are taken together, the plasma levels of sildenafil can rise in the body. This only becomes dangerous if Viagra is used continuously on a daily basis. Over time, concentrations of the drug can build up to dangerous levels. It’s important to allow enough time between doses for it to be cleared from the body.

B) Increased Effect (Agonistic Interaction)

An agonistic interaction occurs when two or more items exhibit the same effect on the body.

In the case of CBD and sildenafil, the shared effect focuses on blood vessel dilation. Both CBD and sildenafil cause the blood vessels to relax. This could lead to symptoms of excessive relaxation, which include dizziness, headaches, and priapism.

Other Names For Sildenafil(Viagra)

Sildenafil is sold under many different names. All share the same risk and potential interactions.

Other names for sildenafil include:

  • Alsigra
  • Aryagra
  • Caverta
  • Edegra
  • Giagra
  • Medigra
  • Penegra
  • Revatio
  • Silagra
  • Vega
  • Vizarsin
  • Xcite
  • Zenegra

Similar Medications: CBD & Erectile Dysfunction Medications

CBD and erectile dysfunction medications (PDE5 inhibitors) all carry the same level of risk for interaction. Most ED medications work through the same mechanism and require metabolism by the same enzymes in the liver.

Here’s a list of similar medications that share a similar level of risk when combined with CBD:

Is It Safe to Take CBD & Sildenafil (Viagra) Together?

The interaction between sildenafil and CBD is considered mild.

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However, because of the severity of one side effect in particular (priapism), it’s wise to speak to your doctor before taking CBD alongside your prescription Viagra.

To further reduce your chances of experiencing interactions, it’s wise to separate the doses of each substance by about 2 hours.

If you experience any problems or concerns, contact your physician immediately.

Is CBD A Viable Alternative to Sildenafil (Viagra)?

CBD is not considered a viable alternative to sildenafil.

Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids have been shown to improve ED in some individuals, but this effect relies more heavily on the effects of CBD for reducing anxiety conditions (such as performance anxiety).

Sildenafil targets the blood vessels directly feeding blood flow to the penis. This effect is not found in studies exploring the effects of CBD.

For people who may be experiencing mild forms of ED or could trace the cause of their ED to anxiety, CBD could be a safer alternative. However, people who experience ED as a result of mechanical dysfunctions are unlikely to find CBD even remotely as effective for managing symptoms as sildenafil.

What is Sildenafil (Viagra)?

Sildenafil is a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor. Viagra is one of its brand names. It’s used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension.

It is an FDA-approved drug and is sold as a prescription-only drug in most countries.

Sildenafil (Viagra) Specs:

Drug Name Sildenafil
Trade Names Viagra, Silagra, Alsigra, Aryagra, Caverta, Edegra, Giagra, Medigra, Penegra, Vega, Xcite, Zenegra, Revatio, Vizarsin
Classification Phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor
CYP Metabolism CYP450 enzymes, especially CYP450 3A4(major route) and CYP2C9 (minor route)
Interaction With CBD Metabolic inhibitor, Agonistic
Risk of Interaction Mild

What Does Sildenafil (Viagra) Do?

Sildenafil works by inhibiting phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5). Its main action is to increase the blood flow to a flaccid penis. This ability causes it to get erect. Sildenafil does this by inhibiting an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5). PDE5 is commonly found in corpora cavernosa, vascular smooth muscles, visceral smooth muscles, and platelets.

Originally developed as a potential blood pressure medication, sildenafil’s ability to cause erection in patients with erectile dysfunction was accidental but a very welcome one. This discovery caused it to become one of the most valuable methods to treat ED.

Generally, in sexual intercourse, after an adequate amount of foreplay, there will be a release of nitric oxide (NO) from nerve terminals and endothelial cells. This action releases cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) too.

The cGMP’s release causes the muscles of corpora cavernosa in the penis to relax and the blood vessels to get dilated. It leads to a rapid entry of blood into those vessels, causing the penis to engorge, grow large, and get erect. The penis stays so until the end of the intercourse and until after ejaculation occurs.

The enzyme PDE5 prevents blood vessels in the penis from relaxing. It does this by causing the degradation of cGMP. In most ED patients, the blood vessels in the penis are also affected and lose their ability to relax properly or have some obstructions in them.

Sildenafil inhibits PDE5, increases the level of cGMP in the corpus cavernosum, allows more blood to flow into the penis, and causes the penis to get erect long enough to have sex.

However, sildenafil needs proper sexual stimulation to do its work. With a relaxed mind and good sexual stimulation, this drug may work even better.

Apart from the presence of PDE5 in the corpus cavernosum of the penis, PDE5 is also present in the pulmonary vasculature. Hence, sildenafil can increase cGMP within pulmonary vascular smooth muscle cells and cause them to relax. In patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, this can lead to vasodilation of the pulmonary vascular bed and systemic circulation.

It is not recommended for use in women and children. Sildenafil does not cause dependence and addiction. This drug may show mild to dangerous interactions when combined with some medications. These include nitrates, antihypertensive medications, guanylate cyclase stimulators, antacids, CYP3A4 inhibitors, and CYP3A4 inducers. Sildenafil should not be used with these medications.

Sildenafil is not recommended for consumption alongside alcohol of any form. It must be avoided in users with severe heart disease, hypersensitivity to sildenafil, priapism, severe renal and liver disease, stomach ulcers, retinitis pigmentosa, and blood disorders.

Side Effects of Sildenafil (Viagra)

  • Headaches
  • Tingling sensation in the limbs and extremities
  • Hot flushes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bluish tinted vision
  • Loss of vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Nasal blockage
  • Back pain
  • Nausea
  • Abnormal vision
  • Skin rash
  • Dyspepsia
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle pain
  • Prolonged and painful erection

Key Takeaways: Is it Safe to Take Sildenafil (Viagra) With CBD?

CBD can slow down the metabolism of sildenafil in the body — potentially causing it to remain active in the body for a longer duration.

Additionally, CBD may potentiate some of the effects of Viagra, leading to a higher risk of side effects (especially dizziness and priapism).

Always consult with your doctor before taking CBD if you’ve been given a prescription for Viagra or another version of sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra).

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