Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t appear to alter consciousness or cause a person to feel “high.” Currently, it is only FDA-approved to help treat seizure disorders. However, there is ongoing research into the potential benefits of CBD for anxiety, chronic pain, and other conditions. CBD may also have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, but these are still being studied (Meissner, 2021).
Health conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and certain psychiatric and mental disorders can also contribute to ED, so working with a health professional to manage these conditions may be helpful (Krzastek, 2019).
What is CBD?
Scientists don’t yet fully understand how CBD works, but they suspect it affects certain brain chemicals. Cannabinoids like CBD work by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system affects the whole body and may play a role in pain, memory, movement, appetite, metabolism, and immune system function (Sheikh, 2021).
There are also some natural supplements, herbs, and vitamins that may or may not benefit ED. Horny goat weed is a traditional Chinese medicinal herb often used to treat fatigue and low sex drive. Animal and lab studies have shown that horny goat weed contains a substance called icariin, a mild PDE5 inhibitor, but it’s unclear if these benefits translate to humans (He, 2021).
Other benefits of CBD
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural substance called a cannabinoid. It comes from the cannabis plant, which is part of the Cannabaceae family. CBD is one of two main cannabinoids; the other one is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabis plants with higher levels of THC are classified as marijuana and are controlled substances (FDA, 2021). Cannabis plants with very low THC are classified as hemp. CBD can be found in both marijuana and hemp.
It’s important to note that this research looked at the effects of cannabis as a whole, not specific cannabinoids such as CBD. As such, their findings may not apply to products that contain CBD or other isolated cannabinoids.
Erectile dysfunction is very common and usually treatable. Our full guide to ED covers everything from the causes of erectile dysfunction to treatments and prevention strategies that you can use to improve your erections and optimize your sexual health.
While there’s currently no research showing that CBD is an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction, it might be helpful for treating anxiety that can contribute to ED and other sexual health issues.
CBD and Sexual Performance Anxiety
One area where CBD may be useful is in treating and managing anxiety, including anxiety about sexual performance.
Although ED becomes more common with age, it can affect men of all ages. In fact, one study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that approximately one out of every four men seeking help for ED is under the age of forty.
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If you’re affected by ED, the most effective treatment options are PDE5 inhibitors like sildenafil, tadalafil and others. These work by improving blood flow to your penis, making it easier for you to get and keep an erection when you’re aroused.
Currently, CBD is being studied as a potential new medication for conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease and others.