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Erectile dysfunction (ED) impacts more than 30 million men in the United States, negatively impacting many aspects of their lives. Their perceived sexual dysfunction may make them feel less confident and unwilling to pursue romantic relationships or have a healthy sex life. However, cannabis has shown a promising ability to help address some – but not all – causes of erectile dysfunction and help many men enjoy greater sexual interaction.
Like many remedies, cannabis’ impact on male sexual performance seems dose-dependent: small amounts may have beneficial effects, whereas higher doses can worsen impotence symptoms.
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How Cannabis Affects Erectile Dysfunction
Cannabis’ status as a Schedule I controlled substance has presented an uphill challenge to many researchers who would like to examine its impact on erectile dysfunction and other sexual processes. Most research on the topic comes from self-reported survey responses instead of evidence from controlled clinical trials. Besides these inherently biased survey responses, it’s hard to say whether weed helps or causes impotence definitively.
Cannabis operates on male sexual function by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which interacts with several brain and body systems that involve arousal and sexual function. One study found that masturbation completed to orgasm produced higher endocannabinoid 2-AG in blood samples, further indicating the ECS’ role in sexual functions. Cannabis also increases blood flow, leading to increased sensitivity in the nerve receptors in the penis.
Self-reported surveys have shown that cannabis use before sexual activity can help relax participants and increase perceived enjoyment thanks to lowered inhibition. Cannabis users also reportedly have more sexual experiences than non-regular users.
However, other studies have shown evidence of adverse outcomes of cannabis on men’s sexual health. Some studies have shown that cannabis use correlates with increased erectile dysfunction, with additional trials indicating delayed ejaculation time and debilitated ability to orgasm.
Cannabis also negatively interacts with Viagra, increasing the risk of heart disease or attacks due to the dilating impact of both substances on blood vessels. Another study found that cannabis can lower sperm count in high doses, though another study found that moderate use may increase sperm counts.
We need more research to examine better the cannabis plant’s impact on erectile dysfunction to understand the relationship between the condition and substance. While cannabis may increase desire and perceived sensory experience, it may also inhibit ejaculatory response and arousal in men.
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Best Ways to Use Cannabis for Erectile Dysfunction
Dosing is a key factor when evaluating cannabis as a tool for combating ED. As mentioned above, too-high doses can have negative impacts, while low-to-moderate quantities may effectively boost sexual function.
Sexual environment, physiology, and other factors play a role in cannabis use in the bedroom, so be sure to understand your tolerance before adding additional variables to the experience. Starting low and going slow is a valuable adage when experimenting with marijuana dosing.
Some consumption methods may be better suited than others for erectile dysfunction. Topicals and sex-safe cannabis oils or lubricants may lead to heightened physical sensations and enjoyment but don’t produce the same euphoric psychoactivity as other consumption methods.
Smoking or vaping cannabis flower or concentrates will quickly produce a euphoric cannabis experience, with effects kicking in within 30 minutes of consumption and lasting up to three hours. Edibles have a slower onset time but deliver much longer-lasting and more potent experiences, with euphoric effects lasting up to seven hours. However, with these methods, proper dosing is much harder to judge, and users may experience more of an adverse impact than the intended effect on impotence.
Best Strains for Erectile Dysfunction
There is no one “best” strain (cultivar) for erectile dysfunction. The following cannabis strains may help reduce anxiety while worsening conditions like ED in higher doses.
Harlequin contains a 2:1 ratio of CBD to THC, with enough kick for an energetic happiness boost while alleviating any discomfort that may be preventing male arousal. This cultivar’s CBD content also mediates the more psychoactive effects of THC, potentially heading off any dizziness or nausea-related symptoms that could impact sexual performance. The primary terpenes in Harlequin include myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, pinene and humulene.
Wedding Cake is a strain (cultivar) well-suited for sexual experience and male arousal, reportedly able to relax users while stimulating focus and physical sensations. The primary terpenes in Wedding Cake include the energizing limonene and the relaxing linalool.
Blue Dream is one of the market’s most popular cultivars, with higher than average THC levels and little CBD content. The dream-like high it produces helps distract users from unwanted physical sensations and relaxes inhibitions, making it perfect for nerves that might prevent male arousal. Blue Dream’s primary terpenes include beta-caryophyllene, myrcene, linalool and alpha-bisabolol.
Dosidos is a highly potent and relaxing cultivar that reportedly produces high levels of euphoric relaxation, allowing sexual partners to be in the moment. The strain features more elevated levels of the peppery beta-caryophyllene, an anti-inflammatory that relaxes tensions and soothes anxiety, while its limonene content adds energy to the mix.
Sour Diesel is a more energizing cultivar that lends itself to sexual situations and mental arousal. The cultivar features higher levels of limonene, perfect for uplifting low energy. The beta-caryophyllene and relaxing myrcene help stimulate physical sensations and lower inhibitions that would otherwise inhibit the erectile response.
Sherbet is a relatively mild cannabis cultivar reportedly said to relieve physical tension and reduce overall anxiety. While it’s a calming strain, the euphoria is relatively clear-headed, which makes it helpful in staying focused on one’s partner. Its primary terpenes – caryophyllene, humulene and limonene – help keep users alert while stimulating physical sensory enjoyment.
Durban Poison is known to lift moods and boost overall creativity and energy, helping men to feel ready to perform in the bedroom. High levels of terpinolene soothe any would-be anxiety, while beta-caryophyllene and alpha-humulene keep users awake, focused, and positive.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of weed is good for ED?
Our list above covers a few options for erectile dysfunction or a lack of sex drive and libido. However, no one size fits all, and you may want to experiment with different strains and doses to find what works best for you. The first step is to see a Leafwell provider and get your own medical marijuana card.
What weed is like Viagra?
Technically speaking, no one cannabis cultivar works the same way Viagra does in the body. Viagra and cannabis have shown negative physiological interactions, leading to increased heart attack or disease risk. The above list covers a few options that may be suitable for combating erectile dysfunction, though no one strain works the same for every individual.
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