by Edie Horstman
CBD: New Age Aphrodisiac
CBD for better sex—fact or fiction? Truth be told, insecurities, performance anxiety and pain in the bedroom are common woes. While a variety of holistic treatment options are available, CBD-infused pleasure enhancers are worth the try. In recent years, medical experts and scientists have tapped into CBD’s healing properties, including decreased inflammation, improved gut health, calmed nerves, enhanced sleep and more. Even more fitting, it appears that cannabidiol (CBD) can give your sex life a boost. While the better-known benefits of CBD are tailored more to anxiety and pain, there’s also a chance it can help with arousal and desire levels.
CBD is mainly known for its vast therapeutic reach, but it can also be used as an aphrodisiac. A non-psychoactive component of the hemp and marijuana plants, CBD can alleviate inhibition during sex—think of alcohol’s effects on unwinding, without the hangover or vague memories. Additionally, CBD can reduce pain during penetration as well as enhance sensations. Smoking, vaping, lubricants and eating cannabis chocolates are all popular ways to enjoy its aphrodisiac effects.
The Endocannabinoid System and Sex
A system of receptors in the human body interacts exclusively with cannabinoids, called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). While scientists are still uncovering information about the ECS, it is known as the body’s master regulatory system. Its job is to keep the body balanced by controlling inflammation, mediating sensations and more. These receptors are activated specifically by our bodies' natural cannabinoid-like chemicals, as well as by CBD.
As humans, we're biologically programmed to use CBD effectively to decrease inflammation, relax muscles and reduce pain. Furthermore, these receptors are found all over the female reproductive tract. Because CBD stimulates the ECS, it helps to promote homeostasis in the body, reducing the sensation of pain and inhibiting inflammation. Ultimately, this means that the ECS is responsible for assisting in arousal and reducing discomfort during sex.
Improving Desire and Increasing Sensations
When applied topically as a lube or lotion, CBD dilates your blood vessels. In turn, this allows fresh, oxygenated blood to flow more easily. CBD is a vasodilator, which means that it makes your arteries and other blood vessels wider, lowering blood pressure and allowing for greater blood flow. Typically, more fresh oxygenated blood is associated with increased arousal and stimulation.
In the female reproductive tract, cannabinoid receptors are found in the uterus, Fallopian tubes, ovaries, vagina and vulva. These receptors play a significant role in the day-to-day pleasure and pain associated with sex. In fact, they are key in improving low libido and the ability to achieve orgasms. Men experiencing problems with erectile dysfunction may also benefit from using CBD. As previously mentioned, CBD increases blood flow and nerve sensation, which can help enhance sexual pleasure and intensify orgasms for all parties.
Enhancing Your Sex Drive
CBD can be particularly helpful in creating a more relaxed, enjoyable and fun experience in the bedroom. To help you tune into the pleasures of foreplay, for example, CBD lube enhances sensation. Largely due to its ability to repair tissue damage and improve blood flow to the genitals, coconut oil-based CBD lube is gaining popularity. Men and women who consume CBD report enhanced sex drive. Afterward, because cannabidiol can improve insomnia, a CBD edible, vaporizer or CBD-infused lube can actually improve post-sex sleep.
Edie Horstman is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, wellness blogger and freelance writer. She works with health-focused brands, co-creating content in the digital marketing space. She lives in Denver, Colorado.