Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as cannabis or hemp.
CBD oil has enjoyed huge popularity in recent years, with a legion of loyal fans reaching for this natural treatment to help them with everything from stress and anxiety to chronic pain and inflammation. Cannabidiol, which is derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant but is devoid of psychoactive compound THC, appears to offer a wide range of therapeutic benefits for all types of user, and although further research is needed to confirm its efficacy, its analgesic (i.e. pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory properties have already been studied quite extensively by researchers, with promising results.
Lubrication and arousal
Perhaps one of the lesser known benefits of CBD is its ability to improve our sex lives, but a growing number of us are opting to incorporate it into our sessions in order to aid relaxation and increase pleasure.
When it comes to lubrication during sex, there is good evidence that CBD may help in this area, too. CBD works by activating receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which can be found throughout the body, including in reproductive organs and sexual tissue. In doing so, it increases blood flow to these tissues, which increases sensitivity and promotes the body’s natural lubrication.
Some studies have found that certain cannabinoids, such as CBD, heighten libido in men, yet other studies have reported contrary findings. A small study conducted in Spain and published in 2021 found that of the participants surveyed, those who consumed cannabis prior to sex reported more satisfying experiences than those who either abstained from using cannabis or mixed cannabis use with alcohol. Due to conflicting findings and limited research available, further study is needed to replicate and confirm the results – but if you’re looking for something to spice up your sex life, then it’s certainly worth a try.
Pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects
Whether you’re experiencing pain from chronic illness, aging, or something else entirely, CBD may also provide relief from pain and allow you to be more fully present and relaxed during sex.
Already, it has been shown to help manage chronic conditions like endometriosis, which can make intercourse uncomfortable, making it a helpful tonic for long-term sufferers, with one study examining the use of CBD in chronic pain management concluding that “CBD is a promising area for the treatment of chronic pain, and further studies need to be performed to evaluate the role of CBD in chronic pain management.”
Because CBD has already been confirmed to be a powerful anti-inflammatory, it can certainly prove beneficial for pain issues that are a result of inflammation – so if that applies to you, then try incorporating a few drops into your daily routine.
Both anecdotal evidence and recent research support the claim that CBD can encourage bodily relaxation, which can lead to the increased pleasure experienced in the bedroom.
An article from Healthline exploring the potential of CBD to improve sexual experiences highlights the personal experience of Allison Wallis and her claim that CBD helps foster relaxation during intercourse. Wallis, who lives with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome – a condition that causes severe muscle spasms – told the website that using a CBD-infused lubricant made a notable difference in her enjoyment of intimacy, saying, “It relaxes my muscles and allows for much more enjoyable sex. I was surprised by how well it worked. It allowed me to focus on the intimacy of the act instead of my muscle spasms.”
A 2019 study exploring how cannabis alters sexual experience surveyed a group of both men and women, and concluded that “many participants in our study found that cannabis helped them relax, heightened their sensitivity to touch, and increased intensity of feelings, thus enhancing their sexual experience.” However, due to the small sample size, there is still a need for further research to confirm and replicate these findings.
Stress and anxiety relief
Stress and anxiety around sex can be instant mood killers, and are not conducive to an enjoyable experience – nor to having much sex at all. When you’re feeling unsettled or on edge, you’re unlikely to want to initiate sex, and may find it difficult to fully engage with your partner should they do so, but much like its ability to induce feelings of physical relaxation, CBD has been shown to have a similar affect on the mind.
While still in its infancy, a small body of research in this area has produced some promising conclusions in this area thus far. Animal and human studies indicate cannabidiol (CBD) has anxiolytic properties, which can help to lower stress levels and provide some much needed mental headspace. This, in turn, allows users to be present in the moment and focus on themselves and the partner, with the distractions or worries that can often hinder a positive sexual experience melting into the background.
According to a 2018 study exploring the different effects of cannabinoids on neurotransmitters in the ECS, emotional homeostasis is crucially modulated by the activity of the ECS. In particular, the study found that different environmental and endogenous stimuli (cannabinoids) could influence our emotional state, and that cannabis-based compounds could exert antidepressant effects through complex influences on different behavioural responses, such as those associated with reward, stress and inflammation.
If you’re in need of a boost in the bedroom, then CBD certainly seems to offer some promise, and is an all natural product that offers a wealth of additional benefits, too. If you’re considering trying it, then be sure to talk to your GP first to ensure there won’t be any interactions with any medications you’re currently taking – then lie back, relax and enjoy!