CBD Oil for Erectile Dysfunction: Does It Work?

Cannabidiol (CBD) as a natural treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED), as well as other health conditions, is based on a compound derived from the cannabis plant.

Erectile dysfunction is when you cannot hold an erection long enough to have a satisfying sexual experience. It's very common and becomes more common with age. If you're between the ages of 40 and 70, there's a 52% chance you'll experience ED at some point. It is estimated that there will be 322 million cases globally by the year 2025.

There's currently no evidence that CBD can effectively treat ED. But CBD has been shown to help with some of the underlying physical and psychological causes of ED, which include diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression. Studies suggest CBD may help to manage pain, reduce anxiety, and improve mood.

This article discusses the possible benefits of CBD for ED, how to use the oil, and any potential risks and side effects. It also lists some other CBD products and how they are available to interested consumers.

Older man looking at CBD oil bottle


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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 have been shown to increase the risk of developing ED. They include:

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
  • Pain

CBD can activate these receptors, which may have potential health benefits.

Benefits of CBD Oil for ED

You can use CBD oil for erectile dysfunction during sex because 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.

However, there is currently no research on the benefits of using CBD to treat erectile dysfunction specifically. One recent review even suggests that CBD may impair male sexual function.

ED and Cannabis Smokers

It's important to remember that using CBD products is different from smoking cannabis when thinking about erectile dysfunction. Based on results of a review of five studies that included 3,395 healthy people, ED incidence may be twice as high in those who smoke cannabis when compared with those who don't.

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 to 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.

CBD and ED Research

There's no direct evidence as yet to support CBD use in treating erectile dysfunction. Researchers are looking at how cannabinoids might improve ED in people with conditions like multiple sclerosis, which is managed with drugs that cause ED as a side effect. Studies do support CBD uses in reducing stress and lowering blood pressure, which may lead to improved sexual function.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Overall, using CBD oil is considered generally safe. Some people may experience a reaction or side effects that include:

  • Fatigue
  • Changes in weight and appetite
  • 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.

CBD and Drug Interactions

Researchers have identified many drugs that, when used with CBD, may not be as effective or may cause side effects. They include the blood thinner Coumadin (warfarin), thyroid medication Synthroid (levothyroxine), and common drugs used as antidepressants, to manage heart arrhythmias, or to control seizures.

How Do You Use CBD for ED?

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.

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.

When CBD Oil Is Applied to Skin

Topical CBD oils are applied directly to the penis and absorbed through the skin. Be sure to read the product ingredients, as carrier oils and other additives could cause sensitivity or a reaction. Be sure to discuss CBD oil use with sexual partners who would be exposed to CBD oil through contact, too.

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 now 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

The risk of erectile dysfunction increases with age, especially if you have an underlying health issue. Your healthcare provider can help to diagnose a cause and discuss treatment options. CBD is believed to be a safe and easily accessible alternative, but there are many paths to treating ED effectively and finding what works best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does CBD improve blood flow?

    Some research suggests that CBD oil may increase blood flow because it helps to lower blood pressure. In terms of ED, increasing blood flow may help support stronger erections that last longer.

  • Can you naturally cure erectile dysfunction?

    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.

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