What Is the Connection Between CBD and Libido?
Posted on August 29th, 2020
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has been making the news in the medical and lifestyle space following the research and findings on its uses and potential benefits. Unlike its close cousin, THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound and doesn’t result in the “high” associated with THC. CBD products are, therefore, safe to use and are often recommended by medical practitioners for various medical conditions. With many people already using CBD products for alleviating pain, relaxing, and improving sleep, there has been a question of whether CBD can improve your libido. Curious to find out whether CBD can affect your libido? Read on to find out more!
What Is Libido?
Libido is defined as a person’s desire for sexual activity. Simply put, it is one’s sexual drive. Various factors can affect libido, including psychological factors, medical conditions, lifestyle, medications, and even physiological conditions. Biologically, libido is regulated by sex hormones and specific neurotransmitters that impact the nucleus accumbens. Therefore, the normal functioning of these neurotransmitters and sex hormones is vital to maintaining a normal sex life.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD may help with the symptoms of various conditions. But how does CBD achieve this exactly? Cannabidiol interacts with the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and helps maintain balance in various bodily functions. The body produces its own endocannabinoids to support the ECS. However, if this balance is thrown off, the body may benefit from supplementary cannabinoids to maintain bodily homeostasis.
Unlike other cannabinoids, CBD doesn’t work by binding to receptors in the endocannabinoid system. Instead, it might work by blocking the breakdown of endocannabinoids, allowing the body to use more of the naturally produced cannabinoids. CBD may also modulate non-cannabinoid receptors such as 5hT (serotonin receptor), TRPV1, and GPR55 receptor which may help with symptoms of depression, pain, inflammation, breakdown of bone, and even the growth of cancer cells. Generally, CBD might activate these receptors indirectly by setting off a series of reactions that stimulate the ECS.
Research on CBD and Libido
Research on the CBD-libido connection indicated that some ECS receptors are present in the brain and sexual reproductive organs. However, studies on CBD’s effect on libido have conflicting conclusions – some indicate that cannabinoids like CBD boost libido, while others suggest that they reduce it. In fact, some studies show that chronic cannabis use among males lowered their sex drive. While THC is the dominant cannabinoid in cannabis, it is still unclear whether CBD would have the same effect.
What Other Ways Can CBD Affect Libido?
Apart from the indirect activation of receptors in the brain and reproductive organs, there might be many other ways that this cannabinoid could affect libido. Here are some of them:
Reducing Symptoms of Anxiety
As mentioned earlier, libido can be affected by various factors, including anxiety and other psychological conditions. It is, therefore, believed that CBD could help boost libido by reducing some of the symptoms of anxiety. By easing stress and calming muscles, CBD may bring forth a feeling of warmth and relaxation, which can be attributed to higher libido.
While CBD may not necessarily boost serotonin and dopamine levels in the body, research indicates that it can potentially influence their concentration. These hormones, which are part of the group called the “happy hormones,” in turn, could produce positive feelings like love and pleasure. While this might not prove that CBD could positively affect libido, the interaction with these “happy hormones” helps show how CBD has the potential to impact libido.
CBD and Anandamide
Unlike THC, CBD does not have psychoactive effects and potentially plays the role of boosting one’s mood by enhancing the neurotransmitter anandamide. Anandamide is the bliss neurotransmitter in humans and is also associated with the hormone oxytocin (also called the “cuddle hormone”). Therefore, CBD may help increase the body’s natural endorphins and neurotransmitters, which could potentially boost one’s libido.
CBD’s Anti-inflammatory Properties
While CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties have no direct effect on libido, there seems to be a connection between these factors. CBD-infused products help reduce pain and inflammation, which could have a positive impact on libido. Psychologically, the body gets more prepared for intimacy as one expects painless and more pleasurable sex.
CBD and Libido in Women
A study revealed an essential association between endocannabinoid concentrations and increased female arousal. While there may be insufficient findings to support this theory, it shows that properly formulated CBD products may significantly impact the primary mechanisms of sexual functioning among women.
CBD and Conditions That Hurt Libido
Libido is often influenced by a couple of factors, including psychological factors and physical well-being. Different types of pains can affect an individual’s overall well-being, and could, therefore, hurt libido. Some of these pains include:
- Acute pain
- Chronic pain
- Nociceptive pain
- Neuropathic pain
For all these pains, CBD may be able to offer a solution. The alleviation of these pains could indirectly have a positive impact on libido since they often lead to several problems, including lower libido. Other ways in which CBD may help the body, and in turn, boost libido are:
- Calmed nerves
- Decreased inflammation
- Enhanced sleep
- Improved gut health
CBD and Other Libido-Related Conditions
One condition that quickly comes up when talking about libido and related disorders is erectile dysfunction (ED). A common cause of low libido is chronic stress, to which the body reacts by releasing adrenaline and cortisol. The body’s arteries can also constrict in response to chronic stress and therefore restrict blood flow, contributing to erectile dysfunction.
Men who struggle with this condition are likely to have a reduced sexual drive. CBD has been seen as a viable way to help ED as it may help influence the disease’s psychological symptoms. By managing the symptoms of the disease, CBD could help maintain or boost libido among men.
CBD Products for Potentially Boosting Libido
Various products can be used to manage conditions that negatively affect libido. Let’s take a look at some of the most common.
CBD Vape Oil for Boosting Desire
Some types of CBD vape oil may help when getting intimate. Whether this is physiological or psychological, is yet to be proven. However, the effects of CBD vape oil is no secret or magic – CBD might help in the dilation of blood vessels, which allows fresh oxygenated blood. In turn, fresh oxygenated blood could help increase stimulation and arousal.
CBD Products for Reducing Symptoms of Anxiety
It has already been mentioned that reducing anxiety, stress, and pain are some of the top benefits of CBD. Through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system’s receptors, CBD helps one relax and brings forth a general feeling of calm and well-being. In turn, this feeling of calm could help to improve sexual drive.
CBD Products for Alleviating Pain
Aforementioned, various types of pain can contribute to reduced libido, and using CBD products for pain relief could, therefore, have a positive effect on libido. Particularly, products like a CBD balm can be helpful as a remedy for women who experience pain during intercourse due to dryness or irritation. The anti-inflammatory property of CBD may also help eliminate such pain and boost one’s libido.
CBD Oil for Relaxing
CBD oil intended for targeted topical relief can help with relaxation and, in turn, boost libido. The use of essential oils combined with full-spectrum cannabinoids may help reduce muscle tension and bring forth a soothing sensation, which may all contribute to increased libido.
CBD for Strengthening Sensations
Cannabinoid receptors that may influence libido in women are present in the reproductive tract. CBD products, therefore, may work with these receptors and potentially result in increased libido.
Other products that can potentially boost libido are hemp gummies, CBD massage lotion, and CBD oral sprays.
Potential Side Effects of Using CBD for Libido
While some people may experience side effects after using CBD products, most of the symptoms are usually mild and nothing alarming. Some of the most typical side effects include:
- Stomach upsets
- Loss of appetite
While there have been concerns about the effect of marijuana on fertility, studies on how cannabinoids, including CBD, affect fertility have been shallow. For individuals using other medications, it is important to consult your doctor before using CBD for libido to avoid any effects of drug interaction.
In regards to libido, CBD doesn’t activate receptors in the ECS directly. However, it may play a vital role in balancing the ECS. It may also help with symptoms of conditions that influence libido, including stress, anxiety, and pain. CBD interacts with some of the neurotransmitters and hormones that have been linked to libido, and may, therefore, boost libido in the process. Some of the CBD products that can be used to potentially increase libido may include hemp gummies, CBD oil for symptoms of anxiety, CBD oral sprays, CBD massage lotion, and CBD arousal oil.