By now, there’s a strong cultural and scientific association between certain recreational substances and erectile dysfunction. Enter whiskey dick for example, but can the same be said about marijuana? Recreational and medicinal marijuana use has increased in many parts of the country because of recent state legalization. In fact, Americans are most likely to use marijuana more than any other recreational drug. With the increase of legal use and high-quality “pot” available in certain states, the question of its effects on sexual health has been posed. Can smoking, vaping or consuming marijuana in any form contribute to erectile dysfunction or overall sexual health? Below, we’ll discuss whether there’s any scientific or medical backing on cannabis’ effects on male sexual function.
The main active ingredient in “weed” is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. When smoked or ingested, THC binds to the brain’s receptors causing perception or mood elevations that cause a “high” feeling. However, does consuming cannabis in any form contribute to erectile dysfunction?
Possible Positive Effects of Marijuana on ED
Marijuana is primarily used as a relaxant. When consumed, this recreational drug can cause the body to release dopamine which elevates pleasure sensors. This euphoric feeling can make for heightened sexual sensitivity which many find highly enjoyable.
Chronic pain sufferers often utilize marijuana to reduce pain levels to engage in sexual activity. It’s important not to self-medicate and only take marijuna for medical reasons when legally prescribed by a doctor.
Many men with erectile dysfunction often have a lot of anxiety because they fear they won’t be able to gain an erection. The relaxing effects of weed can lower these anxious feelings and allow men to enjoy the task at hand, instead of feeling the pressure of performing.
Possible Negative Effects of Marijuana on ED
Low Desire or Libido
Because cannabis can work to relax the body physically and mentally, it can cause drowsiness or low desire to engage in sex if one gets “too” high.
When THC enters the system, it can disrupt the brain receptors that inform erection signals. This makes gaining a firm erection difficult.
In the same way, marijuana has a positive effect by causing heightened sensitivity, it can also create over-sensitivity leading to loss of ejaculatory control.
When it comes to published research, a 2018 study found there wasn’t sufficient evidence to conclusively link erectile risk factors and cannabis use. It did find compelling evidence of the negative repercussions of cigarette smoking and drinking alcohol and their increase in ED symptoms. The same study pointed to the importance of physical activity and its assistance on reducing erectile dysfunction. This is particularly interesting because often, marijuana users experience bouts of lethargy and spikes in hunger. The combination of these two can cause serious dips in regular exercise and an increase of the “munchies” if a person consumes marijuana on a daily or regular basis.
At Giddy, we’re staunch proponents of taking charge of your personal health. If you opt to lean into the potential benefits of marijuana or decide to steer clear of it, the choice is up to you. Whether it’s for medical or recreational use, just ensure you’re legally and medically cleared to spark up.
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