According to Time Magazine and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, roughly 40 million Americans (representing almost 18% of the population) deal with some form of anxiety disorder on a daily basis (1).
That’s staggering, and the anxiety train isn’t slowing down any time soon. With constant global, financial, and political instability, you don’t have to look far to find data from major organizations telling us that the anxiety is on an uptick in America (4).
Anxiety can manifest in a multitude of ways:
- Lack of focus
But the last thing you want anxiety to affect is your sex life. There’s a substantial amount of scientific data indicating that “anxiety negatively affects subjective sexual arousal (5).” Unfortunately, it appears anxiety does adversely affect intimacy, which can create a cyclical problem as sex is normally a healthy way to relieve stress and anxiety.
What anxiety means to you can be an extremely personal question.
Signs you may be experiencing sexual anxiety or intimacy issues include:
- erectile dysfunction
- vaginal dryness
- avoiding physical/sexual contact
- difficulty staying committed
- low self-esteem
- bouts of anger
Hopefully, by exploring these taboo issues, we can shed light and help everyone feel empowered to seek treatment and change. It’s important to manage stress and anxiety as soon as possible, before it can transform into deeper more negative emotions, like shame or inadequacy.
Which brings us to cannabidiol, or CDB for short.
CBD to the Rescue
To most of America, CBD is still a recent addition to pharmacy shelves following the passing of The Farm Bill in 2018, which allowed for legal hemp production to begin across the U.S. (6).
CBD is a phytocannabinoid that was originally discovered in 1940. Derived from hemp, preliminary studies on CBD support its efficacy in treating anxiety, inflammation, movement disorders, and pain (3). CBD for general anxiety, stress, and reducing inflammation is already being accepted and widely studied. Additionally, CBD is proving effective at treating more serious anxiety disorders including PTSD, GAD, PD, OCD, and SAD.
But CBD’s role in the bedroom is another story (7).
Science, CBD and Sex
Most of the current research on CBD and marijuana use as it relates to libido seems to intimate that smaller amounts of cannabis can enhance sexual activity, but larger daily quantities may hamper sexual motivation (3).
On a biological level, the ECS receptors that CBD activates aren’t just in the brain. ECS receptors are also present in our sexual reproductive organs like our testicles and even semen (3). Basic facts like this, along with CBD’s known anti-inflammatory properties, set the stage for theories that CBD relieves sexual performance anxiety, increases blood flow to the genitals and generally promotes more relaxing and enjoyable orgasms and sexual experiences.
According to the leading cannabis clinician in Latin America, Dr. Sandra Carrillo, “Cannabinoids interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in the brain. This axis controls hormones and neurotransmitters that affect sexual behavior… This has important roles in sexual function for both men and women (1).”
One recent and rather robust study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that cannabidiol and marijuana “use is independently associated with increased sexual frequency and does not appear to impair sexual function (10).” This study, in particular, boasts a “large well-controlled cohort and clearly defined endpoints to describe a novel association between marijuana use and sexual frequency (10).”
Even when it comes to less-robust bodies of data, people generally express how CBD aids bedroom activities by stimulating sexual experiences that result in more pleasure and reports of being more relaxed and generally happy (8). It’s becoming very apparent that CBD and THC can enhance our sexual experiences, and perhaps help us relieve and manage intimacy issues and performance anxieties.
Psychopharmacology specialist and psychiatrist, Dr. Julie Holland, describes CBD and THC as “adept at treating hormonal and emotional issues that are common among women (9).”
Not only could CBD be effective at relieving sexual anxiety in women, but it may also be helpful in managing PMS symptoms like:
- Perimenopause (9)
With such a direct connection to our reproductive and sexual organs, it’s no surprise that CBD is showing promise in treating adjacent issues.
In The End
Ultimately, much like coitus itself, how CBD and THC interact with sexuality is a deeply personal and thus a difficult thing to study and observe on a scientific level due to invasive study protocol. Most of what we know is from surveys. The need for more research is clear. However, and the demand for anxiety relief isn’t going away.
If you’re feeling skeptical, you may want to explore natural foods and supplements that have anti-inflammatory properties first. Managing inflammation in the body is always a great idea, whether you’re experiencing intimacy or performance issues, or just feeling some aches and pains. Turmeric is an age-old spice that’s easily integrated into water, food, or can be taken as a supplement, to help manage inflammation. Many other foods, such as olive oil and most loose leafy greens, possess anti-inflammatory properties as well.
The preferred ingestion methods of CBD are tinctures and edibles. If you choose to go with CBD oil (tincture), make sure you’re getting a CBD isolate which is derived from hemp and is the purest, natural, most potent way to use CBD, with none of THC’s psychoactive properties. Natural Wellness’s CBD Isolate is extracted from 100% organic, USA-grown industrial hemp.