Does CBD Improve Your Sex Life? We Asked Experts & Here's What They Said

Ashley Batz/Bustle

Marijuana and other hemp-based products may be reaching legal status in more states — and more research is being done into its medicinal power — but many of us are still new to the world of cannabis. Beyond getting high, many cannabis-based products are thought to have some other major benefits — and one derivative, CBD may improve your sex life.

If you're not familiar with cannabidiol, also known as CBD, it's a compound derived from the hemp plant. Unlike THC, CBD is not thought to have any of the psychoactive effects — so it's meant to be a way of getting the benefits of cannabis without the high and has been especially popular when it comes to combating anxiety. It's important to note that CBD isn't legal everywhere, so make sure you know whether it's legal in your state before you start trying it. But, where it is legal, many believe that there are a huge range of potential health benefits.

“Only in the recent years have people started to see the medicinal benefits of the cannabinoid CBD,” Kimberly Dillon, VP of Marketing of cannabis company Papa & Barkley, tells Bustle. “Research has shown that CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic [aka, anti-anxiety], and antipsychotic agent,” says Krista Whitley, CEO of Altitude Products. It can be taken as an edible, like gummies, or through oils. And Foria even makes CBD lubes and oral spray.

But even though people are becoming more aware of CBD's general health benefits, there's also data showing that it can improve your sex life. In fact, a recent survey of 1,000 people by Remedy Review, a website dedicated to natural health, found that 68 percent of those who tried a CBD product in the bedroom found that it improved their sex life. But not enough people know about the potential effects — in fact, 96 percent of people weren't aware of the benefits that CBD can have on your sex life and 53 percent didn't know that it could be used for sex at all. And yet the survey — and experts — point to some major ways CBD may help your sex life.

Before getting into the benefits, it's important that you take the time to find the right CBD form and dosage for you, if you decide you want to try it. "There isn’t a lot of information on dosing available for CBD extracts and edibles," Dr. Olivia Rose, ND and advisor to Remedy Review, tells Bustle. "Start with the minimal dose and you may be surprised that it doesn’t take much to have an effect. You can slowly titrate up to achieve your desired effect. Experimenting with different delivery methods will give you a good idea of how your body responds. Consider lubricants, oral gels, vaping, sprays and tinctures."

If you do your research and feel like CBD is the right choice for you, here's what experts say about how CBD can help your sex life.

1It Can Help Curb Anxiety

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One of the main ways that people use CBD is to help fight anxiety and improve their mental state. Elisabeth Mack, RN, CEO and founder of Holistic Caring, tells Bustle that CBD can help reduce anxiety levels — and it's easy to see how that could be useful in the bedroom, when some people have trouble letting go. In fact, 64 percent of those who used it for sex in the Remedy Review survey said it helped them relax, while 68 percent it improved their mood.

"CBD may be useful in the bedroom because of its relaxing effects on the brain," Dr. Rose says. "It doesn’t produce a high feeling; however, it interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors to promote a feeling of calm, relaxation, and elation. It also increases the neurotransmitter, serotonin, to produce an anti-depressant effect. CBD basically allows the body to better prepare for sensuality and intimacy which will hopefully translate into enhanced sexual pleasure. Stress and pain can negatively impact your sex life and the ability to be intimate with your partner."

So if anxiety is something you struggle with — especially in the bedroom — CBD might be able to help.

2It Can Help With Pain

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CBD may also be able to help with pain during sex, whether it comes from chronic pain or sexual dysfunction. "There are proven studies that show CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory," Mack says. In fact, research has shown that CBD can be very effective as an adjunct-treatment for chronic pain and Dr. Rose says that it's commonly used as a pain treatment. If you find that pain is something that affects you in the bedroom, researching CBD might be a good option.

3It Can Help With Desire

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While most of the benefits around CBD focus on anxiety and pain, there's also a chance that it can help with your arousal and desire levels.

"CBD/THC infused lube can help for a myriad of reasons, whether for its amazing medicinal benefits or pleasuring enhancing power," a rep for vaginal care line Momotaro, a pH balanced vaginal care line, tells Bustle. "CBD and THC are known as vasodilators — this basically means when applied topically, over time the CBD and THC will essentially dilate your blood vessels allowing fresh oxygenated blood to flow easier. As you can imagine, fresh oxygenated blood is generally associated with increased arousal and stimulation." Although they also point out that topical application can take a while — up to 30 minutes to kick-in — so don't expect an instant rush.

Along with aiding arousal, some experts find that the increased sexual pleasure can help shift your mindset toward sex.

"CBD-hemp products like Foria Awaken can heighten pleasure, ease anxiety and help with sexual discomfort," Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure, tells Bustle. "For some it offers a renewed sense of hope and sexual pleasure."

If you have trouble relaxing during sex or find that you suffer from pain or other inflammation-related issues, and think CBD may be the right choice for you, it's important to take some time and look into about the different types and dosages available — and check the legality since legislation is still catching up with the public support for these products. And, as always, remember that doing enough research to make an informed decision is crucial.