There are anecdotal reports that suggest CBD may improve libido.
There are currently no studies that specifically looked at the effects of CBD on libido.
There are a few studies that measured the side effects of CBD, including effects on libido.
But this measurement was within the context of a different topic like the effects of CBD on epilepsy.
A few studies looked at the effects of CBD on the hormonal system, both the effects on testosterone and estrogen.
Can CBD help sexually? Can it improve your libido?
Today, we’re going to analyze various anecdotal reports and studies to answer these questions.
First, let’s get started first with the male side of things.
After, we dive deeper into the female side of things.
Table of contents:
Does CBD Affect Testosterone?
There's no scientific evidence supporting the idea that CBD can increase testosterone.
There's limited scientific evidence suggesting the opposite.
There are no human studies that looked at the effects of CBD on testosterone.
Several studies looked at the effects of CBD on testosterone in animals like mice and monkeys.
Study 1: Chronic CBD Exposure Decreases Testosterone and Sperm Count in Rats
One 2018 study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology found that chronic CBD exposure (34 days) with oral doses of 30 mg/kg could lead to a 76% decrease in total circulating testosterone in male rats (1).
Even with this reduction, however, the total circulating testosterone was still within the normal and healthy range.
The same study also found that doses of 15mg/kg CBD for the same period, had no significant effects on testosterone levels.
Chronic exposure to CBD with a dose of 30mg/kg also affected Sertoli cells. Sertoli cells have an important role in the production of sperm and these cells were decreased significantly after 34 days of exposure to this dose of 30mg/kg CBD.
Both doses of 15mg/kg and 30mg/kg CBD also reduced total sperm count and resulted in various sperm abnormalities.
The researchers conclude that their study results indicate that chronic CBD exposure may have toxic effects on the male reproductive system. But further research in humans is needed to come to definitive conclusions.
Study 2: CBD Reduces Testosterone Oxidation in the Liver of Male Rats
An earlier study done in 1988 found that CBD reduces testosterone oxidation in the liver through its suppression of the male-specific cytochrome P-450 in adult male rats (2).
Cytochrome P-450 is a family of liver enzymes involved in the metabolization of most drugs and compounds, including testosterone.
The researchers don’t state whether the reduction in testosterone oxidation led to more or less total circulating testosterone. But they do state that CBD may disturb the hormonal balance in mammals.
Study 3 and 4: A Single Dose of CBD Reduces Testosterone Production in Male Rats
There are also animal studies that found that CBD can interfere with testicular testosterone production.
A study published in 1977 found that a single injected dose of 10mg/kg CBD reduced testosterone production in the testicles of rats (3).
The researchers also tested a dose of 2mg/kg CBD and found it had no significant effects on testosterone production.
A different study published in 1979 that looked at the effects of THC and CBD on testosterone production in rats found similar results (4). Both CBD and THC at an injected dose of 10/mg suppressed testosterone formation.
Another interesting finding of this study:
Of all cannabinoid/dose combinations they tested, chronic THC consumption at a dose of 2mg/kg decreased testosterone production most significantly. Chronic CBD consumption at a dose of 2mg/kg had no significant effect on testosterone production.
This indicates again that CBD’s effects on testosterone may be dose-dependent.
Also keep in mind the administration method in both of these studies was injection. Injecting CBD results in a significantly higher localized bioavailability than oral consumption. For example, if you inject CBD in the testicles of rats, CBD’s effects in that particular body part will be more potent than if you would’ve taken CBD orally.
Study 5: 300mg/kg CBD Reduces Testosterone By 30% in Rhesus Monkeys
One animal study including rhesus monkeys and rats has found that CBD alters gonadal function, which leads to hormonal imbalance, including a decrease in testosterone in male rats (5).
This same study also found that 90 days of treatment with daily oral doses of 300mg/kg CBD led to a decrease of 30% in testosterone in the rhesus monkeys. Keep in mind that 300mg/kg is an extremely high dose, 15-times higher than the currently established maximum safe dose of 20mg/kg/day. And around 50-times higher than the average dose of a commercially sold, over-the-counter CBD product.
Study 6: Nanomolar Concentrations of CBD Can Increase Testosterone
Interestingly, there’s also one study that found CBD injected directly in the testicles of mice in nanomolar concentrations increased testosterone, while in micromolar concentrations it decreased testosterone (6).
Whether all these animal studies have any implications for the effects of CBD on testosterone in humans remains to be seen.
But the majority of scientific evidence suggests that CBD may decrease testosterone production, starting at doses from 10mg/kg.
Just keep in mind that the CBD doses used in these studies are 10 to 50-times higher than the average dose of an over-the-counter CBD product.
Can CBD Make You Last Longer?
There’s no direct scientific evidence suggesting that CBD can make you last longer in bed.
- Induce erections;
- Reduce the number of thrusts needed necessary for ejaculation, and;
- Reduce the time needed for ejaculation.
If these studies were not about CBD, why does this matter?
CBD is known to have binding and blocking effects on CB1-receptor as well (9).
It could be that CBD has similar effects as these other CB1-blocking compounds when it comes to erection and ejaculation.
Further research should show whether this is the case and if so under what circumstances.
But even CBD had similar effects on erection and ejaculation as these other CB1-receptor binding and blocking compounds, it doesn’t look like CBD can help you last longer.
If this hypothesis is true, it seems that while CBD can help you with your erection, it may even make you ejaculate faster.
Does CBD Increase Blood Flow?
There are currently only studies that looked at the effects of CBD on cerebral blood flow.
For example, one 2020 study found that an oral dose of 600mg CBD increases cerebral blood flow in the hippocampus area of healthy adult volunteers (10).
The findings of this study don’t mean that CBD can increase blood flow in other body parts as well.
The bottom line:
When it comes to the sex organs, we don’t know whether CBD can increase blood flow or not.
Does CBD Affect Estrogen Levels?
There’s currently one study that suggests CBD may have an anti-estrogenic effect (11).
This 2020 study published in the Journal of Reproductive Toxicology found that CBD reduces estradiol production. Estradiol is a type of estrogen that is produced by the cells lining the ovarian follicles.
The researchers looked at what effects a CBD had on a medium of ovarian cells of healthy women.
A medium is a substance on which micro-compounds like cells can be grown under a controlled environment.
It’s currently unclear whether CBD has the same effects when directly exposed to a medium of cells like in this study, as it has on the same cells within a healthy functioning body and when it’s consumed orally by humans.
Does CBD Increase Libido?
When it comes to male libido, there are no studies that directly looked at the effects of CBD on libido.
There are however a few animal studies that show decreased libido may be a side effect of high and chronic doses of CBD.
For example, most of the studies show high doses of CBD can decrease testosterone production also imply that high and/or chronic doses of CBD may lead to loss of libido. Testosterone levels are highly correlated to libido (13).
Keep in mind that these were animal studies and we currently don’t know if and how CBD affects testosterone in humans.
When it comes to female libido there are also no studies that looked specifically at the effects of CBD on libido.
However, there’s one study that looked at what effects a cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor blocking compound, AM251, had on sexual motivation in female rats (12).
Even though the studied compound wasn’t CBD, the study found that this CB1-receptor blocking compound improved libido. CBD is known to have blocking effects on the CB1 receptor as well (9).
What follows is my reasoning and not related to this study:
It could be that CBD may increase libido in female rats as well through the same mechanism. Further research is needed to determine whether this holds true and if it does, whether this holds in humans.
How to Use CBD for Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is often a symptom of a medical or psychological condition.
There’s no scientific evidence suggesting that you can use CBD for erectile dysfunction.
What follows is my hypothesis and there’s no scientific evidence backing up my hypothesis.
Depending on the cause of your erectile dysfunction, I could see CBD is useful for erectile dysfunction.
If you have anxiety during the sexual act, the cause of your erectile dysfunction is psychological. And CBD is known to have anxiety-reducing effects. If CBD can reduce your sex-related anxiety it may be helpful for your erectile dysfunction as well.
Can You Take CBD with Viagra?
One of the many side effects of CBD is that it can interact with the metabolization of thousands of prescription drugs.
Just like thousands of other prescription drugs, CBD gets metabolized by the same group of enzymes: cytochrome P-450. Since these enzymes are also involved in the metabolization of Viagra, the effects of taking both CBD and Viagra together can lead to unexpected outcomes.
Before you combine any prescription drug like Viagra with CBD, always consult with your doctor.
There's currently very limited scientific evidence that CBD may be useful for sexual conditions.
Most studies that looked at the effects of CBD on sex-related topics found that CBD:
- Can reduce testosterone production;
- May have an anti-estrogenic effect;
If your sexual issues are psychological like having ‘performance anxiety', CBD may be useful through its anxiety-reducing effects.
Go to our CBD Hub to learn more about CBD-related topics.
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Narimatsu S., Watanabe K., Yamamoto I., Yoshimura H. (1988). Mechanism for Inhibitory Effect of Cannabidiol on Microsomal Testosterone Oxidation in Male Rat Liver. Drug Metab. Dispos. 16 (6), 880–889.
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Castelli, M., Piras, A., Melis, T., Succu, S., Sanna, F., Melis, M., . . . Argiolas, A. (2007). Cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the paraventricular nucleus and central control of penile erection: Immunocytochemistry, autoradiography and behavioral studies. Neuroscience, 147(1), 197–206. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2007.02.062
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