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Is Smoking Weed Good or Bad for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

Marijuana comes from the leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the Cannabis sativa hemp plant. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana’s main chemical is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It also has over 100 related chemicals known as cannabinoids.

Marijuana is smoked in hand-rolled cigarettes (joints) or inhaled through pipes (bongs). Some people make marijuana tea or mix it into baked goods such as cookies, brownies, and candy.

Marijuana is often associated with side effects that may affect sexual health, including erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is the inability to get and keep an erection. A common condition, it may lead to stress and relationship issues.

If ED happens now and then, there’s often no need for concern. If it’s frequent, it may be a symptom of another health condition. In that case, treating the other condition may resolve ED.

Read on to learn more about the connection between marijuana and ED.

Short-term effects of marijuana include:

  • altered senses
  • altered sense of time
  • mood changes
  • impaired movements
  • difficulty thinking

Marijuana also interferes with short-term memory . Taken over the long term, marijuana may affect brain development and learning, especially for those under 25 years old .

Many states have legalized marijuana for medical use. However, the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved marijuana for any medical condition. But there are synthetic THC medications that are approved for some medical conditions.

Conditions eligible for medical marijuana vary by state, and may include:

  • cancer
  • glaucoma
  • HIV and AIDS
  • hepatitis C
  • pain
  • wasting diseases, such as cachexia
  • nausea
  • seizures and epilepsy
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • multiple sclerosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Medical marijuana isn’t approved for ED. Some states allow marijuana use for conditions not on the approved list, if your doctor identifies them as debilitating.

  1. Marijuana may help reduce damage caused by high cholesterol.
  2. Marijuana has been associated with increased sexual desire and arousal.

High cholesterol is a risk factor for ED. A study published in Clinical and Developmental Immunology found that marijuana may help reduce tissue buildup and damage caused by high cholesterol. However, the study was conducted on mice, not humans, so more research is needed.

Marijuana has a reputation of giving users a feeling of euphoria. Some users report moods that may improve sexual experiences, such as:

  • elevated mood
  • increased sexual desire
  • increased arousal
  1. Some studies suggest that marijuana may contribute to ED.
  2. Daily marijuana use might lead to trouble achieving orgasm in some men.

However, marijuana may not always provide the sexual boost it’s known for. A 2011 literature review published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that marijuana may actually increase the risk of ED.

Studies show that when THC reaches the brain, it gives users the feeling of being “high.” This interferes with your body’s normal functions. It may also impact the normal function of the penis’s smooth muscle, resulting in ED.

Another study from 2010 found that daily marijuana use in men leads to trouble achieving orgasm.

According to the Mayo Clinic, marijuana is also a possible cause of gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is an enlargement of the breasts in men, and it’s caused by a hormone imbalance. A hormonal imbalance could affect sexual performance.

Marijuana may cause dangerous interactions with certain drugs, including:

  • Blood thinners. Marijuana may interfere with blood thinners and increase bleeding risk. Use with caution if you take blood thinners such as aspirin (Bayer), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), warfarin (Coumadin), and naproxen (Aleve).
  • Blood sugar medications. It may affect blood sugar levels. Use with caution if you take medications that affect blood sugar, such as insulin.
  • Blood pressure medications. It may lower blood pressure. Be careful if you take blood pressure medications, such as diuretics or beta-blockers.
  • Drugs that cause drowsiness. It may increase drowsiness when taken with drugs that cause drowsiness, such as lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam (Valium).

Taking sildenafil (Viagra) with marijuana may not be a smart move either. A 2006 paper published in Clinical Cardiology showed that marijuana prevents Viagra from being properly metabolized. This increases Viagra’s effects, which might mean an increased risk of heart problems.

Other drug interactions are also possible. If you use marijuana, tell your doctor before taking any prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

Few large-scale, high-quality studies have explored the connection between marijuana and sexual health. Whether the drug enhances sex or ruins it depends on many factors. These may include the variety of marijuana used, your overall health, and your views on sexual health.

If you have ED and are wondering if marijuana may help, talk to your doctor. They’ll help you weigh the benefits with potential risks and side effects, both sexual and otherwise.

It’s worth getting a diagnosis from your doctor regardless of what treatment approach you decide since underlying conditions might be discovered.

Explore the connection between marijuana and erectile dysfunction (ED). Learn about the effects of marijuana, including its effect on sexual health. Find out the pros and cons of using it. See what the research says about its impact on sexual desire and dysfunction. Also discover how it interacts with medications.

Marijuana vs. Viagra — Which Boosts Libido With More Success?

Home / Blog / Marijuana vs. Viagra — Which Boosts Libido With More Success?

Marijuana vs. Viagra — Which Boosts Libido With More Success?

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 12/11/2018 in Medical Marijuana

Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

There’s a new Viagra on the market — and it goes by the name marijuana. While the libido-inducing pharmaceutical Viagra is widely-touted as the number one way to help treat erectile dysfunction and sexual health disorders, cannabis is emerging as a more natural alternative solution.

If you’ve ever heard of the connection between marijuana and an increased sexual desire, there’s a reason. Today, more people are aware of cannabis’s aphrodisiac qualities than ever before. But what exactly is the connection between sexual health and marijuana? And more importantly, can this holistic substance serve as an adequate replacement for Viagra? We’ll answer these questions — and more — below.

How Viagra Works and Why Marijuana May be Better

According to Viagra’s website, Viagra works by stimulating increased blood flow to the penis. For male patients taking this medicine, this essentially means getting an erection for sex is simpler.

The brain is responsible for sending nerve signals to the penis when a man is aroused. These chemicals help promote blood flow by relaxing the surrounding muscles. For men with erectile dysfunction, the process of getting an erection may not occur naturally. With the help of the chemicals present in Viagra, blood is prevented from leaving the penis, making it easier to get and maintain an erection.

However, it’s a common misconception that Viagra equates to a higher libido. In fact, Viagra still needs a natural arousal to trigger its necessary response.

Marijuana, on the other hand, works to resolve sexual arousal issues by targeting the libido directly. Cannabinoids found in cannabis send neurotransmitters to the brain, interacting with the endocannabinoid system to promote a sense of internal stability — or homeostasis.

The endocannabinoid system monitors feelings such as pleasure, relaxation and pain. When an individual ingests or inhales cannabis, they’ll experience a positive impact on their endocannabinoid system.

But what does this mean? Since the endocannabinoid system is responsible for pain regulation, mood stability and pleasure sensations, the lack of sex-related pressure and pain coupled with increased feelings of arousal all work to help a patient enjoy their sex life to a greater degree.

A Natural Alternative

The use of marijuana as an aphrodisiac dates back to ancient times, where Egyptian women and Hindus alike used cannabis as a bedroom aid to help promote a healthy sex life. While states based in the U.S. don’t cite sexual dysfunction as an authorized use for cannabis where medical marijuana is legal, that doesn’t mean individuals fail to see the positive sexual health impacts of this substance.

And why shouldn’t they? Due to cannabis’s positive interaction with the endocannabinoid system, users who ingest, smoke or vaporize cannabis experience the same sexual effect that they would when using Viagra — and with fewer adverse side effects.

  • Nausea and stomach discomfort or upsets
  • Headaches
  • Flushing
  • Rashes
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle pain
  • And more

Marijuana is widely acclaimed for its ability to stimulate little to no adverse effects in its users, making it the ideal natural medication option when treating a myriad of health issues, including sexual dysfunction.

A Medicine That Helps Women, Too

Men aren’t the only ones who experience issues when it comes to achieving an orgasm. Female sexual dysfunction, which is linked to problems such as hormonal irregularities, medical conditions and social stress, is a widespread issue that deserves attention, too — especially since 40 percent of American women grapple with this issue.

However, despite experiencing libido-related issues, women should not use Viagra since this medication is crafted for men. Fortunately, marijuana isn’t just for one sex — both men and women can enjoy the aphrodisiac and positive sexual health effects of this substance.

Finding the Ideal Quality, Dosage and Intake Method

When it comes to using marijuana to treat a health issue, such as sexual dysfunction, it’s important to understand that the delivery method, dosage and quality of your cannabis all matter. You can’t purchase cannabis blindly and expect to enjoy sexual pleasure automatically.

While it’s best to consult with a trained medical-marijuana friendly professional before seeking marijuana to treat a health issue, there are a few pointers to keep in mind to help ensure that you achieve your desired effect:

  • Quality: Purchase your cannabis from a certified and esteemed dispensary to ensure you’re using the most potent and effective marijuana for your needs.
  • Ingestion Methods: Although all intake methods of cannabis can help you enjoy its positive health impact, smoking or vaporizing may be ideal as these represent the fastest ingestion methods available to users. Other methods to try are marijuana infused lubricants.
  • Dosage: It’s crucial not to use too high of a dose, either. When ingesting cannabis products with THC, using marijuana in high dosages can have unwanted psychological effects that interfere with any aphrodisiac qualities.

Finding Which Stimulant Best Suits You

As is the case with any medicine, no sexual dysfunction remedy will be one-size-fits-all. While some people may find cannabis helps virtually solve all their sexual-related issues, others may have to go through a trial-and-error process to discover what works best for them.

Everyone has a unique biological and psychological makeup that will impact how they respond to different medications. If this is your first time trying cannabis to treat erectile dysfunction or another sexual health issue, consider starting with a low dose while under the supervision of a trained medical professional.

When to Choose Cannabis Over Viagra

If you’ve tried Viagra or similar medications to no avail, it may be time to consider a natural alternative. Marijuana may help you improve your sexual health with little to no adverse side effects in the process.

Looking for ways to boost your libido? Learn more about marijuana and see why it’s a better option for you!