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CBD and Sex: What's the Connection?

couple in bed

The language used around sex and sexual health often emphasize high-energy phrasing: heating things up, ramping up the energy, getting hot and heavy… you get the gist.

CBD, on the other hand, often incites more tranquil verbiage: calm, soothing and relaxation. 

To wit, the two might seem like distant circles on a broken Venn diagram. But the truth is, when they overlap, CBD and sex pair together with strikingly satisfying — and sensual — results. So, is CBD good for sex?

In a recent survey, a staggering 68% of CBD users reported an improved sexual experience when incorporating CBD into their intimacy routine. If you’re curious how to be part of that 68%, learning about CBD and its effects is a wonderful first step into unlocking CBD’s benefits in bed.

To misquote the lyrics of artist Salt-N-Pepa: “Let’s talk about sex, baby. Let’s talk about C-B-D.”

Knowledge is Foreplay: What is CBD?

Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a non-psychoactive extract of the plant Cannabis sativa, which is commonly known for its derivatives CBD and THC. 

While THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol) alters consciousness, CBD can be consumed without worrying about any psychoactive effect. CBD has gained popularity in recent years for its potentially calming properties when ingested or used topically. 

CBD isn’t currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is always something to remain mindful of before making the decision to purchase CBD. However, the World Health Organization has granted CBD as a safe, ingestible compound with an impressive stake in personal wellness treatment.

When in doubt, look for CBD companies that offer a Label Accuracy Guarantee.

Cannabinoids

To understand how CBD can play a role in your sex life, let’s break down the fundamentals of cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids are chemical substances that can link to the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors. Humans’ receptors make up a larger biological cannabinoid network called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). “Endo” refers to being “inside,” implying that cannabinoids exist within ourselves naturally — which is true, though cannabinoids can also come from external sources, like CBD.

These cannabinoids and receptors team together to help regulate a host of innate bodily functions like:

  • Sleep
  • Appetite
  • Physical discomfort (or lack thereof)
  • Mood and temperament

Beyond keeping these physical processes in check, the larger endocannabinoid system also promotes other neuro-psychological features that:

  • Helps balance hormones – What are the CBD effects on hormones? CBD can stimulate the endocannabinoid system directly. This may influence and balance the endocrine system’s production of hormones such as insulin, cortisol, melatonin and even dopamine.
  • Promotes sensual pleasure – Part of CBD’s potential calming effect are those characteristic blissful sensations. The cause is likely due to CBD’s role in promoting blood flow, as healthy blood flow can promote proper skin function, oxygen circulation, as well as mental and sexual wellness.

When thinking about the role CBD can play in your sex life, remember that balanced hormones contribute to a healthy and robust libido. Not to mention, a tingly blissful feeling would certainly add an extra elevated layer to the actual course of sexual intimacy. 

CBD: How it Benefits Intimacy 

Sex is a full-body experience, and the usage of CBD (while not as intense as sex) can be thought of in the same light. 

By operating on the ECS, CBD’s influences can be holistic and wide-ranging in effect, stimulating not only your most internal psychological processes but also your external sensations, like how touch feels on the skin. 

Bringing CBD into the bedroom is the perfect melding of the two, letting you get the best of both worlds and a host of potential bodily benefits.

#1 CBD Can Help Calm You Down

If you’ve ever been a bit shy or nervous before sex, CBD may be your secret weapon. CBD is no stranger to stressful times. In fact, CBD can provide relaxing effects, which could play a big role in getting into the right headspace for intimacy. 

Nerves and the often-coupled racing thoughts are worsened (if not caused in the first place) by extra cortisol in the bloodstream. CBD may help regulate cortisol, inhibiting its release and thus limiting the chances of any excess cortisol in the body. This regulation can then calm you down both emotionally and physiologically, returning your heart, mind and body back to a comfortable, soothed state — much better for sex than a nervous, overthinking state, of course.

CBD obviously sets you up well for being calm and in the moment during sex, but did you know it can benefit you even before things heat up?

#2 CBD May Amplify Libido

CBD may be a great assistant to one’s libido. Its mood-enhancing properties can reduce unexpected, volatile shifts in emotion that would otherwise spoil sexual appetite. 

Also, there’s a significant concentration of cannabinoid receptors in the body’s reproductive organs and other sexual tissue. Because of this, CBD can easily trigger cellular activity in those areas, stimulating feelings of sexual arousal and getting you in the mood (and out of your head).

CBD’s potential effects of increasing blood flow and better regulating its circulation also plays a part in enhancing libido. Blood flow to the sexual organs is a telltale biological signal of arousal. With a bit of CBD and subsequently better blood flow, there’s no doubt you’re getting heated up and ready to go with more ease. 

#3 CBD Can Heighten Pleasure in the Moment

For heightened pleasure, look no further than CBD. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s because of CBD’s effect on blood flow. Increased blood flow to certain areas of your body makes your nerves all the more sensitive. As a result, CBD may ultimately elevate and emphasize physical sensations, turning even the tiniest of touches into a tingling tease — leaving you wanting more.

#4 CBD Can Partner With Sexual Lubrication

Vaginal dryness is a common cause for any discomfort felt during penetrative sexual activity. Adding a lubricant helps in both your physical sexual performance and in relieving any discomfort caused by lack of lubrication. 

As a general aid, topical CBD can help ease aches, muscle tension, irritation and discomfort. Thus, when taken orally before any sexual activity, CBD could be a supporting partner to traditional lubrication.

Anandamide: “The Bliss Molecule”

Remember how endocannabinoids (present in CBD) react with the cannabinoid receptor to produce all the beneficial effects CBD is known and loved for? Well, there’s one specific endocannabinoid that is crucial to the connection between CBD and sexual pleasure: anandamide. 

Anandamide is a neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger the brain produces that sends specific sensation-coded signals to nerves) found in chocolate — and CBD — that often goes by the colloquial name of the “bliss molecule.” Actually, “ananda” denotes joy and happiness in its origin language of Sanskrit (aptly named, we think). 

Essentially, anandamide is a root cause of those floaty, happy and calm feelings one may get when consuming CBD. CBD can potentially increase anandamide levels in the brain synapses by inhibiting its reuptake after release (when the brain reabsorbs released neurotransmitters, effectively halting their effects). 

Because CBD can help keep anandamides well-aligned and healthily regulated, it leaves space, too, for other neurotransmitters and hormones to remain balanced — especially those that are critical to feelings of emotional and physical pleasure, like dopamine and serotonin.

When anandamide does get broken down, it’s by enzymes (namely, fatty acid amide hydrolase) that are spurred on by any consumed fats — good to know, as oily foods break down CBD more quickly and robustly (keep in mind if having dinner beforehand).

It’s the presence of anandamides that’s the key to healthy, euphoric, all-around pleasing sex after taking CBD. It promotes feelings of elation and bliss, which are all one wants when having any sort of sexual experience, and it’s a crucial factor in the aforementioned hormone regulation of the body.

How to Use CBD in Your Sex Life

CBD comes in a wide swath of forms, and there’s something out there for everyone, depending on your goals and preferences. Learning which one is the right form for you is a matter of not only experimenting but also researching beforehand. 

CBD Oil

Oil distillates of CBD make up a big percentage of the CBD market, so it might be the form you’re most familiar with if you’ve already had experience taking CBD. It also has a wide degree of versatility, so it can be used before, during and even after sex for a host of reasons:

  • Lubrication – Use CBD lubricant to both reduce any localized dryness and enhance pleasure. CBD oil lubricant, applied topically, can be stimulating to the natural cannabinoid receptors that are already highly prevalent within the body’s sexual organs. When using CBD lubricant, look for oil specifically formulated as sexual lubrication.
  • Foreplay – Pairing CBD oil and sex doesn’t mean it has to be used during intercourse necessarily. Give your partner a soothing rub along their body with CBD oil to start the experience off on a high note. 
  • Comfort – Because of its soothing qualities, CBD oil is great for those who can at times experience discomfort during sex. Applying oil to any area of tension may provide the necessary relief to enjoy the post-sex conversation and cuddling with greater ease.

Learn more about the benefits of CBD oil.

CBD Edibles

Edible CBD can come in many shapes and sizes: gummies, drinks, chocolate and even marshmallows. Taking a CBD gummy before sex can lead to all-around more positive and fulfilling sex — a full stasis of body and mind.

Edibles slowly increase levels of endocannabinoids, which may increase sexual arousal and general sexual function. They’re also a simple avenue to reduced feelings of stress or worry, which — we can all agree — are not generally desirable during sex (or really anytime). 

The one thing to keep in mind regarding CBD edibles, however, is that they take longer to reveal their effects within the mind and body. Consider taking your CBD edible an extra 45 minutes before having sex (rather than the recommended 30 minutes) in order to feel its full influence from start to finish.

CBD Intake Tip

No matter the form of CBD you choose, start on the safer side, especially if you’re new to CBD. Always start with a lower dosage (10 milligrams is a safe start), and do so about 30 minutes before you plan to have sex. This gives the CBD enough time to process fully in your body and link up to the necessary cannabinoid receptor.

Zebra CBD: Your Trusted CBD Expert

When it comes to your most intimate moments, you want to know you’re using a safe, reliable and trusted CBD product. Here at Zebra CBD, we recognize the importance of this, making it our mission to provide you with confidence when using CBD. 

As a leader in the CBD industry, all of our full-spectrum and distillate CBD offerings are free of heavy metals, free of pesticides and herbicides and have a certified Label Accuracy Guarantee — the only CBD company that can claim so. Since nearly two-thirds of CBD products don’t meet the traditional label claims they promise, Zebra CBD is your personal standout source for all the benefits of CBD you could imagine.

You know what you’re getting when you shop with Zebra CBD: premium plant-based hemp extract that supports overall wellness inside the bedroom and out. 

Sources:

Remedy Review. Survey: 68% of People Say CBD Improves Sex. https://www.remedyreview.com/health/sex-and-cbd/

Center for Disease Control. CBD: What You Need to Know. https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/featured-topics/CBD.html

Open Access Government. A World Health Organization perspective on cannabidiol (CBD). https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/who-perspective-on-cannabidiol/80838/

Alcohol and Drug Foundation. Cannabinoids. https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/cannabinoids/

Open Access Government. Can CBD restore your hormonal imbalance? https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/can-cbd-restore-your-hormonal-imbalance/91757/

Henry Ford Health. How to Boost Your Circulation (And Why It’s Important!). https://www.henryford.com/blog/2020/10/how-to-boost-circulation

Medical News Today. CBD and sleep: Does CBD work as a sleep aid? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/cbd-and-sleep

Healthline. Can CBD Make Sex Better? Here’s What the Experts Say. https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-sex-effectiveness

The Sexual Psychophysiology Laboratory. The Effects of Acute Exercise on Physiological Sexual Arousal in Women. https://labs.la.utexas.edu/mestonlab/exercise-and-sexual-arousal-in-women/

Fitoterapia. Comparative topical anti-inflammatory activity of cannabinoids and cannabivarins. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/44581135_Comparative_topical_anti-inflammatory_activity_of_cannabinoids_and_cannabivarins

Cann Pal. How do Phytocannabinoids Differ from Endocannabinoids in Pets? https://cannpal.com/how-do-phytocannabinoids-differ-from-endocannabinoids-in-pets/

Very Well Mind. What Dosage of CBD Should You Take? https://www.verywellmind.com/cbd-dosages-how-much-cbd-should-you-take-5078580