CBD for Sex: Can Hemp Oil Boost Libido and Arousal?

Illustration of a banana, a flower, and both gender symbols
Written by Livvy Ashton | Last updated: June 22, 2023

Proper blood flow, low-stress levels, balanced hormones, and pain relief are associated with better sex life. Experts say disturbances in the said areas can deteriorate our performance in bed and our overall satisfaction from sex.

Interestingly, CBD can balance all of the above.

CBD is a wonderful compound, and while some products may be over the top — think CBD-infused tampons — traditional products like CBD oil and topicals can positively affect a person’s well-being.

Maybe you even have some CBD stocked in your health cabinet as you’re reading this post.

There are also products marketed specifically for the purpose of including one’s sex life, including CBD lubes, creams, and gels formulated for this purpose.

Does Bud do anecdotal evidence from people who have successfully used CBD to improve their sex life find support in scientific research?

Are there any studies that could back the claims of 68% of people for whom CBD products have made a difference?

Let’s dive deeper into this!

How Does CBD Affect Libido?

CBD’s positive effect on a person’s libido stems from its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is the major regulatory network in humans that consists of two types of receptors and naturally produced neurotransmitters known as endocannabinoids.

The prefix ‘endo’ means ‘from within,’ meaning your body releases cannabinoids on its own.

These cannabinoids are very similar in their chemical structure to their plant-based counterparts.

CBD is one of the 115 identified cannabinoids in cannabis. When it enters the body, it interacts with the cannabinoid receptors of the ECS, producing a wide range of health benefits — including relief from inflammation, pain, convulsions, sleep deprivation, and anxiety.

The mechanism of action is similar to a key and lock, where CBD acts as the key that unlocks the cannabinoid receptors — although it doesn’t do it directly.

Studies have repeatedly mentioned CBD as a potent vasodilator, anti-inflammatory, and pain killer.

For example, a 2009 study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences discovered cannabinoid receptors in testicles. The same type of receptors appears in the brain (1).

However, when it comes to libido, studies have yielded contradictory results. Some of them have found that CBD and THC increase sex drive, whereas others have claimed the opposite.

In an article from the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, the authors have recorded lower libido levels in chronic cannabis users. The frequency of use correlated with the decrease in sex drive. However, the study looked at THC and CBD, not CBD alone (2).

Other studies support the theory that CBD-rich products may improve libido by relieving stress and anxiety. Some people are anxious about engaging in intimate scenarios, which may impair their sex drive and establish an insular attitude toward sex. The desire for sex may get elevated once the anxious thoughts stop bothering you.

According to a review of current research into CBD and anxiety published in the journal Neurotherapeutics, CBD has remarkable anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects and may reduce anxiety-related disorders (3). However, more trials are needed to determine the effective dosage range for anxiety conditions.

However, the majority of evidence about CBD improving sex life comes from anecdotal reports. Since we lack more quality studies, it’s difficult to make claims in that regard.

CBD and Other Sexual Benefits

Young unhappy couple in bed having problems and crisis

As we said, there aren’t many studies on CBD and sexual benefits, but the demand for CBD oil, as well as anecdotal evidence from users about the effectiveness of CBD for sex, has resulted in a surge of products aimed at improving people’s sex life.

Here are the potential benefits of CBD aside from boosting libido.

CBD Oil for Erectile Dysfunction

In an article published in the journal BioMed Research International, the authors stated that Ayurveda practitioners have practiced cannabis therapies for many years to ease erectile dysfunction and enhance performance in bed (4).

According to one theory, CBD could help dilate blood vessels and improve blood circulation, resulting in better erection and a longer duration of sex.

However, this theory needs to be clinically tested before doctors can start ruling out any recommendations.

Related: How to Use CBD Oil for Erectile Dysfunction?

CBD Oil and Sex Drive

Some evidence points to CBD as a potential stimulant for sexual desire. According to this theory, cannabis can directly increase it in the brain by activating sexual arousal. This could mean that CBD-rich cannabis extracts might be helpful for people with low libido.

Another way CBD can boost sex drive is through

CBD and Testosterone Levels

CBD could potentially balance hormone levels, including testosterone, which would translate into better sex life. The endocannabinoid system has its receptors in reproductive organs, including testicles. Therefore, its signaling with CBD can regulate organ function and performance of different systems, such as testosterone production in the testicles.

The relationship between the endocannabinoid system and reproductive health is vivid, so it’s safe to assume that CBD and sex go hand in hand. As CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, studies have shown that CBD could possibly help to boost fertility since those endocannabinoid receptors have been found on female reproductive organs. Last but not least, CBD helps improve the body’s response to stress; successful stress management has been linked to the recalibration of hormones.

What Are the Best Forms of CBD to Use for Sex?

CBD Oil and hemp flower on white background

CBD is available in many different forms, including CBD oil, capsules, edibles, vapes, and topicals. More recently, CBD companies have started producing CBD infusions aimed at improving sex life.

Below we briefly cover each form of CBD — and how to use it for sex.

CBD Oil for Sex

CBD oil is the most popular form of CBD available for sale. It comes in dark glass bottles with a dropper attached to them for precise dosing. CBD oil is taken under the tongue, which absorbs into the bloodstream through hundreds of tiny vessels in the mouth. Given this, the effects of CBD oil usually take hold relatively fast, up to 30 minutes, lasting for about 4–6 hours. CBD oil is the best way to improve sex life if you’re exposed to high stress levels daily and want to relax before sex.

If you don’t like the taste of CBD oil, you can choose an oral form, such as capsules or edibles. Not only do they provide a premeasured dose per serving, but they also ensure the longest-lasting effects — up to 10 hours. The only concern about oral forms of CBD is their low bioavailability (20% at best) and slower onset. Since the CBD has to pass through the digestive system, the effects may take hold within 40–90 minutes.

Related: Best CBD Gummies for Erectile Dysfunction

Vaping is the fastest and most efficient way (56% bioavailability) to deliver CBD into your body. CBD vape pens are small devices filled with a mix of CBD oil and thinners such as vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, or MCT from coconut oil. The effects of vaporization kick in typically within 5–10 minutes after inhalation, lasting up to 4 hours.

CBD Topicals for Sex

You can use CBD topicals for sex to relieve physical localized discomfort and tension, including headaches. They work well in combination with CBD oil because they provide a different approach to the problem. Topical administration causes the CBD to interact with cannabinoid receptors in the skin. From there, cannabidiol can produce its relaxing, painkilling, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Another way to use CBD topicals is to include a CBD lotion or massage oil in your foreplay routine. The relaxing effects of CBD can help you set the right gears in motion to stimulate sexual pleasure. Unlike most commercially available topicals, high-quality CBD lotions and massage oils are formulated with natural ingredients, some of which may even enhance the benefits of CBD for sex.

CBD Lube for Sex

CBD lube is one of the latest innovations on the market. The idea behind CBD lubes is to leverage the product’s effectiveness thanks to the moisturizing properties of CBD. You can use CBD lube before sex to reduce dryness and enhance pleasure.

How to Use CBD for Sex

To sum up, you can use CBD oil to improve your sex life in the following areas:

  • Before sex: take CBD oil, capsules, or edibles before sex to promote relaxation. You can use these forms of CBD for general supplementation and improve your body’s response to stress.
  • During foreplay: use a CBD lotion or massage oil to make the foreplay more enjoyable
  • During sex: apply CBD lube to reduce dryness and enhance pleasure
  • Shortly before sex: vape CBD oil to reduce anxiety and improve sensation

CBD Dosage for Sex

a lady measuring cbd oil

Generally speaking, there is no one-size-fits-all CBD dosage for sex. If you want to determine the optimal amount of CBD for you, several factors are worth considering.

These factors include:

  • Your body weight
  • Unique body chemistry
  • Metabolism
  • Gender
  • Tolerance levels
  • The sensitivity of the endocannabinoid system
  • Desired effects

When you take CBD oil for the first time, it’s best to start with low doses, such as 5–10 mg, and wait until after the CBD has reached its peak before increasing the dose. As mentioned, CBD oil takes about 4 hours to reach peak effects.

When it comes to CBD lubes and other topicals, they go by the same token. There is no better way — at least right now — to figure out your optimal dose of CBD than to go through some trial and error first.

Once you’ve reached the dose that makes you feel better, lock in at it and stick to it. Studies say people don’t build a tolerance to CBD. There’s even a phenomenon known as “reverse tolerance,” where users take less CBD over time as a result of improved well-being.

Final Thoughts on CBD and Sex Life

Truth to be told, there hasn’t been a lot of research done in the area of cannabinoids and sex life. Scientific evidence supporting CBD’s efficacy for erectile dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, and other issues related to poor sex life, are in its infancy, so it will take some time before researchers can draw definitive conclusions.

For now, we may assume — based on preclinical evidence and anecdotal reports — that CBD can help improve a person’s sex life by reducing anxiety, improving blood circulation, relieving pain, and modulating the activity of hormonal glands. However, much more research is still being conducted on the subject of CBD and sex.

For now, we can’t help but encourage you to experiment with your heart out with different types of CBD products!


  1. Fasano, Silvia et al. “The endocannabinoid system: an ancient signaling involved in the control of male fertility.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences vol. 1163 (2009): 112-24. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04437.x
  2. du Plessis, Stefan S et al. “Marijuana, phytocannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and male fertility.” Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics vol. 32,11 (2015): 1575-88. doi:10.1007/s10815-015-0553-8
  3. Blessing, Esther M et al. “Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders.” Neurotherapeutics: the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics vol. 12,4 (2015): 825-36. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
  4. Chauhan, Nagendra Singh et al. “A review on plants used for the improvement of sexual performance and virility.” BioMed research international vol. 2014 (2014): 868062. doi:10.1155/2014/868062

Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.

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