Can CBD Balance Your Mental Health and Slash Impotence?by Carissa Andrews - October 15th, 2018
Erectile dysfunction happens to men of all ages, races, and social stature. In fact, 5% of men over 40 are diagnosed with complete erectile dysfunction (ED)—and by 70 years old, that number jumps to 15%. The causes can range from hormonal imbalances, to diabetes, and even narrow arteries. Mental state is also an important part of the equation, but it’s more complicated than simply “willing the mind.” Clinical depression is a mood dampener, and a whopping 82% of men with ED were found to also suffer from depression. Unfortunately, both depression itself and the medications used to treat it can disrupt hormones, exacerbating the problem for some men. For those men, it’s very possible to alleviate symptoms of depression, as well as ED, with cannabidiol (CBD)—a chemical derived from the cannabis plant.
What’s the Cause of Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
Erectile dysfunction can have a number of different causes—but the result is still the same: a lackluster sex life. Here are some of the most common causes.
Atherosclerosis: Also known as hardening of the arteries, this is caused by plaque building up—typically due to smoking, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. When arteries harden or do not dilate properly, blood flow is dampened. It is possible that CBD oil could help reduce some of the inflammation in the body and arteries.
Lifestyle choices: Inactivity, poor diet, alcohol or drug abuse, and smoking can be a culprit in the battle to avoid ED. Obesity caused by inactivity and bad eating choices can cause diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. All of which can cause problems with erections.
Diabetes: Men with type 2 diabetes can develop erectile dysfunction 10-15 years earlier than those without it. Interestingly, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD may help alleviate some of the symptoms of diabetes.
Medications: A number of medications can cause unwanted side effects, including erectile dysfunction. These can include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, pain killers, blood pressure medications, and anti-inflammatories. Opioid prescriptions are notorious for suppressing testosterone levels, which can cause lack of interest in sex, impotence, and infertility. Talk to your doctor about the side effects associated with the medications you take to see if they may be playing a role in your ED.
Hormone Imbalances: A healthy testosterone level is needed to ensure a healthy sex life. Health issues that suppress testosterone production can translate into erectile dysfunction.
Toxins and Drug Abuse: Smoking, illicit substances, and alcohol abuse can cause nerve damage, liver failure, and kidney disease—all of which can cause ED. CBD can help you to reduce cravings, as well as provide a potent antioxidant mixture to help clear your body of free radicals.
Fatigue: If sleep is elusive to you, or if you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, it can be difficult for your body to get or hold an erection. This is especially true if you have a stressful life. CBD oil is known to help regulate sleep cycles, as well as reduce the stress response—helping you get the rest you need to feel refreshed and ready to handle the day.
Genetic predisposition: New research has indicated a genetic variant that may also be partially responsible for erectile dysfunction. Seeing a geneticist may help determine if your ED is in part, a predisposition and what can be done to combat it.
Mental Health State: Your mental health has an important role in how ED affects you. Depression, anxiety, mental disorders, and even PTSD can diminish your sex drive and make it impossible to maintain an erection.
Why Mental Health Matters in ED
These days, there is a lot of talk about sexual assault to women, and with very valid reason. However, it’s important to remember men suffer from trauma, too. Dealing with traumatic events, sexual or otherwise, can interfere with your sex life. PTSD, depression, anxiety and fear can throw you into a pattern of irrational thoughts and maladaptive coping patterns.
Therapy is a wonderful place to start in order to help you deal with the demons of your past, or the way you’ve trained yourself to cope. A good therapist will give you new coping mechanisms and point you in a new direction.
However, it’s possible to give yourself a leg up with CBD in addition to therapy. Keep reading to find out how.
Can Cannabidiol (CBD) Help?
If your ED isn’t responding to typical treatment, you don’t like your medication’s side effects, or you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health related issues—balancing and replenishing your sexual health may get the boost you’re looking for with cannabidiol (CBD).
CBD oil comes from the cannabis sativa plant and is a non-psychoactive compound with a number of health benefits, including alleviating erectile dysfunction, reversing infertility (in both sexes), and even assisting in performance for both sexes.
CBD interacts directly with our body’s own endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system covers the whole body, working to keep us in a healthy level of homeostasis. Think of it like a traffic controller for our neurotransmitters. When our neurons are firing properly, we’re sleeping well, have a regular appetite, and no strange or unwanted side-effects.
CBD enhances two endocannabinoids: 2-AG and anandamide. These bind to cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. Together, these receptors control the regulation of the neurological system (including sleep, moods, pain, and appetite), and the regulation of the immune system.
Receptors are located all over the body: in organs, tissues, cells, etc. Because of this, CBD can support a myriad of different health issues—including ED.
It’s important to note that CBD works best to help prevent erectile dysfunction when it’s not taken together with another active ingredient in marijuana: THC. The psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana, THC can overpower CBD’s effects and in some cases, reverse its effectiveness.
Other Treatments to Try
Finding out the source of your erectile dysfunction can help you determine the best course of action for treatments. Additionally, not all countries or states allow the use of cannabidiol as a treatment, even if it is solely for medical purpose and does not contain THC. For those who cannot utilize this option, there are many viable options. The world of ED medications has come a long way from simply relying on Pfizer’s behemoth brand name medication, Viagra. At Canadian Pharmacy King, we carry Viagra’s generic equivalent, sildenafil, as well as Cialis and its generic equivalent, tadalafil.
Coping with erectile dysfunction, regardless of its causes, can be a trying experience. It can put a strain on relationships and even create more stress, depression, and anxiety. The good news is, treatment options for ED continue to expand every year and suffering in silence doesn’t have to be your only option. With some of the breakthroughs happening in the world of CBD treatments and its various uses, including treatment for erectile dysfunction, depression, stress, and sleep—it may be time to talk with your doctor about whether or not it’s the right path for you.