How CBD can benefit women’s sexual health

Whilst CBD is still a relatively new product on the market, there are already a plethora of CBD products available, from CBD isolate, to cosmetics, to novel foods. Lately CBD products have also appeared for use in the bedroom, advertising an improved sexual experience. One in ten women have reported experiencing pain or discomfort during sex[1], however, incorporating CBD into sexual activities may reduce these pain levels and make the experience more pleasurable.

Women can find sex painful for a variety of reasons, pain during sex is also known as dyspareunia. Some of the more common causes of this include vaginismus, stress, and the menopause. Vaginismus is when muscles in or around the vagina go into spasm, making sexual intercourse painful or impossible, it can be triggered by sexual anxieties. It can be very upsetting and distressing for women experiencing these symptoms. Stress is another factor that could make intercourse painful as the pelvic floor muscles tend to tighten in response to stress which makes penetration difficult and painful. Women might also find that the menopause can make sex painful, as oestrogen levels fall which can cause the vagina to feel dry.

Research shows that CBD can be an effective method of combating stress and anxiety, this is primarily due to its interactions with the 5HT1 signalling system (which is responsible for serotonin management) but also others like the dopamine and internal opioid signalling systems. The reduction of stress and/or anxiety can play a large role in improving intercourse as it enables the present parties to relax and better enjoy the experience with less distractions or worry. CBD can increase the binding efficiency of serotonin receptors, which is likely to have a positive effect on mood. Some research in the field has illustrated that CBD can have calming properties that help to reduce anxiety[2]. Considering that state of mind is an important factor in improving sexual enjoyment, CBD’s potential effectiveness to mitigate stress and anxiety may help reduce feelings of stress and increase sexual enjoyment. CBD food products, such as gummies, drops or capsules, may be beneficial for reducing stress when taken in preparation for sex. Food products may, however, require more forethought as consumables such as gummies take longer to take effect due to first-pass metabolism.

The CBD receptor, CB1, is primarily found in the central nervous system and, to a lesser extent, in several peripheral tissues such as the adrenal gland, heart, lung, prostate, uterus, ovary, testis, bone marrow, thymus and tonsils[3]. The receptors in these parts of the body mean that applying a product such as CBD intimacy oil to a localised area before sexual activity would enable a smoother, less painful sexual experience as the muscles relax.  In some cases, CBD lube can lead to increased sensitivity which may, in some circumstances, lead to stronger orgasms[4]. Research has shown that people with endometriosis have low amounts of CB1 receptors in the uterus and abnormal levels of endocannabinoids in their blood during their menstrual cycle, using a cannabinoid product may be able to help ease some of these symptoms, though of course further research will be needed to prove whether this is in fact the case.

CBD has numerous health benefits; the cannabis extract has been known to improve circulation, reduce blood pressure, [5] and act as an anti-inflammatory[6]. These effects may prove useful to women experiencing pain during sex as incorporating an intimacy oil with CBD may be able to alleviate feelings of pain.

Author: Sally Dempster

 

References:
[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38729240  06.07

[2] Mateus M Bergamaschi, Regina Helena Costa Queiroz, Marcos Hortes Nisihara Chagas,

Danielle Chaves Gomes de Oliveira, Bruno Spinosa De Martinis, Fla´vio Kapczinski,

Joa˜o Quevedo, Rafael Roesler, Nadja Schro¨der, Antonio E Nardi, Rocio Martı´n-Santos,

Jaime Eduardo Cecı´lio Hallak, Antonio Waldo Zuardi,and Jose´ Alexandre S Crippa, (2011) Neuropsychopharmacology Vol.36, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, p.1219-1226

[3] https://febs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1432-1033.1995.tb20780.x  06.07.21

[4] https://www.wellandgood.com/best-cbd-lube/  05.07.21 

[5] https://www.theextract.co.uk/cbd-and-sex/   05.07.21

[6]  Jadoon, K., Tan, G. and O’Sullivan, S., (2017) A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study. JCI Insight, [online] 2(12). Available here.

Whilst CBD is still a relatively new product on the market, there are already a plethora of CBD products available, from CBD isolate, to cosmetics, to novel foods. Lately CBD products have also appeared for use in the bedroom, advertising an improved sexual experience. One in ten women have reported experiencing pain or discomfort during sex[1], however, incorporating CBD into sexual activities may reduce these pain levels and make the experience more pleasurable.

Women can find sex painful for a variety of reasons, pain during sex is also known as dyspareunia. Some of the more common causes of this include vaginismus, stress, and the menopause. Vaginismus is when muscles in or around the vagina go into spasm, making sexual intercourse painful or impossible, it can be triggered by sexual anxieties. It can be very upsetting and distressing for women experiencing these symptoms. Stress is another factor that could make intercourse painful as the pelvic floor muscles tend to tighten in response to stress which makes penetration difficult and painful. Women might also find that the menopause can make sex painful, as oestrogen levels fall which can cause the vagina to feel dry.

Research shows that CBD can be an effective method of combating stress and anxiety, this is primarily due to its interactions with the 5HT1 signalling system (which is responsible for serotonin management) but also others like the dopamine and internal opioid signalling systems. The reduction of stress and/or anxiety can play a large role in improving intercourse as it enables the present parties to relax and better enjoy the experience with less distractions or worry. CBD can increase the binding efficiency of serotonin receptors, which is likely to have a positive effect on mood. Some research in the field has illustrated that CBD can have calming properties that help to reduce anxiety[2]. Considering that state of mind is an important factor in improving sexual enjoyment, CBD’s potential effectiveness to mitigate stress and anxiety may help reduce feelings of stress and increase sexual enjoyment. CBD food products, such as gummies, drops or capsules, may be beneficial for reducing stress when taken in preparation for sex. Food products may, however, require more forethought as consumables such as gummies take longer to take effect due to first-pass metabolism.

The CBD receptor, CB1, is primarily found in the central nervous system and, to a lesser extent, in several peripheral tissues such as the adrenal gland, heart, lung, prostate, uterus, ovary, testis, bone marrow, thymus and tonsils[3]. The receptors in these parts of the body mean that applying a product such as CBD intimacy oil to a localised area before sexual activity would enable a smoother, less painful sexual experience as the muscles relax.  In some cases, CBD lube can lead to increased sensitivity which may, in some circumstances, lead to stronger orgasms[4]. Research has shown that people with endometriosis have low amounts of CB1 receptors in the uterus and abnormal levels of endocannabinoids in their blood during their menstrual cycle, using a cannabinoid product may be able to help ease some of these symptoms, though of course further research will be needed to prove whether this is in fact the case.

CBD has numerous health benefits; the cannabis extract has been known to improve circulation, reduce blood pressure, [5] and act as an anti-inflammatory[6]. These effects may prove useful to women experiencing pain during sex as incorporating an intimacy oil with CBD may be able to alleviate feelings of pain.

Author: Sally Dempster

 

References:
[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38729240  06.07

[2] Mateus M Bergamaschi, Regina Helena Costa Queiroz, Marcos Hortes Nisihara Chagas,

Danielle Chaves Gomes de Oliveira, Bruno Spinosa De Martinis, Fla´vio Kapczinski,

Joa˜o Quevedo, Rafael Roesler, Nadja Schro¨der, Antonio E Nardi, Rocio Martı´n-Santos,

Jaime Eduardo Cecı´lio Hallak, Antonio Waldo Zuardi,and Jose´ Alexandre S Crippa, (2011) Neuropsychopharmacology Vol.36, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, p.1219-1226

[3] https://febs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1432-1033.1995.tb20780.x  06.07.21

[4] https://www.wellandgood.com/best-cbd-lube/  05.07.21 

[5] https://www.theextract.co.uk/cbd-and-sex/   05.07.21

[6]  Jadoon, K., Tan, G. and O’Sullivan, S., (2017) A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study. JCI Insight, [online] 2(12). Available here.

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