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Spotlight on CBD: We know marijuana can be helpful for sex, but what about sexual anxiety?

You can't rely on chemicals to improve your love life, but a little cannabis oil might do the trick


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Phillip Smith
November 18, 2015 4:57AM (UTC)
This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

AlterNetAre sexual anxieties harshing your mellow? Is your sex life suffering because you worry too much? Marijuana might help. With research findings suggesting that the cannabinoid cannabidiol can help reduce stress-related anxiety, social anxiety and even phobias, it seems likely that CBD could also help deal with sexual anxiety.

Sexual worries can take the form of performance anxiety, but can also emerge over whether we're doing right by our partners. Am I taking too long to achieve orgasm? Is my partner getting tired? Is he/she still having fun? Whatever the nature of the anxiety, CBD—along with communication—can play a role. Writing for Leafly, sexuality educator and Carnalcopia podcaster Ashley Manta explains that using high-CBD strains such as Charlotte's Web (or even predominantly indica strains such as Bubblegum Kush), "help me get into my body before sex."

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That marijuana can be helpful for sex is not news, but the spotlight on CBD for reducing sexual anxiety is. To our knowledge, there are no published scientific findings on the topic, just the more generalized findings on CBD's role in reducing anxiety. In the meantime, it seems like there would be little harm in people who are interested in reducing sexual anxiety self-experimenting with CBDs.

But as Manta notes, you can't rely on chemicals alone to improve your love life; you have to get inside your own head and do some work. If you have a sexual anxiety, identify it, name it and make a request, she says, citing sexuality educator and "communication ninja" Reid Mihalko.

Manta cites the example of a woman worrying that her partner will resent it when she takes too long to climax during oral sex. There's the free-floating anxiety. "I'm worried that my partner is not having fun," names the anxiety. Asking if her partner is still having fun and wants to continue is the request that should (with a positive response) allay the anxiety.

Manta also cites sex researcher Emily Nagoski, author of "Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life.” Nagoski writes about the Dual Control Model of sexual response, which postulates that when it comes to sex, the brain has both a sexual inhibition system (SIS) and a sexual excitation system (SES). If the sexual inhibition system is aroused, it's difficult for the sexual excitation system to overcome it. For good sex, you need to turn off the SIS.

If sexual anxiety is contributing to sexual inhibition, this could be a job for CBDs. Along with talking things through.

Phillip Smith is editor of the AlterNet Drug Reporter and author of the Drug War Chronicle.


Phillip Smith

Phillip Smith is a senior writing fellow and the editor and chief correspondent of Drug Reporter, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He has been a drug policy journalist for the past two decades. He is the longtime author of the Drug War Chronicle, the online publication of the non-profit StopTheDrugWar.org, and has been the editor of AlterNet’s Drug Reporter since 2015. He was awarded the Drug Policy Alliance’s Edwin M. Brecher Award for Excellence in Media in 2013.

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