Erectile Dysfunction and Cannabis: Is There A Link?

Thrones health

Medically reviewed by Dr. Antonio Abreu, DNP
Written by Thrones Editorial Team

Marijuana from Cannabis sativa

Marijuana is an evergreen plant that is a popular choice by people for recreational purposes. It has been used since ancient times, and as of late, it also had a sort of revival in being used for medicinal purposes.

The modern use of marijuana is widespread, especially among men who are in their sexual peak. People using marijuana tend to focus on the upsides of marijuana more than its possible downsides.


Cannabis Sativa is a hemp plant that can be smoked, eaten, or can even be brewed as tea. It is called by many other nicknames, such as: Weed, pot, grass, dope, reefer, ganja, hash, herb, or chronic.

Cannabis is most commonly used by way of smoking the dried out bud of the plant, either by using a pipe or a larger apparatus called a bong. As well as being rolled up like a cigarette, marijuana is sometimes called a joint or a blunt.

A more recent innovation on how to consume cannabis is through vaporization using a small handheld device called a vape pen. The device filters out the harsher elements of the plant, thus making it easier on the one using, on the throat and lungs.

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is characterized as the inability of a man to get and maintain an erection that is firm enough to perform during sex. It is not necessarily harmful to have erection problems from time to time.

But, if it has already been an ongoing issue, it may also be a sign of another underlying health condition that needs immediate treatment, and it can be a risk factor for heart disease.

An erection is a complex process in which the brain, nerves, the muscles, and blood vessels play a major role. Additionally, there could also be hormones and emotions possibly at work. Any issue in any of these may result in a man’s inability to get and/or maintain an erection during a sexual activity.

Does Smoking Weed Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

When it comes to smoking weed and ED, it is of prime importance to critically keep in mind which parts of the cannabis plant might produce negative effects. Is it due to the act of smoking itself? Or, is it due to the psychoactive ingredients in cannabis that leads to ED?

In order to understand this better, let us take a look at the effects of tobacco smoking on ED.

Smoking has been strongly linked with ED, primarily because of its negative effects on the cardiovascular system, which is also linked as one of the causes of ED. There are studies that show that the risk of ED is elevated with toxic chemicals and nicotine from cigarettes, along with smoke exposure. The more cigarettes a person smokes in a day, the more ED symptoms get worse.

It is an entirely new ballgame where smoking cannabis is concerned. The link to smoking cannabis and its link with ED is still not fully understood, since current research results are conflicting.

There are studies that suggest cannabis use can be linked to ED. Whereas, there are also studies that show that those who use cannabis are less likely to have ED, as compared to non-users.

For this reason, the link between cannabis and ED is not the use of cannabis itself but the chemicals in smoke than the cannabis itself. The chemicals present in tobacco smoke are also present in cannabis smoke.

Similar to smoking tobacco, the risks appear greatest for people who smoke more, and those who smoke more often. There could be some relationship between cannabis use and metabolic disorders, but there is still a need for more studies to confirm whether there is a real risk or benefit where ED is concerned.

  • Typical marijuana contain about 500 ingredients. There are roughly 160 of these chemicals are cannabinoids. These chemicals bind with proteins in the body called cannabinoid receptors. There are two most common cannabinoids in cannabis. These are, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD).
  • Different effects can occur when cannabinoids bind with the body’s cannabinoid receptors. As an example, with THC, there may be mood, perception, and behavior changes making the person more anxious. On the other hand, the effects of CBD make a person less anxious and eases depression.

Long-Term Marijuana Use and Erectile Dysfunction

For a man who is concerned about Marijuana causing ED, there should be no cause for concern about a one-time use. As for the long-term or chronic use, then you might be concerned that this will lead to lasting effects with penile function.

Can regular use of marijuana cause ED later in life? Can it also cause penile dysfunction in the long-term?

It is unfortunate that there are no straightforward answers to these questions. As there are still not enough studies on the subject, marijuana’s effects on ED remain somewhat up in the air. There is one study that did suggest there is a link between marijuana use and difficulties orgasming. There is no consensus that is clear and scientific that cannabis use causes a permanent, or even noticeable ED issues.

Key Takeaways

  • The moderate use of marijuana does not cause ED. However, some studies suggest that prolonged or overuse can be linked to it.
  • There is no link with cannabis use causing infertility in both men and women.
  • Cannabis appears to improve libido and increase sexual satisfaction based on early studies.

If the worrying effects of Cannabis use and ED bothers you, it might be time to consult directly with a healthcare professional. Thrones Health is a discreet telemedicine online service that helps concerned men and women with their sensitive healthcare concerns. Get started now.

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