By Sean Zucker –
CBD is everywhere and for good reason. There is growing evidence that it provides numerous benefits and relief. Some of the strongest evidence focuses on CBD’s ability to treat childhood epilepsy syndromes, anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain from inflammation. Not surprisingly, all this good press has led to an explosion of new CBD products, such as oils, palms, edibles and drinks, that headline a market set to hit $5.3 billion by 2025, according to last month’s Medgadget forecast. But if the old advertising adjunct “sex sells” rings true, the CBD market may get an additional significant boost when related products soon find their way into bedrooms.
To recap, cannabidiol (CBD) is hemp-derived. But it is not made from marijuana. While both are extracted from the same plant, unlike marijuana, CBD does not contain any significant amount of THC, the psycho-active component from cannabis that delivers a high. CBD does, however, feature a wide range of compounds with uniquely robust properties that generate all sorts of applications. It’s newest use? Intimate lubricant.
Jamie Alan, PhD, an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University tells Health that when surveying individuals’ experiences with CBD induced lubricant, people reported better sex overall with increased relaxation, more intense orgasms, and even better sleep afterwards. The site notes that CBD is a vasodilator, meaning it helps open up blood vessels and an increased vascular supply can create more lubrication. But that’s not the only benefit of CBD’s vasodilator designation.
“We do know that CBD acts as a vasodilator, meaning it boosts circulation,” Kiana Reeves, a somatic sex expert and director of education at Foria Wellness. In fact, she told Shape that “Increasing blood flow to the genitals and erectile tissue network is the basis for arousal and heightened sensation.”
Lubricants are often recommended for women dealing with common vaginal dryness issues that can be brought on by stress, medications, or the drop in estrogen that happens post-childbirth and just before menopause. CBD may be uniquely capable of addressing these various conditions. Reeves explains that CBD can help women who have difficulty relaxing their pelvic floor due to its performance as a muscle-tension reliever. The uterus, bladder, internal anal sphincter and pelvic floor are all made of muscle, so there’s reason to believe CBD lube can help those muscles relax too, she explains. Additionally, CBD naturally reduces inflammation, making it relatively useful for women who may experience pain or discomfort during intercourse.
But there is also reason to proceed with caution. Like other CBD products, the market remains generally unregulated with many companies falsely claiming their concentrations of CBD or lying about the inclusion of it altogether. Men’s Health advises reading the ingredients to confirm cannabidiol is present. Also, look for organic, full-spectrum CBD lube. If full spectrum is unavailable, broad-spectrum is an acceptable backup plan.
Similar to many CBD promises, more research on the lubricants is needed. Michigan State’s Alan, nonetheless, notes that CBD lube is considered safe to use and pretty much risk free. “There aren’t many recorded adverse effects of CBD,” he explained.