Doctors increasingly prescribe cannabis for everything from anxiety and pain control to difficulty reaching orgasm. But can cannabis help erectile dysfunction? Outdated reports seem to indicate that it might not make a significant difference. However, more recent evidence suggests it could help resolve this issue so many men struggle with.

Here we’ll take stock of anecdotal reports and scientific studies regarding cannabis and erectile dysfunction. You may be surprised by what doctors, cannabis users and men’s health experts say about how cannabis use can affect male sexual performance.

Theories about cannabis and male sexual function

Perry Solomon, M.D., the chief medical officer at HelloMD, says he prescribes cannabis for men suffering from erectile dysfunction and other male sexual issues such as premature ejaculation. “The way I see it,” he told Men’s Journal, “why not try cannabis? There are side effects to Viagra and zero side effects to cannabis when dosed properly.” He noted that cannabis might also work partly because it helps men feel more relaxed, “and that makes it easier for them to enjoy sex, but it’s still working [1].”

Dr. Jordan Tishler, M.D., and Harvard-trained physician who heads a cannabis clinic in Boston told the New York Times, “We’ve known for a while, at least anecdotally, that cannabis can enhance the sexual experiences of women [2].” Yet, he noted that recent research shows cannabis Sativa can also help men with erectile dysfunction. He referenced a recent study that found cannabis improved the sex lives of both men and women equally [3].”

Dosage matters

Dr. Tishler recognizes that cannabis can help improve sexual performance in men for various reasons. Yet, he stresses that low doses are critical for success. For example, he advises his patients to start with 5 mg of THC, taking only one puff on a cannabis flower vaporizer before having a sexual experience.

“[These] can work faster and more predictably than edibles or lubricants infused with THC,” he told the New York Times, suggesting that small amounts are essential for ED treatment. High doses of THC, he concedes, can lower sex drive and inhibit sexual activity [4].

Dr. Solomon agrees with Dr. Tishler’s dosage warning regarding cannabis use and sexual behavior. “You get that classic stoner couch lock and lose your desire to have sex at all,” he says, recommending his male clients use cannabis products that contain no more than 14 percent THC. He maintains that a man should aim to get buzzed, not high.

Women’s libidos, on the other hand, don’t seem to suffer from higher doses of THC. Dr. Tishler says they seem to “tolerate nearly any dose” while remaining sexually aroused, adding, “In the anecdotal realm, women tend to report enjoying sex even on very high doses [1].”

Is timing everything?

Cannabis delivery options have expanded with the cannabis industry. Dr. Solomon recommends vaping or smoking cannabis only a few minutes before a sexual experience. He maintains that the THC will engage with the cannabinoid receptors in your endocannabinoid system more predictably this way.

While cannabis edibles are easy and popular, they can take 30 minutes or more to kick in. In other words, if both you and your partner enjoy vaping or smoking weed, versus consuming edibles, you’re more likely to experience the effects at the same time [1].

Psychological Effects

Any sexual dysfunction can cause stress and relationship problems. What’s more, erectile dysfunction, in particular, is sometimes embarrassing and stigmatized. That’s why medications to treat erectile dysfunction are so popular. But drugs like Viagra, Cialis, generic Cialis, or other ED medications fail to address psychological disorders or mental health problems. For some men, psychiatric disorders may be the heart of their sexual dysfunction.

Dr. Tishler says that the pharmaceutical industry solely focuses on curing erectile dysfunction while ignoring the psychological issues that may contribute to the problem. “We know that as many as 20 percent of men across all ages suffer from a lack of desire, and many men suffer from orgasming too soon or trouble achieving orgasm at all,” he says. He maintains that Cialis and Viagra won’t address these other factors. Thus, Dr. Tishler and Dr. Solomon often recommend their patients try cannabis if they suffer from these dysfunctions [1].

Learn more: Can Cannabis Increase Libido in Women?

Which cannabinoids are best for erectile dysfunction-ED?

Some cannabinoids are better sexual medicine than others. If you’re in a state that allows recreational marijuana use, you can easily try a low dose to see how the Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9 THC) affects your erectile function and physical sensations. Many find THC boosts their libido.

Even federally compliant hemp may offer enough cannabinoids to promote effects that lead to stronger erections. You can obtain federally lawful hemp products with Delta-9 THC levels of no more than 0.3 percent thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill.

Male sexual health also sometimes benefits from cannabidiol (CBD), which promotes increased blood flow with vasodilation. Increased flow to blood vessels may enhance any type of physical activity, including sexual activity [5].

What about the rumors that cannabis can cause erectile dysfunction?

ED is a complex issue with multiple contributing factors, even without considering cannabis’ effect. Older studies from the 1980s and 90s reported that cannabis does not help male sexual function. Some even claimed that cannabis could cause issues like ED or lowered testosterone [1].

However, with the increased research spurred by the 2014 Farm Bill, many experts today disagree with those initial studies. They claim that traditional literature is outdated and needs more thorough research [6].

Dr. Jared Bieniek, MD, medical director of Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute Men’s Health, says, “Use of marijuana, or more specifically the psychoactive compound THC, has a variety of effects on male sexual function, though these relationships aren’t fully understood.” He conceded that “Chronic smoking, whether tobacco or marijuana, for example, introduces other chemicals which could negatively affect small blood vessel flow, leading to weakening of erections.”

On the other hand, Dr. Bieniek acknowledges that many men find that cannabis use eases performance anxiety, which can help ED. “More research is needed as we continue to explore the effects of cannabis on male sexual function,” he says. “For now, men should proceed with caution,” he added, “and talk with a healthcare professional if they have concerns about how cannabis use is affecting their sexual health or if they experience difficulties with erections [6].”

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Does cannabis help erectile dysfunction better than Viagra?

Though Viagra and other medications intended to treat ED have their place, cannabis shows promise for ED. Research suggests that at low doses, cannabis can help increase erectile function and sexual health without the risk of side effects associated with drugs like Viagra. Additionally, many cannabis users anecdotally report feeling more interested in sex after smoking, vaping or eating cannabis.

For example, a 2017 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that cannabis use may correlate with increased sexual desire [8].

However, negative drug interactions may occur if men use cannabis and Viagra together. Some research suggests a higher risk of heart disease or heart attack when the drugs are combined regularly. It’s best to talk with your healthcare professional if you have questions about combining cannabis and Viagra [9].

The bottom line on weed and your sex life

Unlike Viagra or Cialis, there’s little risk associated with smoking, vaping or eating low doses of cannabis, so many people enjoy its benefits in the bedroom. Your body releases oxytocin into your system after sex the same as it does after consuming cannabis. “It’s called the bonding hormone,” says Dr. Tishler [9].

He suggests that when you combine the effect of an orgasm’s dose of oxytocin with the dose you receive from cannabis, you’ll likely feel extremely bonded to your partner. You’d be hard-pressed to have an outcome like that from Viagra. Try Earthy Now’s selection of  premium high-CBD, low-THC cannabis goods today – nationwide delivery!

Read next: Is Sex Better When You’re High?

Medical Disclaimer / Legal Disclaimer – Information is provided for educational purposes. It does not and is not intended to constitute legal or medical advice. We attempt to be accurate and up-to-date, but the legality of cannabinoids and the science of cannabis are evolving. The author is neither a legal professional nor a medical expert. Before buying or using any products, you should check with your local authorities and medical providers.


  1. Can Marijuana Save Your Sex Life?
  2. Women Who Use Marijuana Have Better Sex
  3. Men, Weed, and Sex
  4. Cannabis for Better Sex? Here’s What the Science Says
  5. CBD Sex Benefits
  6. Marijuana and Erectile Dysfunction
  7. Can Marijuana Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
  8. What You Need to Know About Marijuana and Erectile Dysfunction 
  9. Myocardial Infarction Following Combined Recreational Use of Viagra® and Cannabis
  10. Medical Guide to Cannabis and Intimacy Issues

Frequently Asked Questions

Some cannabis-oriented doctors, such as Dr. Jordan Tishler, MD and Perry Solomon, MD, prescribe cannabis for erectile dysfunction and other sex-related disorders.

Some researchers theorize that smoking tobacco or cannabis may affect erectile function.

Cannabinoids like CBD may act as vasodilators and help to increase blood flow, as indicated by recent studies, but more research is needed to confirm such findings.