Could the Prevalence of Marijuana Use Be Increasing ED? 

Marijuana use across the country has been on the rise for decades. Many patients are using it to help treat severe conditions. And several states are now allowing for recreational marijuana, arguing that cigarettes and alcohol are legal, and these are much more dangerous to the human body and public health.  Some men claim that marijuana actually enhances their libido and erection. While others complain about “weed dick.” Basically, it causes them erectile dysfunction. So which is it? The answer unfortunately is rather complicated. To form an erection, signals from the brain travel to the corpus cavernosum in the penis. This is spongy tissue which engorges with blood. Valves at the end of veins trap the blood inside. The penis soon grows and becomes erect. Receptors in the corpus cavernosum receive cannabinoids, or the biochemicals unique to cannabis.  

Unfortunately, marijuana is at the top tier of federal scheduling, making it highly illegal and so, difficult to study. Most research already completed focused on its use as a palliative or pain and symptom-reducing agent, for things like chronic pain and chemotherapy. Others look to see whether it has any damaging effects to human health. Still, more studies and ones done in other countries have produced varying results, when it comes to how it influences the male sex organs. Studies with rats and rabbits found that it helped relax the corpus cavernosum, and so proved conducive to erection creation. But studies with monkeys showed that it had the opposite effect. There are a few scant human trials and their results are conflicting. A 1982 study found that daily marijuana users were twice as likely to experience ED, over non-users. Studies from the 90s however, showed that cannabis use actually helpful to forming erections. The jury is still out. If you’re experiencing ED, the best thing to do is to see a doctor or urologist about it.