Getting High Just Might Make Your Penis Feel Real Low:
Marijuana and ED
By Idries Abdur-Rahman, M.D., FACOG
Disclaimer #1: Before we get started, just know that this is a judgement free zone. If you want to smoke marijuana, smoke marijuana. If you want to get wild with the weed or toke the THC, have at it. We just want to let you know why getting high might make your penis feel real low, so here we go.
Disclaimer #2: We get it, some people hear the word penis and they just break into laughter. Well, Chad here happens to be one of those people, he sees or hears the word “penis” and he starts giggling like a middle schooler. Don’t be like Chad, we know that penises can be funny but this is serious business.
It doesn’t take a marijuana aficionado to know that smoking or eating marijuana usually makes you feel relaxed and a little bit giddy. You can thank THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana, for this feeling.
Have you ever tried to get frisky after partaking in a little bit of pot? Did you notice that your little man was a bit slow to respond? Maybe he didn’t even bother to show up at all? Well, it wasn’t just your imagination. Regardless of whether you call it “Weed Dick” or “Stoner Boner” (I swear I didn’t make these up), medical professionals are seeing more and more of this phenomenon as marijuana becomes legal and accepted in more and more places. So, lets break it all down, why does THC-induced Erectile Dysfunction (ED) happen and what can you do about it?
Erections: The Hard Facts
So, what are the hard facts about THC-induced erectile dysfunction? (I KNOW Chad, we’re hilarious.)
Remember that whole thing about THC making you feel happy and relaxed? It does this in part by stimulating the release of a hormone called Oxytocin. Oxytocin is the same “feel good” hormone that your brain releases after you have sexual intercourse. A big part of the drive to have sex comes from a desire to enjoy the feeling that come after Oxytocin has been released. Since THC has already caused Oxytocin to be released, a big part of that mental motivation for sex is already gone before you have even tried to get started.
THC also interferes with the physical mechanisms that cause an erection to happen. An erection is really nothing more than blood rushing into and engorging the penis. A little physical stimulation in the right area sends a signal to your brain letting it know that it’ s go time. The brain then releases a substance called Nitric Oxide which causes the smooth muscle of the penis to relax so that it to fill with blood. (No, not that kind of gas. Stop it, Chad)
Putting the ED in Weed
Not only does THC relax you and take away your mental motivation but it also actually inhibits the smooth muscle in the penis from relaxing. No relaxation no blood flow, no blood flow no erection. Mr. Happy just doesn’t want to come out to play, he just can’t rise to the occasion, your wood just won’t. You get the point, no erection for you!
So, if you happen to be suffering from a bit of THC-induced erectile dysfunction, what can you do? Besides the obvious, which is decreasing or stopping marijuana use, there are a few herbal supplements that might help the situation along. -DHEA, which is converted by the body to testosterone has been found in multiple studies to increase strength and duration of erections. -Panax Ginseng (aka Red Ginseng) also helps to increase the strength of erections through it’s anti-inflammatory actions. -Yohimbe has been said to both increase sexual desire and prolong erection but it’s efficacy has not been proven and it is known to potentially cause heart problems so be sure to discuss it’s use with you physician before you start.
Too much of anything can be a bad thing.
(Yes, Chad, that includes your penis.)
So penis owners, next time you’re looking to get it up, maybe don’t roll one up first.
(Yes, Chad, that includes your penis.)
And if you haven’t read enough about sex, check out 10 things everyone should know when it comes to condoms right HERE