Does Marijuana Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction refers to a man’s inability to achieve and maintain an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. If ED occurs occasionally, it shouldn’t be an issue, however, it may mean an underlying course if it appears to be persistent.

There are a variety of different medical and mental health conditions that can lead to erectile dysfunction (ED). Bad lifestyle choices like drug abuse can also inhibit an erection.

READ ALSO: Alcohol is More Harmful to Brain than Marijuana, Study Discovers

There is a lot of debate about marijuana and its effect on sexual health. For some men, It appears to be connected to erectile dysfunction in the case of men.

Marijuana and Erectile Dysfunction

Excessive smoking of tobacco has been connected to ED because it hampers blood flow to the veins and arteries. Those who smoke cigarettes are more likely to develop ED and it may be the same for those who smoke marijuana.

Some marijuana can contain more damaging chemicals than cigarettes, increasing the chance of adverse effects.

Cannabinoid receptors are present in the smooth muscle penile tissue and so it is possible for the THC to damage penile function, this can lead to ED in some men.

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Marijuana can cause ecstasy followed by lethargy and slowed reaction time. Some men may have no desire for sexual intercourse after smoking marijuana.

Marijuana increases the levels of a chemical called dopamine in the body. Dopamine is a hormone that can affect mood and feeling. If a man gets used to these artificially high levels of dopamine, then he may find that his body’s natural level of dopamine may not be enough to stimulate him sexually, making it difficult for him to obtain an erection.

Marijuana can also affect the circulatory system and cause heart rate and blood pressure to increase. Both of these medical conditions are risks for ED.


It is vital to understand how marijuana affects the body in order to understand why marijuana may cause ED. When it is smoked, THC passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, where it is carried to the brain and other organs all over the body. THC is absorbed more slowly in the body when the person eats or drinks it.

Due to a resemblance in structure, THC can attach itself to, and activate, certain molecules that normally react to natural THC-like chemicals. One of these is anandamide, popularly called bliss molecule.

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Because the body recognizes THC, various mental and physical functions are interrupted, including the brain’s reward system. This system manages responses to enjoyable activities.

THC signals the body to release dopamine at higher levels than usual. Dopamine has an effect on mood and feeling in the body. This is the reason why people feel high after taking the drug.

Other effects of marijuana include:

  • changed sense of time
  • changed senses
  • mood changes
  • impaired body movement
  • difficulty with thinking and problem-solving
  • impaired memory


Marijuana may interfere with certain drugs, such as:

  • aspirin, blood thinners
  • anabolic steroids
  • diabetesmedicine
  • blood pressure medicine
  • benzodiazepines
  • corticosteroids
  • anticancer herbs and supplements



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