Can Smoking Weed Everyday Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

The link between smoking cannabis and erectile dysfunction (ED) is up for debate. While some say cannabis can improve sexual function, others say it can lead to ED after long-term use. 

Many studies have conflicting evidence on this topic. However, it appears that smoking cannabis is likely to cause ED, and there are several reasons why. 

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Link between cannabis and erectile dysfunction

ED, also known as impotence, is the inability to keep an erection during sexual intercourse. Many men experience this symptom at some stage during their life.

There are several causes of this, including: 

  • Cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure

  • Endocrine disorders

  • Nervous system disorders

  • Psychological issues like depression, anxiety, or stress

  • Certain medications, such as heart disease medicines or antidepressants

  • Obesity

  • Lack of physical activity

  • Smoking

  • Drinking too much alcohol  

Experts suspect there could also be a link between smoking cannabis and ED. Some evidence collected from studies¹ confirms this idea. Although, other findings say the opposite, stating that cannabis offers relief from ED instead. 

However, researchers are not the only ones to put forward this idea. Many cannabis users have come online to share their anecdotal claims that cannabis causes ED. Some say they believe repeated use of cannabis has contributed to this.

How can cannabis cause ED?

No one knows for sure whether smoking cannabis will lead to ED. However, cannabis is believed to affect male reproductive health in several ways.

For example, cannabis may decrease sperm count and motility. It may also lower testosterone levels and cause premature ejaculation. 

Therefore, it makes sense that smoking cannabis might also cause ED. But there are also several claims that state cannabis could be helpful, as some users reported having an increased sex drive. At the same time, others found that it helped their situation by easing their anxiety. 

When considering the many causes contributing to ED, cannabis use seems to tick off many points on the list. For instance, smoking cannabis is linked to high blood pressure, psychological issues, lack of physical activity, smoke inhalation, and appetite stimulation (hunger) that could lead to obesity. 

Other side effects of smoking cannabis

Psychological effects

The psychological effects of cannabis are:

  • Short-term memory problems

  • Time distortion

  • Mood changes

  • Hallucinations

  • Paranoia

  • Anxiety

  • Poor mental health

Frequent coughing

Smoke inhalation may lead to frequent coughing because it can damage the lungs or cause respiratory disease. 

Dry mouth

Smoke inhalation may also lead to a dry mouth. Cannabis use is known to affect the salivary glands in the mouth. As a result, they stop making saliva, causing the mouth to feel dry. 

Impaired brain function

Cannabis slows down brain function by disrupting memory, learning, and thought processes. 

Increased heart rate

Some compounds within cannabis, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)², can increase the heart rate. This compound can also raise blood pressure.

How to know if you're experiencing erectile dysfunction

The main symptom of ED is the inability to maintain an erection during sexual intercourse. However, this only becomes an issue when it occurs more often and keeps happening for several months. 

Common ways that ED presents include:

  • Having an erection during sex sometimes but not other times

  • Having an erection that does not last long enough

  • Having no erection at all 

Other issues that accompany ED are:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression  

  • Frustration 

  • Low self-esteem 

  • Relationship problems

If ED has only happened a few times, there is a good chance you will overcome it. But when it keeps happening, getting medical advice is important. This is because ED is usually linked to an underlying health condition, such as high blood pressure. 

What you can do to improve your sexual health

There are several things you can do to improve your sexual health. These include:

  • Sticking to a healthy diet

  • Doing regular exercise

  • Taking prescribed medicines as directed

  • Having regular health check-ups

  • Reporting new complications as they arise

  • Regular testing for sexually transmitted diseases

  • Using barrier protection during sexual intercourse 

Counseling has also been shown to help those experiencing stress or anxiety from sexual health conditions. 

The benefits of quitting smoking cannabis for good

Many users claim that cannabis is natural and non-addictive. However, the reality is that many people become addicted to its use after repeated use. The good news is that many people have succeeded in limiting their use of cannabis or giving it up entirely. 

By now, most people are familiar with the health benefits that cannabis offers. Although some of these therapeutic effects have great purposes, reducing cannabis consumption is another good way to improve your health. 

Benefits of quitting cannabis for good include:

  • Improved cognition (thinking) and attention

  • Improved memory and learning

  • Reduction in anxiety or depression

  • Reduction of paranoia

  • Improved cardiovascular health

  • Improved respiratory health along with less coughing

  • Better relationships with others

  • Better performance at work or with sports

Resources for getting help with quitting smoking cannabis

If you are struggling to quit cannabis, it would be best to see your doctor for some advice. Taking a support person with you might also help, as they can encourage you to quit and offer emotional support. 

The American Addiction Centers also offer some friendly advice and kind support. They are available 24/7 and can talk to you via phone or text. Some people prefer the option of texting because it feels less daunting. It’s a simple first step to make when reaching out for help. 

The American Addiction Centers have many online resources. Plus, they also have rehab centers that anyone is welcome to visit. They are set up in a number of locations across America. 

Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for overcoming addiction. But if you are considering quitting, you are on the right track. Remember to be kind to yourself during this period. Remind yourself of the benefits you will unlock once you overcome this issue. 

The lowdown

It might be a good time to stop using cannabis if you have noticed your sexual health getting worse since smoking cannabis. Despite what others may say, there does appear to be a link between cannabis and ED. 

Taking a break from cannabis or cutting back may help. If you have trouble quitting cannabis, don't be afraid to ask for support.

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