If your sex life has faltered a bit or perhaps slowed to a crawl, there could be something at work you may not have known about. It’s your endocannabinoid system and researchers are finding important links between this vital system and your libido.
Your Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) was first discovered when scientists were researching the cannabis plant, however it has nothing to do with marijuana.The ECS is critical to optimal health and is responsible for monitoring every organ, tissue and gland in your body to ensure perfect health -- including your sex life!
Here’s how your endocannabinoid system works: It’s a lock and key type of structure where cells and organs receive messages (those are the keys) from your central and peripheral nervous systems.
To go along with the keys, there are two types of locks or receptors that receive those messages. They are cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) which controls your central nervous system like your brain and spinal cord and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) which controls your peripheral nervous system.
And, while it has been reported that sex can improve with marijuana use, this article has nothing to do with that connection. Today we’ll explore the link between satisfying sex and your ECS.
Sex and Endocannabinoids
Before we jump right in, there are several ways to get cannabinoids into your system. Naturally, your body produces cannabinoids, however you can also consume them through plant-based materials like dark green leafy veggies and echinacea. Additionally, external stimulation, such as getting a message or exercising, can also manufacture cannabinoids.
Now, onto the fun stuff! Sex.
A New Study with Some Surprising Results
A new study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine and researchers have found that endocannabinoids were released following masturbation tests in both male and female subjects. Here’s where it gets interesting.
Since the CB1 receptor is hooked to your brain and spinal cord and your brain is where pleasure is felt and stored, the researchers were certain their study would show that CB1 receptors were front and center after an orgasm. After all, your brain is what controls what we remember about things like the smell of bread baking on a cold day, how good it feels to dip your feet into the sand at the beach, or the joy of a satisfying orgasm.
What the study showed instead was that the CB2 receptors (the ones that act in concert with your cells and organs, not your brain) were the cannabinoid stars. This will lead to more extensive research to see why the CB1 receptors aren’t the big players.
The reason this research is interesting is that by studying the role the endocannabinoid system plays in sexual pleasure, researchers now have an avenue to learn more about sexual dysfunction and its treatment.