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In the area of cannabis and sexual health, there are limited clinical trials available and human studies have been done with largely relying on self-reported data. However, pre-clinical data provides a rationale for why this may be fertile area for further research. Some studies have shown a significant relationship between endocannabinoid concentrations and female sexual arousal. Human studies support the idea that female sexual function may be improved by moderate doses of cannabis and may positively affect libido, length and quality of orgasm, sexual pain and can play a role in alleviating sexual trauma. However, this impact appears to be dose–dependent, as high doses may limit sexual function as well.

In the area of endometriosis, five clinical trials have been completed studying the relationship between ECS and endometriosis-associated pain. Some hypothesize that endocannabinoid deficiency is correlated to endometriosis. In addition, studies have demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in dysmenorrhea and pelvic pain.

Relevant Research

Sexual Function

  1. Lupica CR, Riegel AC, Hoffman AF. Marijuana and cannabinoid regulation of brain reward circuits. Br J Pharmacol. 2004;143(2):227-234. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjp.0705931
  2. Schlicker E, Kathmann M. Modulation of transmitter release via presynaptic cannabinoid receptors. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2001;22(11):565-572. doi:10.1016/s0165-6147(00)01805-8
  3. Klein C, Hill MN, Chang SCH, Hillard CJ, Gorzalka BB. Circulating endocannabinoid concentrations and sexual arousal in women. J Sex Med. 2012;9(6):1588-1601. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02708.x
  4. Fuss J, Bindila L, Wiedemann K, Auer MK, Briken P, Biedermann SV. Masturbation to Orgasm Stimulates the Release of the Endocannabinoid 2-Arachidonoylglycerol in Humans. J Sex Med. 2017;14(11):1372-1379. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2017.09.016
  5. Wiebe E, Just A. How Cannabis Alters Sexual Experience: A Survey of Men and Women. J Sex Med. 2019;16(11):1758-1762. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.07.023
  6. US Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse. Marihuana: a signal of misunderstanding. Appendix. The technical papers of the first report of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 1972:434–439.
  7. El-Talatini MR, Taylor AH, Elson JC, et al. Localisation and function of the endocannabinoid system in the human ovary. PLoS One. 2009;4:e4579.

Dysmenorrhea/Pelvic Pain

  1. Ngan TYT, Litt M, Eguzo K, Thiel JA. Patient Outcomes Following Initiation of Medical Cannabis in Women with Chronic Pelvic Pain. J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2019;26(7):S89-S90. doi:10.1016/j.jmig.2019.09.751
  2. Tartaglia E, Armentano M, Guigliano B, et al. Effectiveness of the association N-palmitoylethanolamine and transpolydatin in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2015;28:447–450.
  3. Caruso S, Iraci Sareri M, Casella E, et al. Chronic pelvic pain, quality of life and sexual health of women treated with palmitoylethanolamide and alpha-lipoic acid. Minerva Ginecol. 2015;67:413–419.
  4. Cobellis L, Castaldi MA, Nocerino A, et al. Micronized N-palmitoylethanolamine and transpolydatin in the management of pelvic pain related to endometriosis. Giomale Ital Ostetr Ginecol. 2010;32:160–165.
  5. Lo Monte G, Soave I, Marci R. [Administration of micronized palmitoylethanolamide (PEA)-transpolydatin in the treatment of chronic pelvic pain in women affected by endometriosis: preliminary results]. Minerva Ginecol. 2013;65:453–463.


  1. Morotti M, Vincent K, Becker CM. Mechanisms of pain in endometriosis. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2016;209:8-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2016.07.497.
  2. Giugliano E, Cagnazzo E, Soave I, et al. The adjuvant use of N-palmitoylethanolamine and transpolydatin in the treatment of endometriotic pain. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2013;168:209–213.
  3. Kobayashi H, Yamada Y, Morioka S, et al. Mechanism of pain generation for endometriosis-associated pelvic pain. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2014;289:13–21.
  4. Resuehr D, Glore DR, Taylor HS, et al. Progesterone-dependent regulation of endometrial cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1-R) expression is disrupted in women with endometriosis and in isolated stromal cells exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Fertil Steril. 2012;98:948–956.e1.
  5. Sanchez AM, Vigano P, Mugione A, et al. The molecular connections between the cannabinoid system and endometriosis. Mol Hum Reprod. 2012;18:563–571.
  6. Dmitrieva N, Nagabukuro H, Resuehr D, et al. Endocannabinoid involvement in endometriosis. Pain. 2010;151:703–710.


  1. Sun AJ, Eisenberg ML. Association Between Marijuana Use and Sexual Frequency in the United States: A Population-Based Study. J Sex Med. 2017;14(11):1342-1347. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2017.09.005
  2. Lynn BK, López JD, Miller C, Thompson J, Campian EC. The Relationship between Marijuana Use Prior to Sex and Sexual Function in Women. Sex Med. 2019;7(2):192-197. doi:10.1016/j.esxm.2019.01.003
  3. Sewell RA, Schnakenberg A, Elander J, et al. Acute effects of THC on time perception in frequent and infrequent cannabis users. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013;226(2):401-413. doi:10.1007/s00213-012-2915-6
  4. Palamar JJ, Griffin-Tomas M, Acosta P, Ompad DC, Cleland CM. A comparison of self-reported sexual effects of alcohol, marijuana, and ecstasy in a sample of young adult nightlife attendees. Psychol Sex. 2018;9(1):54-68. doi:10.1080/19419899.2018.1425220

Anxiety/Sexual trauma

  1. Milad MR, Pitman RK, Ellis CB, et al. Neurobiological basis of failure to recall extinction memory in posttraumatic stress disorder. Biol Psychiatry. 2009;66(12):1075-1082. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.06.026
  2. Rabinak CA, Angstadt M, Sripada CS, et al. Cannabinoid facilitation of fear extinction memory recall in humans. 2013;64:396-402. doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2012.06.063
  3. Bonn-Miller MO, Vujanovic AA, Boden MT, Gross JJ. Posttraumatic stress, difficulties in emotion regulation, and coping-oriented marijuana use. Cogn Behav Ther. 2011;40(1):34-44. doi:10.1080/16506073.2010.525253
  4. Razvi, S, Elfrink, S. The PSIP Model: An Introduction to a novel methods of therapy: Psychedelic somatic interactional psychotherapy.  Journal of Psychedelic Psychiatry. 2020:2(3).

Overview: Review current studies

  1. Lynn B, Gee A, Zhang L, et  Effects of Cannabinoids on Female Sexual Function. Sex Med Rev 2020;8:18–27.

Author Yoel H. Sitbon

Yoel is a Medical Writer in the Medical Content division at Csequence. His scientific expertise is in Neuroscience (neural mechanisms behind drug addiction) and Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology (molecular mechanisms behind mutations induced cardiovascular diseases). Yoel has over five years of scientific writing experience as evidenced by 8 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals. He is an effective oral communicator having presented his PhD thesis work at many biomedical conferences nationally. He also has strong mentorship and leadership experience. Yoel has a B.S in Neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles and a Ph.D. in Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine.

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