How Cigarettes, Cannabis, and Alcohol Can Affect Erections

Lifestyle choices can significantly affect one’s state of health in both positive and negative capacities, with certain decisions holding direct influence on one’s well-being, while others demonstrate indirect impacts.

Smoking and the use of hard drugs are examples of lifestyle choices that may harm one’s health, while mindful eating and the implementation of a consistent exercise routine are measures that may positively contribute to one’s well-being.

According to WebMD, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation are two of the most common sexual health issues faced by men on a regular basis. According to Stats CAN, over 15% of Canadians aged 12 years and older smoke.  

In the following article, we consider how substance consumption habits, including the likes of cigarettes, cannabis, and alcohol, could affect erections and contribute to erectile dysfunction.




Tobacco and Erectile Dysfunction

While there are several factors that may lead to impotence, cigarette smoking is a highly detrimental contributor. The frequent consumption of cigarettes results in damaged arteries, which is a leading cause of erectile dysfunction.

A 2005 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology supplied evidence that erectile dysfunction is more likely to appear earlier for men who smoke. This suggests that quitting smoking will help improve erectile dysfunction symptoms. The consideration of age and other health issues may help to determine whether one will be able to moderately or fully recover from erectile dysfunction.

Cannabis and Erectile Dysfunction

Having experienced a consistent rise in legalization in recent years, cannabis has become one of the most common drugs for recreational and medicinal use. With this being said, significant concerns have been raised regarding the influence of marijuana with erectile dysfunction.

Research has even indicated that cannabis may contribute to complications with certain mental and physical health conditions that are often associated with erectile dysfunction.

Medical researchers have not yet found conclusive evidence to support the notion that cannabis may lead to erectile dysfunction. In fact, numerous findings are somewhat contradictory.

However, due to the presence of cannabinoid receptors in the smooth muscle layer of the penis, it is often believed that cannabis may impair the penile function and cause erectile dysfunction.

Although research has yet to provide evidence that confirms the interconnectedness of cannabis and erectile dysfunction, the concerns raised remain valid. Further, smokers often consume marijuana with a mix of tobacco, which is known to restrict the flow of blood in penis’ veins, raising the likelihood of erectile dysfunction.

Alcohol and Erectile Dysfunction

Alcohol is a substance that is often consumed for varied purposes and in numerous settings, often including social atmospheres and gatherings. However, the excess consumption of alcohol may affect one’s sexual prowess, resulting in complications with performance and physical control.

As alcohol is a depressant, its frequent and excessive consumption may be attributed to a decrease in sexual desire, making it increasingly difficult for one to achieve and maintain erections or orgasms while under the influence.

Should this become a regular habit that goes unmonitored and unaddressed for an extensive period of time, erectile dysfunction may become of concern.

With this being said, studies show that men who are addicted to alcohol have a 60-70% chance of experiencing issues related to their sexual health. To avoid having alcohol take control, practice moderation, remain self-aware, and become familiar with your personal tolerance limits.

What Does This All Mean?

In conclusion, lifestyle choices including, yet not limited to, the consumption and use of cigarettes, cannabis, and alcohol may have negative impacts for men seeking to achieve and maintain erections.

Although clear links have not been established in all cases, moderation may help to reduce your predisposition to erectile dysfunction.

Should you be experiencing any of the symptoms of erectile dysfunction mentioned, seek professional help to actively and effectively manage your sexual health through the different treatment options that best satisfy your unique needs.

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