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Gummies For ED: Do They Work?

Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Reviewed by Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Written by Erica Garza

Published 05/03/2024

A pack of gummy bears may have lifted your spirits as a kid, but these days, some gummies are claiming to lift a lot more.

Gummies for erectile dysfunction (ED) are non-prescription edible products claiming to improve erectile function and help you have a better sex life. But do they work?

It’s complicated.

There is some evidence that popular gummy ingredients like cannabidiol (CBD) may help relieve anxiety associated with ED, but there’s also evidence that cannabis sativa (from which CBD is extracted) can make things worse.

To help you decide if you should take a gummy for ED before your next big date, let’s look into how these products work, if they work at all, and why you should always exercise caution when using products containing any part of the cannabis plant.

Impacting about 30 million men in the U.S. alone, ED is a sexual dysfunction that interferes with your ability to obtain or maintain an erection long enough for a satisfactory sexual experience. It can be a short-term problem prompted by performance anxiety or stress, or it can be a long-term issue related to certain health conditions or medications.

Signs of ED include:

  • Only being able to get an erection in specific situations (e.g. while masturbating, but not with a partner)

  • You can get an erection, but it's not hard enough or you can’t maintain it long enough to have satisfying sex

  • You are unable to get an erection at any time

Though ED is typically associated with older men, studies show it’s becoming increasingly common in young, healthy men. Contributing factors include anxiety disorders and depression, low testosterone levels, and certain medications (like antidepressants).

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Erectile dysfunction gummies are male enhancement supplements said to contain ingredients that help you get hard and stay hard, and potentially improve your sexual desire and overall well-being. They are usually available without a prescription, though those containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the part of the cannabis plant that gets you high, may only be available at cannabis dispensaries (legality varies across states).

Common Ingredients in Gummies for ED

From horny goat weed (a fitting name) to cannabidiol, or CBD (the part of the cannabis plant that won’t get you high), there are a number of ingredients a gummy for ED might contain.

Some of the most popular formulations include:

  • CBD

  • THC

  • Maca root

  • Ginseng

  • Horny goat weed

  • Amino acids like L-Arginine

  • Ashwagandha

  • Fenugreek

  • Tribulus terrestris

Choose your chew

Before you start popping gummies for ED, you should know there is very little evidence these products are proven to effectively treat erectile dysfunction, which is a legit sexual dysfunction that requires legit medical care.

When it comes to CBD gummies for ED, which are the most popular type, there is some evidence that cannabis may improve sexual function (including ED) if your issues stem from mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. But even the best CBD gummies for erectile dysfunction should be used with caution due to quality concerns and research that suggests the risks of cannabis outweigh the benefits of CBD.

Cannabis and ED: The Good Stuff

If you think of cannabis as the ultimate wingman because it revs up your sex drive or levels up your erections, there’s a good chance the benefits are mostly psychological.

Studies show that men with anxiety have a higher risk of developing psychological ED. This can be due to performance anxiety, especially if you’ve had trouble with ED in the past, prescription drugs taken for anxiety, or if you tend to use (or abuse) alcohol to deal with anxiety.

If you use CBD gummies, CBD oil or other cannabis products, it may help ED associated with anxiety by interacting with the endocannabinoid system and helping you feel more relaxed. Brain imaging studies show that CBD deactivates the amygdala, a part of the brain that controls fear. It also increases blood flow to the hippocampus, improving emotional memory processing to reduce anxiety. But ED gummies claiming to increase blood flow to the penis may be taking things too far. Though one of the benefits of CBD gummies includes improved blood flow in the brain, there is no substantial evidence that it has any positive effects on blood vessels within the penis.

Some research also suggests that cannabis use is associated with higher testosterone, which may have a positive effect on erectile function. In a study of 7,809 men, of which 993 were cannabis users, cannabis use was associated with higher sexual frequency scores as well as higher testosterone levels. However, these positive effects appear to be dose dependent. The researchers mention that testosterone is lower in chronic heavy cannabis users, which could spell trouble for erectile function, as previous research has confirmed a strong association between low testosterone and ED.

Cannabis and ED: The Risks

Despite the potential positive effects of CBD and other cannabis products for ED, there is also evidence of potential risks and side effects.

In a review of five case-controlled studies of 3,395 healthy men, of which 1,025 used cannabis, cannabis users were four times more likely to struggle with ED than those who didn’t use. In the same way that ED gummies containing cannabis might relieve anxiety by interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the brain, the researchers explain that cannabis may have a negative effect on cannabinoid receptors in your penile tissues, or your corpus cavernosum.

Chronic cannabis also has some gnarly side effects, such as reduced libido, which can have a negative effect on erectile function, suggesting again that lower doses are preferred.

Like proper dosage, ensuring you’re taking a high-quality product is just as important when using erectile dysfunction gummies, whether they contain CBD, THC, or any other ingredient purported to enhance sexual function. According to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), commercial, non-FDA-approved CBD products tend to differ significantly in composition from products used in clinical studies and there is limited scientific evidence supporting their safety in terms of purity, potency and content.

Even when dosage is correctly represented on a label and third-party lab testing is conducted, there is a risk that you may consume too much cannabis anyway, especially if the gummy you are taking contains THC and you’re trying to get high as well as hard. Research shows that it takes longer for the psychoactive effect of edibles (around 30 to 90 minutes) to be felt, which can lead you to take too much too soon in efforts to speed up the process. This can result in too much THC in your system and thus, a higher risk of ED.

What About Other Types of Erectile Dysfunction Supplement Forms?

Like those containing cannabis, ED gummies that use botanical extracts and natural ingredients also have limited research supporting their claims.

This comprehensive review that examined 369 studies on 718 medicinal plants found that results were mixed in terms of their usefulness in enhancing sexual performance.

Like other dietary supplements and male enhancement pills, over-the-counter ED products like gummies often fail to outperform placebos in research and may be unsafe if you use other types of medication. Always get medical advice first before mixing ED gummies and prescription meds.

There’s a reason why prescription drugs like Viagra® (sildenafil), Cialis ® (tadalafil) and  Stendra® (Avanafil) are so popular — they’ve been thoroughly researched and they’re approved by the FDA.

These drugs belong to a class of drugs known as PDE5 inhibitors, which increase blood flow to the penis and directly improve erectile function, whether the cause is psychological, physical or a mix of both.

Not a fan of pills? One reason you might turn to an ED gummy is because it probably tastes a lot better than your standard erectile dysfunction medication. But medicine doesn’t have to be boring.

Chewable ED medication like Hard Mints by Hims contain active ingredients in Cialis® and Levitra® at different dosages.

They may not look like a colorful bear but they have a fresh wintergreen taste that can also come in handy in bed. Even more, these ED mints are custom-made to fit your needs as determined by your healthcare provider.

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ED gummies may not be hard to get but they probably won’t get you hard either. Remember:

  • The best CBD gummies for erectile dysfunction help relieve anxiety associated with ED, but there’s also evidence that cannabis (from which CBD is extracted) can worsen erectile function.

  • In one study, cannabis users were actually four times more likely to struggle with ED than those who didn’t use cannabis. This risk goes up the more you use.

  • Other botanical extracts used in ED gummies also have limited scientific evidence supporting their claims.

  • The quality of an ED gummy, whether it contains cannabis or not, is not always evident, which may pose health concerns.

  • A safer and more effective alternative to CBD gummies for ED is prescription chewable ED medication containing science-backed ingredients like sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil and avanafil.

Want more advice on how to achieve better erections and improve your sexual health? Check out this guide to the best ED pills, learn more about ​​chewable ED meds  and get schooled on what to expect when taking ED medication.

12 Sources

  1. Nunes, K. P., Labazi, H., & Webb, R. C. (2012). New insights into hypertension-associated erectile dysfunction. Current opinion in nephrology and hypertension, 21(2), 163–170. https://doi.org/10.1097/MNH.0b013e32835021bd
  2. Pizzol, D., Demurtas, J., Stubbs, B., Soysal, P., Mason, C., Isik, A. T., Solmi, M., Smith, L., & Veronese, N. (2019). Relationship Between Cannabis Use and Erectile Dysfunction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. American journal of men's health, 13(6), 1557988319892464. https://doi.org/10.1177/1557988319892464
  3. Velurajah, R., Brunckhorst, O., Waqar, M., McMullen, I., & Ahmed, K. (2022). Erectile dysfunction in patients with anxiety disorders: a systematic review. International journal of impotence research, 34(2), 177–186. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41443-020-00405-4
  4. Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
  5. Bloomfield, M. A. P., Green, S. F., Hindocha, C., Yamamori, Y., Yim, J. L. L., Jones, A. P. M., Walker, H. R., Tokarczuk, P., Statton, B., Howes, O. D., Curran, H. V., & Freeman, T. P. (2020). The effects of acute cannabidiol on cerebral blood flow and its relationship to memory: An arterial spin labelling magnetic resonance imaging study. Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England), 34(9), 981–989. https://doi.org/10.1177/0269881120936419
  6. Shiff, B., Blankstein, U., Hussaen, J., Jarvi, K., Grober, E., Lo, K., Lajkosz, K., & Krakowsky, Y. (2021). The impact of cannabis use on male sexual function: A 10-year, single-center experience. Canadian Urological Association journal = Journal de l'Association des urologues du Canada, 15(12), E652–E657. https://doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.7185
  7. Rajfer J. (2000). Relationship between testosterone and erectile dysfunction. Reviews in urology, 2(2), 122–128.
  8. Pizzol, D., Demurtas, J., Stubbs, B., Soysal, P., Mason, C., Isik, A. T., Solmi, M., Smith, L., & Veronese, N. (2019). Relationship Between Cannabis Use and Erectile Dysfunction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. American journal of men's health, 13(6), 1557988319892464. https://doi.org/10.1177/1557988319892464
  9. du Plessis, S. S., Agarwal, A., & Syriac, A. (2015). Marijuana, phytocannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and male fertility. Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics, 32(11), 1575–1588. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10815-015-0553-8
  10. SAMHSA. “Cannabidiol (CBD) – Potential Harms, Side Effects, and Unknowns.” SAMHSA Publications, February 2023, https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/pep22-06-04-003.pdf. Accessed 12 April 2024.
  11. Barrus, D. G., Capogrossi, K. L., Cates, S. C., Gourdet, C. K., Peiper, N. C., Novak, S. P., Lefever, T. W., & Wiley, J. L. (2016). Tasty THC: Promises and Challenges of Cannabis Edibles. Methods report (RTI Press), 2016, 10.3768/rtipress.2016.op.0035.1611. https://doi.org/10.3768/rtipress.2016.op.0035.1611
  12. Sin, V. J., Anand, G. S., & Koh, H. L. (2021). Botanical Medicine and Natural Products Used for Erectile Dysfunction. Sexual medicine reviews, 9(4), 568–592. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sxmr.2020.10.005
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kelly Brown MD, MBA
Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Dr. Kelly Brown is a board certified Urologist and fellowship trained in Andrology. She is an accomplished men’s health expert with a robust background in healthcare innovation, clinical medicine, and academic research. Dr. Brown is a founding member of Posterity Health where she is Medical Director and leads strategy and design of their Digital Health Platform, an innovative education and telehealth model for delivering expert male fertility care.

She completed her undergraduate studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go Heels!) with a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science and a Minor in Chemistry. She took a position at University of California Los Angeles as a radiologic technologist in the department of Interventional Cardiology, further solidifying her passion for medicine. She also pursued the unique opportunity to lead departmental design and operational development at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, sparking her passion for the business of healthcare.

Dr. Brown then went on to obtain her doctorate in medicine from the prestigious Northwestern University - Feinberg School of Medicine and Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, with a concentration in Healthcare Management. During her surgical residency in Urology at University of California San Francisco, she utilized her research year to focus on innovations in telemedicine and then served as chief resident with significant contributions to clinical quality improvement. Dr. Brown then completed her Andrology Fellowship at Medical College of Wisconsin, furthering her expertise in male fertility, microsurgery, and sexual function.

Her dedication to caring for patients with compassion, understanding, as well as a unique ability to make guys instantly comfortable discussing anything from sex to sperm makes her a renowned clinician. In addition, her passion for innovation in healthcare combined with her business acumen makes her a formidable leader in the field of men’s health.

Dr. Brown is an avid adventurer; summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (twice!) and hiking the incredible Torres del Paine Trek in Patagonia, Chile. She deeply appreciates new challenges and diverse cultures on her travels. She lives in Denver with her husband, two children, and beloved Bernese Mountain Dog. You can find Dr. Brown on LinkedIn for more information.

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