ED gummies, mints, and drops: do they work?

Reviewed by Yael Cooperman, MD, Ro, 

Written by Haley Longman 

Reviewed by Yael Cooperman, MD, Ro, 

Written by Haley Longman 

last updated: Feb 13, 2024

5 min read

These days, it seems like there’s a gummy, a chewable, or another over-the-counter option for every ailment, and unsurprisingly, erectile dysfunction is among them. ED affects about 30 million men in the United States, so it’s no wonder there’s a whole slew of products out there marketed to people with ED.

Some of the treatments available for ED contain FDA-approved ingredients, like sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis). Others contain various herbs and vitamins purported to help you get and maintain an erection. The issue with most of these often more easily accessible non-prescription products is that, unlike Viagra, most ED gummies and some of their counterparts are not approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and have not been clinically proven to treat ED.  

Here’s what you should know before purchasing male enhancement gummies or any other treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Viagra Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

Cialis Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

Ro Sparks: Extra-strength 2-in-1 ED treatment that goes the extra mile. Get started with an online visit.

What are erectile dysfunction gummies?

ED gummies are typically supplements that can be purchased over-the-counter (without a prescription from a doctor) and are purported to help men get and maintain an erection, as well as amp up libido.

Male enhancement gummies each contain different ingredients depending on the brand, with some made from natural ingredients like maca root, ginseng, horny goat weed, and tongkat ali. However, the main active ingredient in many ED gummies is cannabidiol (CBD), which is extracted from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. This oil won’t make you feel high like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does, but it’s been marketed (and studied) for its relaxation effects. Scientists think cannabinoids like CBD work by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which calms the nervous system and peripheral nervous system.

Some studies claim CBD can be helpful in alleviating anxiety in people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with some evidence indicating that it may also offer benefits to people with schizophrenia and depression.

Other studies have found that men with anxiety are more likely to experience ED because being anxious can sometimes affect sexual performance and sex drive, which may be another reason that CBD might help with ED. 

But how? If used before sex, the thought is that CBD gummies for men or other similar OTC products can alleviate symptoms of ED by decreasing performance anxiety and lowering blood pressure, which can, in turn, improve circulation and promote blood flow to the penis

Still, there’s not enough data to make the blanket assumption that CBD—and the gummies that contain it—are an effective treatment option for ED. More research is needed to determine whether there’s a direct correlation between the two.

Erectile dysfunction treatment options

Erectile dysfunction gummies

Male enhancement gummies may seem like a good choice and an easy way to treat ED, but as of today, they’re not the most effective or reliable method out there. CBD gummies, including CBD gummies for men in particular, may ease some nerves, but there’s no scientific evidence that these gummies will help you get or keep an erection.

Erectile dysfunction lozenges

Perhaps a better way to treat erectile dysfunction is with ED lozenges. Male enhancement lozenges like Ro Sparks contain sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) and tadalafil (the active ingredient in Cialis), both of which are FDA-approved and scientifically proven to treat ED.

Ro Sparks is a sublingual formulation, meaning it dissolves under your tongue, and studies have found this type of ED treatment hits the bloodstream faster. While traditional ED meds can take up to an hour to work (or even longer if you’ve had a big meal), Ro Sparks work in 15 minutes on average. Thanks to tadalafil, the medication lasts for up to 36 hours for stronger, harder erections. 

A prescription is required for Ro Sparks. Fill out Ro’s free online visit, hear from a provider in about 24 hours, and if prescribed, the lozenges will arrive right at your door a few days later.

Traditional ED meds

As with many conditions, a physical exam from a healthcare provider is required to determine the specific cause of ED. The exact treatment plan depends on each patient’s individual circumstances and also on whether the cause of ED is “psychogenic (psychological), neurogenic (caused by the nervous system), vascular, or hormonal.” For some men, lifestyle changes such as weight loss and counseling can also help with symptoms of ED.

Oral medications for ED

The first line of treatment is traditional prescription ED meds prescribed by a healthcare provider. These medications are safe and effective and work for most people with erectile dysfunction. These medications, all taken orally, include:

These drugs all belong to a class of medications known as PDE5 inhibitors. They work by keeping the blood vessels in the penis open and allowing more blood to flow in, promoting harder, longer-lasting erections.

Note that PDE5 inhibitors won’t magically give you an erection—even with these pills, stimulation and arousal are required to get hard. Essentially, these meds give you the ability to get an erection.

Penis injections for ED

When ED pills aren’t working or otherwise can’t be taken because of other underlying health conditions such as heart disease, the next line of treatment is typically ED injections, which are meds injected in liquid form. They work by relaxing the smooth muscles and increasing blood flow to the penis.

Prostaglandin E1 (PGE1)—also known as alprostadil (or by its brand names Caverject and Edex)—is the most commonly used ED injection medication. PGE1 is FDA-approved for use alone, but it’s also commonly combined with two other medications: papaverine and phentolamine. TriMix, for example, combines all three of these meds and is one option for treating ED.

Alternative treatments for ED

Alprostadil is also prescribed on its own as a urethral suppository (a small pill you place into your penis through the hole at the end using a special applicator) for some people with ED, but studies have found this method is not as effective as penile injections with alprostadil. Alprostadil also comes in a cream form as an ED treatment; however, the cream is currently only available in the UK, and is not yet prescribed in the US.

Another option is a penis pump, also known as a vacuum constriction device (VCD) or a vacuum erection device (VED). These work by using suction to draw blood into the penis and make it hard. Some studies have found that penis pumps can be effective in up to 90% of cases of ED.

Ro Sparks: Harder erections, faster than Viagra/Cialis (sildenafil/tadalafil). Get started with an online visit.

Male enhancement gummies––do they work?

The short answer is as of today, the ED gummies on the market will probably not help erectile dysfunction. More research is needed to determine whether ED gummies are effective, as well as to understand the connection between ED and CBD, a common ingredient found in ED gummies. CBD has been proven to help with anxiety and some other conditions, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a treatment for people with ED. 

Still, male enhancement gummies are available over the counter and are easily accessible, which certainly makes them an appealing option for people with ED. Keep in mind, of course, that supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, and it can be difficult to determine which brands are reliable in their claims. 

If you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction, book an appointment with your healthcare provider. They can help you navigate options like prescriptionED meds or other treatments so you can be more confident and enjoy a more fulfilling sex life — and that’s the long and short of it.


If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

How we reviewed this article

Every article on Health Guide goes through rigorous fact-checking by our team of medical reviewers. Our reviewers are trained medical professionals who ensure each article contains the most up-to-date information, and that medical details have been correctly interpreted by the writer.

Current version

February 13, 2024

Written by

Haley Longman

Fact checked by

Yael Cooperman, MD

About the medical reviewer

Yael Cooperman is a physician and works as a Senior Manager, Medical Content & Education at Ro.

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