Although weed’s posterchild is someone passed out on a sofa by a half-empty pizza box, this lovely little plant can set your love life on fire. Skeptical? Do the research (be prepared to spend at least a week on that), and you’ll find evidence of its potency dating back to the seventh century in Hindu, Chinese, Egyptian, Persian and other cultures’ folklores. (Also, there are plenty of studies from the 2010s and 2020s, too.) Even without a Ph.D.-level analysis of how cannabis has been scientifically linked to a better sex life though, it’s always good to keep an open mind. So, check out what you can use with your partner(s?) – and yourself – to up your bedroom game.
GROUND RULES AND ASSUMPTIONS
Here are the five rules of the high-love game; play at your own risk.
- Consult your physician. Get the OK from anyone whose input is critical to your safety and well-being before experimenting with weed – as a sex toy or otherwise.
- Know the law. The legality of cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), varies by state and circumstance, so do your homework.
- Get consent before you get high. Incapacitated people can’t grant permission, so establish boundaries, contraceptive use, safe words and anything else while you and your partner are clear-headed.
- Purchase products from a reputable, licensed source. Look for a third-party lab report (aka certificate of analysis) to confirm the amount of CBD and/or THC in the product.
- Begin with a very small dose and be patient. Dosing varies by delivery method and time to effectiveness. So, try a low dose at first and see how it makes you feel before taking more. With inhalation you want to wait about 15 minutes, and with edibles at least two hours to feel the full effect. With tinctures taken under the tongue, you can tell within 10 minutes if you need another few drops. With CBD oil ingested orally, start with five to 10 drops and wait around four hours before trying a slightly higher dose.
SELF-PLEASURE: START HERE!
Almost every study published on using cannabis as an aphrodisiac recommends that you test out your reaction to the love plant on yourself first. (And in case it’s an embarrassing reaction, do that alone.) For one thing, you’ll learn whether mixing sex and cannabis is something you’d enjoy, especially if you’re new to weed. Does it affect your sex drive positively? Does it make you anxious? Dizzy? Paranoid? Lethargic? Dry? These are things you need to know before you’re getting ready to rock your partner’s world.
If the results of your experiment weren’t good, don’t despair! Try another cannabis strain or another way of consuming it. The recommended option for first-time users is cannabis massage oil, applied topically around your intimate areas. Alternatively, you can try cannabis strains containing the terpene linalool, such as LA Confidential and Amnesia Haze. Users report a slow start before an intense euphoria with a gradual come down. Or, if you’re pressed for time, you could try the strains Trainwreck or Sour Diesel, which are fast-acting and short-lived.
CANNABIS APHRODISIACS BY EFFECT
Increased Sex Drive
Ladies! Research shows conclusively that the female reproductive system is significantly more affected by cannabis with respect to sex drive than the male reproductive system is. So, this one’s for you. Biologically, the spike in sensuality is influenced by the plant’s anxiolytic effects, which reduce intercourse pain and increase lubrication. Beyond that, the reason why cannabis makes women hornier has yet to be pinned down.
When shopping for your cannabis aphrodisiacs, look for edibles with a higher limonene content, such as:
- Light of Ja
- Wedding Cake
- Wedding Gelato
Men! Your sex drive goes up too, even if not by as much. This is, perhaps, linked to the plant’s effect of reducing performance anxiety and stimulating blood flow. Also, some researchers claim that weed stimulates cannabinoid receptors in the testicles, making the sexual experience more pleasurable for men. Just be careful when experimenting, as chronic THC consumption has been linked to erectile dysfunction. Plus, a 2015 study found that excessive weed consumption actually decreased men’s sex drive. So, it’s high-risk, high-reward.
Cannabis strains linked to sexual arousal in both reproductive systems include:
- OG Kush
- Sour Diesel
Reduced Performance Anxiety
Fear and pressure can get in the way for both partners, so sometimes sex can be enhanced by taking those obstacles out of the equation psychologically. To relieve tension and anxiety, try:
- Animal Cookies
- Blueberry Lamsbread
- Bubba Kush
- Bubble Kush
- Keef Kola
- Kosher Kush
- Master Kush
- Mr. Nice
- Skywalker OG Kush
- White Dawg
Just make sure you consume these in moderate doses, as consuming too much may make you too high for sex, thereby defeating the point.
Alternatively, men specifically can benefit from taking between 300 and 600 milligrams of CBD. In studies conducted in 2019 and 2020, this was shown to reduce their anxiety.
With the right dosing – remember to start small and pace yourself – you can have the energy needed to prolong the experience in bed. For this, try:
- Cheese Quake
- Durban Poison
- Green Crack
- Green Crack Punch
- Super Lemon Haze
Some of those, such as Durban Poison, boost not only energy but also creativity. When test-driving your strain of choice in a solo session, see where that takes you.
Increased Sensitivity to Touch
To increase your sensitivity to touch, you need to fire up the central nervous system. As a general rule, aim to balance out your preferred THC-dominant strain with a CBD-dominant strain. Specific strains you can try are:
- Bubblegum Kush
- Sour Diesel
Remember that different bodies react differently to cannabis, let alone to alterations in the central nervous system. So, check in with your partner to make sure that they’re having as much fun as you are while making love with a heightened sensitivity to touch.
More Intense Orgasms
THC vapes and THC edibles, each discussed in detail later in this article, tend to produce the most intense and satisfying orgasms. According to many studies, they increase both the length and frequency. The vape with the most consistently enthusiastic reviews regarding orgasm boosts is arouse, a product by dosist. For edibles, try products by PLUS and Kiva’s Camino and Terra Bites edibles for that extra finish.
Vapes come more highly recommended than edibles do because they take effect faster. The latter can take up to an hour to work, whereas vapes kick in after 10 to 30 minutes. If you prefer a cannabis strain though, seek out ones that contain high levels of linalool.
Lowering Your Inhibitions
Trying new things can be daunting, no matter what the conditions, depending on how adventurous you are. For those who struggle to venture outside their sexual comfort zones, the strains said to make you more uninhibited are:
- Atomic Northern Lights
- Blue Dream
- Girl Scout Cookies
- Granddaddy Purple
- Pineapple Express
- Sour Diesel
These are recommended if you want to explore all sex positions for maximum satisfaction.
The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis can reduce discomfort or pain. In particular, look for strains with such terpenes as beta-caryophyllene, humulene, myrcene and caryophyllene. Recommended strains include:
- Flaming Cookies
- Girl Scout Cookies
- Granddaddy Purple
- Sour Diesel
- White Dawg
Pain relief can be critical to women afflicted with endometriosis or other conditions that make intercourse painful. However, they have to consume cannabis moderately to prevent causing vaginal dryness in the process. As an alternative, women can try the topical CBD product Foria Awaken, which is specifically designed for women who experience pain during sex.
Fast-Acting for Quickies
The two strains that will get you revved up as fast as possible are Trainwreck and Sour Diesel. Trainwreck has a piney and flower flavor, and its mild effects wear off quickly.
CANNABIS APHRODISIACS BY PRODUCT TYPE
Edibles and Tinctures
Edibles aren’t limited to the classic “funny brownies.” You can get them as gummies, mints, chocolates, cookies, cereal treats and oils too. These need to pass through your digestive system before they take effect though. Consequently, they take a long time to kick in and things like your Body Mass Index (BMI) can influence their potency unpredictably. So, you and your partner might have completely different experiences – and not always in a good way. For that reason, these are recommended more for self-pleasure than for partner sessions.
However, they’re known to have effects all around the body, so that might make them worthy of a shared experience. If you and your partner have consented to give them a try, check out this article on The Village Voice for a list of the 15 best edibles for sex. For a lady-tailored list, consult this Marina Times article for the eight best edibles for female arousal. For a gentleman-tailored list, read this Botany Farms article. And if you want to taste the first edible weed aphrodisiac to be manufactured, buy some of the time-proven and relatively fast-acting (15 to 20 minutes, versus the average 60 to 90 minutes) love-spiking chocolates by 1906.
Another oral method of delivery is cannabis tinctures. Like edibles, these can be unpredictable and should be taken in small doses until you’ve learned how your body (and your partner’s body) responds to them. When consumed as sublingual products, the effects come on quickly because the ingredients are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. So, tread carefully with these. Two that are recommended to enhance your libido are Humboldt Apothecary Love Potion No. 7 and Kikoko Sensuali-Tea.
If you’d like something that kicks in faster (10 to 30 minutes), lasts for only two to three hours and is less unpredictable because of the way it’s manufactured, you could try vaping cannabis oil. Vape pens, such as the highly praised collections produced by dosist and Botany Farms, are formulated carefully with specific terpene and cannabinoid profiles.
Other advantages of vaping are the simplicity and safety of it. You have no flames (they’re electronic and rechargeable like a phone) or burning cherry, no lingering odor, and no ash, bowl or roaches to dispense with. And because the oil is a concentrate, its THC levels are high enough that you don’t need a lot to get you high. So, it’s convenient and discreet. And, like any other form of cannabis, it comes in a variety of tastes, scents and blends.
Topicals and Massage Oils
If you want to increase blood flow to erogenous regions, enhance orgasms and increase your body’s response to sex, try topicals. These give you only a mild high – at most – because they don’t enter the bloodstream, functioning mostly to increase sensitivity. Try a THC or CBD massage oil, such as Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Oil, Lazarus Naturals CBD Massage Oil, and Papa & Barkley’s Releaf Body Oil and CBD Daily Massage Lotion. Or try a balm, such as OM Love Balm. These are good at not only pushing your sex drive into action, but also soothing achy joints to rid you of the distractions of pain. Just be mindful of the protection you use, as oils and condoms don’t mix.
Vaginal and anal suppositories melt once inserted, causing them to be absorbed into the body, but not into the bloodstream. So, they won’t get you high, and they have immediate effects, such as increased pressure and enhanced stimulation. Many people claim that CBD and cannabis suppositories enhance orgasms and increase sexual pleasure. CBD Living and Endoca are two manufacturers of these.
Research suggests that CBD lubricants can relieve inflammation and chronic pain, so people who struggle with vaginal dryness or painful intercourse can benefit from them. They can also counteract the vaginal dryness caused by THC if that was involved in foreplay. (THC lubricants are available too though.) In addition, they intensify sensation and increase blood flow to the genitals.
These typically take up to 20 minutes to take effect, after which they’re said to cause more powerful orgasms. Some of the recommended cannabis-infused lubricants are GoLove CBD Intimate Lubricant, Privy Peach CBD-based lubricants, Quim Night Moves and Foria Weed Lube.
As with certain topicals, oil-based lubricants don’t mix well with condoms. So, pair your cannabis aphrodisiac of choice with your protection of choice accordingly.
RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS
First off, be mindful of possible interactions with other medications you’re taking. Although CBD is known to be safe, make sure that you’ve talked to your physician about mixing CBD and/or THC with anything you’re on.
Side effects of THC include red eyes, delayed response times, memory loss, poor coordination, an increased heart rate and dry mouth. Vaginal dryness is also common because cannabis dries mucus membranes. However, certain strains, such as the indica-learning Wedding Cake, don’t have that effect. So, that’s not a guaranteed problem, but it’s still something to be aware of. And you can counter that effect by keeping water and lube within reach.
Also, as mentioned before, consuming cannabis frequently can decrease a man’s sex drive. Of perhaps greater concern, frequent THC consumption in particular can even lead to erectile dysfunction. That said, the research is limited to experiments on mice for the latter of these, and cannabis increases blood flow, making erections less vulnerable to dysfunction. Even so, informed consent is key to exploring with cannabis aphrodisiacs, so keep that possibility in mind.
PLAY BY THE RULES AND HAVE FUN!
Remember to keep your safety and your partner’s safety at the front of an open mind while considering your cannabis aphrodisiac options. Talk things over with your physician, and get all the details arranged with your partner before anyone starts to get tipsy. Make sure you don’t cheap out, and buy the good stuff. And above all, take your sweet time with these products. Unless you’re sneaking in some afternoon delight on your lunch break or something, slower is better anyhow.
Kathleen Hearons is a writer, editor, linguist and voice over actor from Los Angeles. She specializes in creative writing and research-intensive analysis and reporting.
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