Over the last few years, you probably noticed the abundance of cannabis products hitting the shelves in nearly every store across the country, particularly in light of recent laws being passed in several states. When I saw these plant-based products hit shelves at my local supermarket, I had to check them out.
I’ve tried CBD topicals and lotions for sciatic pain and inflammation, used CBD capsules as a sleep aid, and have experimented with various methods and combinations of THC and CBD for anxiety; hell, I’ve even tried CBD doggy treats for the family dogs (which they LOVE btw). Every product I’ve tried has been really helpful, and so, more recently, I began to experiment with the combination of sex and cannabis; and boy, has it been revolutionary.
I’ve found that mixing cannabis with sex has transformed my sex life by making me feel more present in my body and in the moment (which also makes it a whole lot easier to orgasm!!). It takes me out of my own head and allows me to completely forget about all of the annoying *ss insecurities that often swim around in my mind right before sex.
I am not new to the world of cannabis but I still have a lot to learn, especially with regards to its impacts on sex, so I decided to speak with two experts in the field.
The first was Kiana Reeves, Chief Educational Officer at Foria Wellness, a women-owned and “vulva-centric” plant-based sexual health and wellness brand whose THC and CBD infused products have been changing lives since 2013. I absolutely LOVE that they use their platform to promote female pleasure and the use of non-toxic ingredients (something that Lovability also preaches with their vegan and toxin-free condoms) so knew I had to ask for their input.
Tips and Tricks for Cannabis Newbies
Foria’s plant-based formulas can be intimidating to those who have never tried a product with cannabinoids before. For those people, Reeves recommends starting with topicals, which give you all the benefits without any psychoactivity (aka they won’t get you high). Topicals are vasodilators, which means that they dilate blood vessels; for people with vulvas these topicals can be incredibly stimulating because the lining of the vulva and vagina are ultra absorbent so when applied they allow more blood to flow from the capillaries, which equals more sensation, lubrication, and pleasure 😉
When buying CBD or THC products for your genitals, you HAVE to look out for the ingredients (gotta know what you’re putting inside you, just like with condoms). Knowing how the plant is grown, how it’s extracted, whether it’s been tested, etc. Answering these types of questions, along with a batch-specific COA (certificate of analysis), will be good indications of quality. Now I know you’re probably wondering what the heck cannabinoids are and how they differ product to product. There’s a lot of confusion in this market, so it’s only natural that you have questions (and you should!). I myself am still figuring all this out, but hopefully I can answer a few questions for you.
The Science Behind the Smoke
If you’re somewhat of a geek like me, you could spend hours (yes, HOURS) pouring through the science and the data on cannabis before you even get to talking about sex. To begin with, there are around 108 unique types of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant alone. THC, or Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is most the well-known of the cannabinoids due to its psychoactive properties (this is the one that gets you f**king stoned). On the other hand, CBD, or cannabidiol, doesn’t get you stoned but it does prove to be useful in terms of its many therapeutic benefits, including anxiety and pain relief. Combining the two seems to (and I say seems to, because most evidence is anecdotal as a result of federal restrictions on cannabis research) enhance the positive effects of both, something that I found to be put on blast in the cannasex philosophy.
I didn’t stumble across the term “cannasex” until I listened to an episode of “D is for Desire,” where award-winning sex educator and cannasex coach Ashley Manta was invited on to discuss her discovery of and experiences with combining sex and cannabis. Ashley’s journey with Foria and their THC and CBD-infused lubricants changed her relationship with penetrative sex forever. When I spoke with Ashley, she told me using cannabis allowed her to identify mental blocks around sex (such as pain, shame, and anxiety) and move past them, something she has been helping others to achieve in her private coaching sessions and group workshops.
She’s coined the term cannasexual to describe “anyone who mindfully and deliberately combines sex and cannabis to deepen intimacy and enhance pleasure whether solo or partnered”. Intent is what distinguishes cannasex from a random hookup between fellow stoners — it’s about digging deep and putting in work to find what products work best for you and your partner.
With all that said, here are a few things to keep in mind before you try combining cannabis products with sex:
- Negotiate before you medicate!! Talk with your partner (and with yourself prior to some solo action) before you mix CBD and/or THC with sex. It is important to know each others boundaries with cannabis products and with sex, and especially when you’re mixing the two together. Talk to your partner beforehand and make sure they know what verbal cues or body language to look for should things go wrong with a product or you become uncomfortable. And please, PLEASE do not try the product for the first time the night of–if you aren’t sure of what to expect you won’t be able to fully immerse yourself in the experience.
- Find your own sweet spot. It’s never going to be as simple as someone telling you exactly what dosage to use. Go on a journey of self discovery! If you are a seasoned smoker, you might have a better idea of where your sweet spot is; try starting a journal or logbook and take note of which strains, terpene contents, smells, and methods achieve the buzz you’re looking for. (Helpful tip: avoid heavy-duty dabs and unpredictable edibles because you’ll have much less control over dosage). Keep checking in with yourself if you are getting high–you might feel horny or you might end up feeling glued to the couch. For those who don’t smoke, try starting out with CBD infused lubricants, topicals, or bath-bombs and definitely avoid diving right into the psychoactive stuff.
- Remember that you won’t die from cannabis, but it doesn’t hurt to avoid overconsumption. THC and other cannabinoids have what’s called a biphasic effect— meaning they have opposite effects at high and low dosage. A low dosage can cause euphoria, the munchies, and pain relief, but once you cross over the threshold (which is different for everyone!!) you may find yourself anxious and paranoid. That’s why Ashley recommends that when it comes to dosage you go as low as you can for as long as you can (remember: you’re not in college trying to prove that you can out smoke everyone else).
- Don’t give up if a product doesn’t match your expectations. Cannabis products are not going to be for everyone, and that’s OK. That being said, there are a LOT of options out there, so don’t give up after the first try. Not everyone will respond the same to a product and some people might be more sensitive to a certain ingredient, which is why Kiana suggests doing a patch test on another part of the body first.
- It’s alright to be skeptical, but don’t let that hold you back. You may very well be unlocking the door to a whole new world of mind-blowing sex — do you really want to prevent yourself from reaching new orgasmic heights? If you are skeptical, it may be helpful to know that this is by no means a new method of using these plants; cannabis has been revered in herbal traditions as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years. Ancient Indians would consume a cannabis-infused milk beverage called “bhang” prior to tantric sex rituals to increase sexual pleasure and enhance spiritual enlightenment. Sounds to me like they got plenty of bhang for their buck 😉 (C’mon it was right there I couldn’t not make a pun.)
I’m not pretending to have all the answers when it comes to combining cannabis and sex — I’m still on this journey myself. I’m just someone who’s taken an interest in these products and who’s seen firsthand their positive effects. What I do know is that using cannabinoids can increase your libido, sensation, access to orgasm, pleasure, and can diminish pain associated with penetration, which sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. If you keep your mind open and think of it as a sort of sexy, stoned, choose-your-own-adventure, you too can reach new orgasmic heights of pleasure.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A senior double Anthropology and Women’s & Gender Studies Major at Kenyon College in Ohio, Liza Brilliant (@brill.ant on Insta) is devoted to destigmatizing conversations around sexuality and promoting a healthy, sex positive femininity. Liza hopes to one day work in law and public policy, specifically around destigmatizing and decriminalizing sex work. She firmly believes that sex positivity has the power to influence broader political and social norms, changing the world one orgasm at a time.