Let’s talk about Cannabis and Sex!

It’s springtime now and love is in the air, so it’s a perfect time to talk about sex! It’s a topic that we often find funny or awkward to express, but it’s such an important part of being human. Lately, it seems cannabis has made its way into our bedrooms and everyone wants to talk more about cannabis and sex. And for good reasons! There are a number of benefits of bringing cannabis into your love life, and there is more than one way to enjoy this botanical aphrodisiac.

Cannabis enhances sexual function in women.
There are several factors that can take a toll on our sex lives, including stress, physical pain, and sexual trauma, and for these reasons, cannabis is extremely valuable as a tool to promote sexual wellness. The Journal of Sexual Medicine recently published an article that speaks to the benefit of cannabis for enhancing sexual function in women. In this study, there were 373 female participants and the majority reported that using cannabis increased their sex drive, decreased pain, and improved the quality of their orgasms (1).

Enhance pleasure sensations.
What is absolutely compelling about using cannabis as an aphrodisiac is that its effects are potentially long-lasting and therapeutic. One potential benefit is that cannabis has the ability to slow the perception of time and at the same time it can enhance feelings of pleasurable sensations, both important when we want to relax and be present in the moment. But there is more! Activation of endocannabinoid receptors in the brain has been shown to enhance dopamine, which is a modulator for female sexual function and is frequently associated with a sensation of bliss and euphoria. Receptors in the hypothalamus (a region in the forebrain) also regulate the release of oxytocin, which is responsible for a suite of sexual behaviors including penile erection, ejaculation, uterine contraction, and social bonding (4).

Promote relaxation and enjoyment.
But maybe even more importantly, oxytocin is responsible for suppressing and releasing induced fear, which can enable us to let go of the fear that is often associated with sexual trauma and potentially sexual dysfunction. According to the Cleveland Clinic, sexual dysfunction is defined as any problem that prevents an individual or couple from experiencing satisfaction from sexual activity and is experienced by 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men. Sexual pain and sexual fears are very common contributors to sexual dysfunction and can set off a cycle where fear and/or fear of pain can lead to avoidance of sexual activity (6). Using cannabis both topically and internally can promote relaxation and enjoyment of sexual touch and intimacy.

Make sex a more pleasurable experience.
For those that are new to cannabis use, but want to dip their toes into the pool, topical use is a great way to become better acquainted with its benefits. Topical use has a profound effect in the body, as it increases local blood flow to the tissues by dilating capillary beds, enhancing sensitivity to touch and stimulating lubrication of the vagina. Cannabis is a supreme anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain reliever). When applied topically, it can be used to soothe inflamed and painful tissues as well as to quell pain from overly sensitive nerves. It is also beneficial as an anti-spasmodic for smooth and skeletal muscles (5) so it can decrease elevated muscle tone that can contribute to pelvic pain during intercourse. The combination of increased sensitivity and suppression of the feelings of pain can help promote a more pleasurable experience all around.

Do more with Love Potion No. 7.
Humboldt Apothecary’s Love Potion No. 7 is the perfect product to incorporate into your love life.  This is a unique and special product because it can be taken internally as well as applied topically as a personal lubricant. It is a wonderful product to use alone when you want to give your own body some extra love and satisfaction, or even to use for dry tissues. It is also a wonderful lubricant and sensual enhancer for lovemaking with your partner. However, it is very important to note that it is not compatible with latex condoms! For people that want to become familiar, I like taking it sublingually and enjoying the wonderful aromatic flavors and the euphoric experience that it imparts. AND, I also delight in putting some on the tips of my fingers or in my palms to rub on to my sensitive bits. It makes for a wonderful and sensual lubricant and will enhance any sexual experience, and it’s a great way to treat yourself when you are in the mood for some erotic touch!

Lynn, Becky K; Lopez, Julia D, Ph.D., MPH, LCSW; Miller, Collin, MSW; Thompson, Judy, RN, CCRC; Campian, Christian, MD, Ph.D. “The Relationship between Marijuana Use Prior to Sex and Sexual Function in Women.” Journal of Sexual Medicine. January 12, 2019. https://www.smoa.jsexmed.org/article/S2050-1161(19)30009-1/fulltext.

Zygmunt, Peter M.; Andersson, David A.; Hogestatt, Edward D. “9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, and Cannabinol Activate Capsaicin-Sensitive Sensory Nerves via a CB1 and CB2 Cannabinoid Receptor-Independent Mechanism”. Journal of Neuroscience. June 1, 2002, 22 (11) 4720-4727. http://www.jneurosci.org/content/22/11/4720.

Shishko, Ilona; Oliveira, Rosana; Moore, Troy A.; Almeida, Kenneth. “A review of medical marijuana for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder: Real symptom re-leaf or just high hopes?” Mental Health Clinician. March 2018, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 86-94. https://mhc.cpnp.org/doi/10.9740/mhc.2018.03.086.

Magon, N.; Kalra, Sanjay. “The Orgasmic History of Oxytocin; Love, Lust, and Labor.” Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2011 Sep; 15(Suppl3): S156–S161. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3183515/.

Malfitano, Anna Maria; Proto, Maria Chiara; Bifulco, Maurizio. “Cannabinoids in the management of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis”. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 2008 Oct; 4(5): 847–853. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2626929/.