Guest written by Missy Modell, a musical parody artist and activist focused on the intersection of social justice and pop culture. Missy is the founder of YES MAM Creative, a consultancy for mission-based brands. You can find Missy on Instagram at @missymodell.
The reality is, despite cannabis being a big player in the bedroom, there is still limited research on its effects. Why? Well, the taboo culture surrounding recreational use of weed and its legality has made this specific topic very tricky; it has prevented extensive research on its efficacy and effects. Cannabis is a schedule I drug in the U.S. (i.e. the federal government ruled that it has high potential for abuse and low potential for medical benefit), thus making it difficult to study in a controlled environment. That being said, in the studies that have been done, there is substantial data to show that cannabis does indeed affect your arousal. Specifically, research focused on climax suggested that usage leads to more orgasms, while others have led to reduced sperm count and even erectile dysfunction (ED).
Like with anything, it truly is an individualized experience and affects each person differently, therefore making it difficult to make broad statements for all. But if you happen to find pleasure when you smoke or use CBD lube prior to getting physical, that’s great! With all of the information floating around (whether cannabis can heat up things in the bedroom, or extinguish them) we recommend keeping an open mind and doing what makes you feel comfortable. So let’s explore how the relationship between weed and sex can affect your sexual relationships with others and your own pleasure!
In a more recent medical survey on this topic, conducted by Becky Lynn, M.D., director of the Center for Sexual Health, it was found that, “people who reported ever using cannabis prior to sex were more likely to report having satisfying orgasms than those who did not use cannabis before sex (and this was a statistically significant difference). And those who reported frequent cannabis use (not necessarily before sex) were also significantly more likely to report having satisfying orgasms than people who reported infrequent cannabis use.”
Although emerging research suggests that marijuana use may enhance sexual function in women, the contrary may be true in men, with erectile dysfunction an issue among users - MD Linx
Let’s break down the science! Weed, aka cannabis, works as a vasodilator, which means it opens blood vessels and increases blood flow to the body. Our bodies also make their own natural version of cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), and within our brains there are multiple receptors that deal with sexual functions and interact with it, such as the amygdala and hypothalamus.
Research suggests that these compounds are already naturally used within our bodies during our regular sexual process, whether we’ve dabbled in cannabis or not! Adding cannabis to the mix helps increase blood flow and “has direct effects on the cannabinoid receptors in the skin and nerve pathways that are involved in perceiving pain. It can also affect some higher order functions, including memory and feelings of fear and anxiety.” (SELF)
It’s important to note that in this case, correlation does not imply causation! There has not been enough research to show how or why this happens to our bodies in terms of our sexual pleasure, but factors such as good blood flow, stress relief, and decreased anxiety are beneficial to pleasure in any situation.
It Can Increase your Sex Drive.
Ancient literature often referred to weed as an herbal aphrodisiac! It’s commonly used to enhance a variety of human experiences, and pleasure is one of them. (Lester Grinspoon, grandfather of modern medicinal cannabis research )
- Dehydration is Natural.
It might make it harder for you to get naturally lubricated. Similar to the cottonmouth experience when smoking weed, your vagina may have a similar dryness.
You'll Crave It Again & Again.
Once you do it high, you’ll likely want to do it high, a lot more. A qualitative study from The Archives of Sexual Behavior found that couples wanted “more sex after the first sexual episode on marijuana.”
- You Can "Over Medicate."
Sometimes it’s too much of a good thing. Ate the entire weed brownie? Too many hits of a joint? Being overly high can derail your arousal and make you want to hit the sheets…for a big nap. Some prefer to try experimenting with marijuana solo before introducing it into a partner setting.
Muscle Tension Washes Away.
Studies suggest that CBD may make sex less painful, due to the endocannibnoids that relax muscles. 40% of women suffer from "dyspareunia" or genital pain before, during or after sex. (Newsweek)
If you’re interested in exploring cannabis in your next physical experience, we sell CBD products at select Lovers Stores. Check a location near you!
New Study Shows How Marijuana Enhances Sex: Forbes
Is Smoking Weed Good or Bad for Erectile Dysfunction?: Healthline
How Does Cannabis Actually Effect Sex?: Self Magazine