For years, cannabis and sex seem to suffer compatibility issues. Dudes had long heard marijuana was a bonerkill, and mouths weren’t the only thing women feared would dry up after a toke. But as weed’s decriminalization began to spread among the states, more studies on the plant’s effect on intimacy rolled out—many in the last year alone. Now, a simple Google search tells us that when combined strategically, cannabis can actually enhance sex.
Let us count the oft-reported ways. For one, cannabis enhances sensation. Its active ingredient, THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), can render the genital areas flush with dilated capillaries, increasing blood flow and oxygen—and, thus, sensitivity. It also can reduce inhibition, which means you’re not only more willing to have sex, but also ramp up what you’re willing to do sexually. Subjects of a pivotal study released last year by Stanford University said they had more sex while high, while other surveys suggest that libido, um, goes up, too. And it turns out sex can be less painful on cannabis, too.
So how to go about enjoying sex while stoned? There’s no best route to getting down and doobie. Traditionalists who like a pre-coital smoke should consider their desired effect. Looking to relax and be more in tune with your partner? Veer toward indica or indica-leaning strains like Bubblegum Kush or Green Love Potion. Prefer a more energetic experience? Seek out sativa varieties such as Ultimate Trainwreck or Sour Diesel.
But why ingest THC when it would be more fun to apply it on—or in—your body? The cannabis industry has had no problem infusing lubricants and massage oils, and this includes Las Vegas-based Evergreen Organix. Its Intimate Massage Oil is designed for augmented stimulation (and other non-sexual uses). Foria also carries a well-reviewed lubricant spray called Pleasure. This raises the question: Does loco lube work for both men and women? Most infused topicals work best when applied to thinner membranes—and thus are geared toward women. But any gender can enjoy Foria’s Explore suppositories, which forego the psychoactive effects of THC given its direct route into the bloodstream.
And speaking of eliminating the head buzz, look no further than products that swap THC for CBD, or cannabidiol, which can be administered by oil, vape, spray, topical, tincture (the CBD is dissolved in alcohol) or edible. Take Knob Polish, made by Jack—one of the brands owned by local company Altitude Products. It’s the rare male-marketed lubricant, though it benefits the user’s partner—not for nothing has Knob Polish increasingly appealed to gay men. And what could be more timely than a sexy Valentine’s Day soak? Life Elements makes a 200 mg-CBD bath bomb loaded with, per Life Element’s website, “pink Himalayan salt for balance and relaxation and ... black pepper to spice things up.”
A word of warning to those looking to incorporate THC or CBD into sexytime: Effectiveness and intensity depend on various factors, such as the individual characteristics of cannabis strains, the dosage amount, the delivery method (smoke vs. edible vs. etc.) and, in the case of THC, frequency of use. And no matter the current research, experts say much more is needed before we can crown sex and cannabis as pleasure’s greatest tag team.