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The Latest on Sex and Cannabis
Most of the time, cannabis enhances sex. Sometimes, it may ruin the experience, according to a recent University of Missouri study.
68% of respondents said cannabis before sex made the experience more pleasurable—great news! On the other hand, 16% said cannabis ruined sex for them. So, make no mistake, we are not here to argue that cannabis is a miracle enhancer. But if you are one of the nearly 25% of Americans who haven’t had sex in the past year, you may want to read on.
Safe and consensual sex is beneficial to your mental and physical well-being, and cannabis is one method that can help you have more of it. Particularly if you are a woman, cannabis appears to counteract many of the physical and emotional barriers that get in the way of regular mind-blowing sex.
What is so Beneficial?
Aside from reproduction and physical pleasure, sex is also linked to several factors related to short and long-term health. Let’s look at the data:
- Having sex at least 1 time per week was enough to make people happier
- 85 calories on average are burned during sex
- Sex reduces high blood pressure in women
- Sex targets and diminishes menstrual cramps
- Sex reduces migraines or cluster headaches by releasing endorphins
- Sex improves sleep (especially for men)
- Sex can reduce the risk of heart disease
How Can Cannabis Help?
The prevailing theory behind why cannabis is beneficial to general health and wellness is due to its synergy with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system is a medically recognized signaling network, which contains receptors that help the body maintain homeostasis in changing external environments. This signaling network has been proven to communicate with cannabinoids (think CBD or THC) to help improve its function.
When the ECS functions properly, your body is better equipped to regulate pain, emotions, anxiety, arousal, sleep, and reproduction—which is vital for having a healthy sex life. In a review of our 2016 patient data, the number of patients who reported difficulty with sexual function reduced from 51% to 26%, after 6 months of treatment with Tikun Olam strains. We theorize that cannabis is working with the ECS to produce these positive, life-changing results. Similarly, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence reported that support the claim that cannabis can increase pleasure and also result in more sex overall—especially for women.
Women and Cannabis
Women disproportionally experience more stress, anxiety, and depression than men, which may be one contributing factor to why women (generally) have less sex. While traditional medicine has failed to effectively ease stress and boost female libido, marijuana may provide an alternative solution. Research on cannabis use shows that women’s unique response to cannabinoids can produce a boost in sex drive.
A recent CNN article cited sex therapist, Israel Helfand, who advised cannabis may improve sex because women feel less pressure to perform and more secure in their bodies. On a physiological level, THC also appears to target receptors in the brain associated with sexual arousal for women, allowing them to feel more relaxed with increased pleasure and decreased pain. Unfortunately, men’s receptors do not appear to respond in the same capacity.
In addition to mental barriers, many women cite pain as a major reason for not wanting or not enjoying sex. PMS, migraines, and menopausal pain are all contributing factors that legitimately get in the way of the infamous mood you may seek. 180 million women also suffer from endometriosis, which is a common condition where tissue grows outside of the uterus causing severe pain during sex.
In 2017, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research journal studied the relationship between the Endocannabinoid System and pain management for endometriosis patients. The results suggested that cannabis may interact with ECS to improve the condition and reduce associated pain. Further clinical research is required to legitimize cannabis as a medical treatment for endometriosis, but we know that women are experiencing monumental levels of self-reported pain relief for all of the conditions noted above.
Less pain, heightened pleasure, and less stress are all vital ingredients in the recipe for better sex.
A recent survey evaluated women’s perceptions of how ingesting cannabis before sex affected the experience. The results showed that cannabis users reported 2X higher odds of having more pleasurable orgasms than women who did not ingest the plant. Another survey found that 16% of people used cannabis before sex to relieve pain and 83% of those people reported that pain was decreased by a lot or a moderate amount. In both surveys, cannabis use was inextricably linked to increased sex drive, better orgasms, and less pain.
More Sex Overall
In addition to a better experience, cannabis is also linked to having more sex overall. A recent population-based study that analyzed more than 28,000 women and 22,000 men found that cannabis users of both genders had significantly more sex compared with non-users. The same study also linked higher orgasm frequency with cannabis use.
Less is More
The findings are undeniably positive, but it is important to remember the stat that we mentioned at the beginning of this article. Quick reminder—16% of cannabis users felt that the plant ruined sex for them. It’s important to examine why that might be so you can reduce the risk of experiencing negative side effects.
THC—cannabis’s key psychoactive compound can cause anxiety and paranoia when taken in high doses—which does not exactly inspire arousal. The key to avoiding that potential side effect is taking less—maybe much less than you might think—and selecting a strain that makes sense for your unique personality, time of day, and physical needs. Small doses are all that you need to create heightened sexual experiences.
Strain and Delivery
If you are prone to anxiety, consider opting for a strain with a higher CBD to THC ratio. Indicas are preferred for a more relaxed experience, while Sativa strains are best for those seeking a more energetic experience. Experiment with dose and strain but consider using a vape or tincture as your method for delivery. Both of these methods are less harsh on the lungs and provide more immediate effects so you can evaluate whether or not you want to ingest more.