Maybe you have experienced the sensations yourself or heard your friends discussing it, but are the rumours true? It turns out there isn’t just a recreational interest in weed and sex, but a scientific one. For pleasure, arousal, orgasms, and more, cannabis seems to play a fun and exciting role in sex.
Unsurprisingly this isn’t a big area of study, but a growing number of researchers are interested in the question of sex and cannabis use. As always, cannabis remains hard to study (especially in the US where it remains federally illegal). And, sex and weed aren’t at the top of the priority list. But you’d be surprised to hear just how much we know about this recreational combination.
Are the Rumours True About Marijuana for Sexy Time?
According to reports from both men and women, a toke to two before sexual activity improves satisfaction in a myriad of ways. Of course, for people who have been lighting up for decades before getting down, this isn’t news.
In 2019 the Journal of Sex Medicine published a fascinating survey entitled “The Relationship between Marijuana Use Prior to Sex and Sexual Function in Women.” The researchers behind this survey polled 373 participants from an obstetrics and gynecology practice, with 127 reporting having tried cannabis before sex.
It turns out, a majority of these women reported positive experiences, and increased satisfaction if they smoked before sex. As the authors broke it down, “Most women reported increases in sex drive, improvement in orgasm, decrease in pain, but no change in lubrication”.
The Science Behind Weed and Sex
Why does cannabis impact sexual experience? It all comes down to the role of the endocannabinoid system. This system is a body-wide network of endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), which communicate via naturally produced chemicals called endocannabinoids. Cannabis mimics these endocannabinoids to work within the system therapeutically.
The endocannabinoid system, among its many other jobs, regulates sexual function. We have a high concentration of receptors in the areas of our brains that are responsible for sexual activity. Other research has demonstrated that the level of endocannabinoids (the natural chemicals) in a female body influences physical and subjective arousal.
Cannabis contains cannabinoids, which are molecularly similar to endocannabinoids. When you smoke a THC packed pre-roll before turning off the lights, it could boost our own cannabinoid function before, during, and after sex.
So far, science confirms that cannabis makes sex feel better. Weed may also help improve overall satisfaction with sex because it reduces anxiety (performance anxiety, fear) while also decreasing pain (often a factor for women’s dissatisfaction). These are both assumed effects based on other proven medicinal benefits of marijuana. Because there haven’t been any studies on cannabis for reducing pain or anxiety related to sex, this is still just a scientific hypothesis.
Work on lab animals has helped researchers figure out some aspects of this exciting relationship, but not all. Like many aspects of cannabis and the human body, it’s still pretty mysterious.
Differences Between Men and Women
Interestingly, new research is finally looking at how men and women experience cannabis based on physiological gender differences. The male and female bodies are different in many ways, and one of these how each gender relates to cannabis exposure.
For example, women get sleepier, and they also have an increased risk of dizziness when they get high. Men tend to have an elevated heart rate, compared with their female partners.
In an early questionnaire-based study exploring the gendered role of cannabis between sexes, researchers discovered a few interesting details. In this 1984 paper “Marijuana use and sexual behavior,” both men and women reported more sexual pleasure, more desire for a sexual partnership, and that touching felt better.
On the flip side, this study also reported a few differences between the genders. Men were more likely to say getting stoned boosted their orgasm than women. However, that didn’t leave all women out, as 34 percent of women said the high improved their orgasm. Women reported that cannabis made them want to cuddle a bit more than men said it did.
Now that cannabis is legal, and a bit easier to study than in 1984, it would be very interesting to see this survey replicated in an actual study – with test subjects.
What is a Good Strain for Better Sex?
Unfortunately, in this case, there isn’t a single answer that would boost arousal, pleasure, and satisfaction for everyone. That’s one of the exciting, and sometimes frustrating parts of cannabis. Everyone experiences it so differently.
Even if there isn’t a lot of science behind the best strains of cannabis to improve your sex life, that doesn’t mean we can make some suggestions!
Generally speaking, most people get a sexy kick out of THC. While CBD and minor cannabinoids may play into the increased sexual arousal, it’s the THC that really turns it up a notch.
Happily, for those who like low to moderate THC doses, a little goes a long way for better sex. Even a 5 to 10 milligram edible, or a few puffs from a pipe is enough to stimulate exciting new sensations. Play around with different THC-rich strains, something like Critical Mass or Gorilla Glue #4, to find one which elevates your next bedroom romp session
Most experts agree that the terpene profile helps make different strains of cannabis stand out from one another. Terpenes, which are the aromatic oils produced in the plant, make one strain sociable, one energetic, and another super-sleepy.
While there isn’t a ton of scientific research behind which scents seem to boost sexiness, why not experiment? Try a few strains before heading into the bedroom and see which one makes the experience a memorable one.
Cannabis for Sex: The Next Frontier of Study
The more we find out about people’s experience with weed and sex, the more fascinating it gets. It’s taking a bit for the research to catch up with real-life use, but slowly science is making cannabis a sexier and sexier plant.
Patient surveys tell us it can make sex feel better, arousal more intense, sensations heightened, and perhaps even better orgasms. With these benefits, it well worth a bit of experimenting with weed and sex in the bedroom and beyond.