Cannabis and sex – what a high can do for you?
Stoners, good news: smoking weed can indeed enhance your sex life. High sex, along with many other normal activities completed after a toke, might be something you’re already deeply familiar with but, like most things, it’s the most gratifying if you do it the righ tway. At its worst, weed can make you paranoid, quiet, or weird, which no one enjoys while in the sack. (You: “Do you hear that? That, right there. There it is again!” Your partner: “I am leaving.”). But at its best, baked bone stimulates sensory experiences. So, now that rigorous scientific data supports the idea that having sex while high is not a bad idea. The question is, how do you have great sex while high?
Here's what the limited research tells us about cannabis and sex.
Most of what we know about cannabis and sex comes from self-reported surveys. Knowing that cannabis is purported to help with anxiety and pain, it makes sense that the plant may also enhance sex indirectly for some by affecting those other issues. But research directly linking cannabis to sexual enjoyment is somewhat lacking.
So, instead, researchers have often used self-reported surveys—in which participants are asked about their drug use and their sexual experiences—to get an idea of what’s going on. But a study like this comes with a few drawbacks.
For one thing, it requires relying on people to accurately (and honestly) remember how much and how often they’ve used particular substances, as well as what effect those substances had on their sex lives. Researchers also have no way of corroborating what survey respondents say. Scientists can’t test the drug people have been using to see what it actually is (does it have a high THC content? Is it a concentrate or an edible?) and they have to trust that they and their study subjects share a common frame of reference for and definition of subjective words to describe a highly personal experience, like “enjoyment."
Surveys also only show us a correlation between two things, like cannabis use and the enjoyment of sex. They can't assess the mechanism behind that correlation or even necessarily tell us why it exists. There can be all sorts of reasons why these answers were correlated the way they were, from something inherent in a person's personality to the self-selecting nature of the survey respondents. It could be that people who are eager to take a survey about cannabis use are more likely to have had a positive experience with cannabis, and so they're disproportionately less likely to report having issues with it.
This is how cannabis could theoretically impact sex.
In case you didn't know, your body makes its own natural version of cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), and there is a significant amount of receptors for those compounds “in areas of the brain that deal with sexual function,” Dr. Lynn says, such as the amygdala and hypothalamus. Recent research suggests that 2-AG, an endocannabinoid, is released in humans after orgasm, suggesting that these compounds may be involved in normal sexual processes.
But what happens when you add cannabis to the mix? We do have some answers: Cannabis is a vasodilator (meaning it opens blood vessels and increases blood flow), Dr. Tishler explains. It 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.
Despite the lack of research, there are a ton of sex-related cannabis products.
In case you're curious, as we’ve discussed, there search surrounding cannabis and sex leaves a lot to be desired. So your mile age will undoubtedly vary with any product claiming to help you with a sexual issue or to enhance the experience of sex. And the good ol’ placebo effect may dictate a good amount of what happens.
General tips and tricks
Use (lots of) Lube
“Cotton mouth” refers to the feeling of dryness that smoking can induce. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, can actually block the glands that produce saliva. Of course, that symptom can usually be remedied with a tall glass of water. But the mouth isn’t the only place on the body that lacks moisture after smoking. “Cotton vagina,” as it turns out, is also very much of a real thing. And as anyone knows, dry sex is most definitely not good sex. Fortunately, as Dillon reminds us, there are a lot of pubes on the market. Make sure to have one handy. And, hey, if you want to keep with the theme of the evening, there are also a variety of weed-infused intimacy products to choose from.
Marijuana spurs creativity. And if that invigorates you to explore the most random sex positions you never knew existed, embrace it. Play jazz. Try new things that you and your partner are comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to voice your thoughts, too. Let them know what they are doing right and how they can enhance it.
Be careful with edibles
Edibles are a fun way to get high. They taste good, are easily stored, and allow you to dodge the risk of getting caught in a coughing fit. Plus, they take smoke and smell out of the equation, which can be a perk if you have kids sleeping around the corner (vape pens are also a goodway to get an odorless high). But, they do come with their own set of drawbacks. It’s harder to measure the amount of THC you're consuming with edibles. They also take a while to kick in. “Take a small dose and see how your body responds before taking more,” Dillon suggests.
Don’t get too high for high sex
“Less is more,” says Dillon. “You want to enhance the moment. You don't want to consume so much it takes you out of the mood,” he adds. Remember, getting high is a gradual process. If you rush the process, you may end up getting more stoned than you want. So start small, and go slow.
The bottom line
There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that cannabis makes sex better. Research even shows that cannabis users have more sex than non-users. If you want to give it a try, cannabis is usually well-tolerated when used as directed. Be sure to purchase products or flowers from a reputable, licensed source — and have fun exploring!
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