For those of us who love our weed – and our sex – well we know that you don’t have one without the other. Weed enhances our senses which intensifies response to sensual touch, it allows us to focus more on the moment, prolongs orgasms, and helps us feel a more intimate, mystical connection with our partner.
However, there are those who say it hampers their sexual experience—causing loss of libido and erections or it simply makes them pass out. So why the variables? How can the effects of weed on sex be more predictable? Just what is the skinny on weed and sex?
Thousands of years before the pharmaceutical companies came to the rescue of the sexually dysfunctional, men and women of varying ethnicities and sexual backgrounds were using marijuana to enhance their carnal appetites and experiences. Marijuana has been cited as an aphrodisiac in many ancient texts as well as in folk medicine. (Marijuana: The Natural Viagra?) In fact, it has been used in Tantric Indian rituals for over 3000 years! (Taking Advantage of Marijuana to Enjoy Better Sex) Cannabis as aphrodisiac has been revered throughout the ages with references to the sexual effects of the green herb documented in literary classics like Arabian Nights as well as its connections with Ayurveda and Tantra – and for good reason. (Let’s Talk About Sex…And Marijuana)
What the Experts Say:
So what is it about Marijuana that enhances sex? Dr. Lester Grinspoon, “the grandfather of modern medicinal cannabis research” is quoted in ‘Marijuana: the natural Viagra?’:
“I believe there are three broad categories of usefulness for this remarkably non-toxic drug. Two of them are quite available, namely, recreation and medicine…But there’s a third category, the capacity to enhance a variety of human experiences. There’s one that comes to everybody: the capacity to turn an ordinary dish into an extraordinary culinary experience. And the second is sexual experience.”
What a great comparison to make! We all know weed enhances our sense of taste just as it also augments our sense of touch. “That cannabis one receptor (CB1) seems to be involved in improved tactile sensations and general euphoria,” the New York magazine article continues, quoting Dr. Mitch Earleywine. So, if Marijuana enhances our sensations of touch over the whole body as well as increasing euphoria, it only follows that sexual experiences while stoned feel better, too.
Lisa Kirkman, sex advice columnist and pot activist, suggests “…oxytocin—which is naturally released during breastfeeding, sexual arousal and orgasm—is also stimulated when cannabis is consumed.” Pot demonstrates “muscle-contracting properties [which] could be utilized to enhance sexual performance.” (What’s the Best Sex Pot?) “Marijuana in general increases sensitivity and corporal perception, and works as a desinhibitor (sic),” Argentine activist Alicia Castilla says.
So not only does it make your whole body feel good but it seems the sacred combination of weed and sex prompt the body to release a double dose of ‘the love molecule’ and who doesn’t want more of that? Plus, the idea of uninhibited sex is, well, how it should be! So for those of us who know just how delectable weed and sex is – this all makes very much sense indeed.
But what about the different strains? Is sex best on sativas or indicas? According to Lisa Kirkman, “sativa works very well for couples seeking to increase their pleasure. Sativas have the effect of contracting muscles, which improves performance.” And “Ayurvedic medicine uses [sativas] to treat impotence and increase libido.” Also, the well known common traits of sativas make sense for sexual encounters as sativas produce more of a high with invigorating effects and they don’t make you drowsy or overly relaxed like indicas can. “However, there are cases in which indicas can work well, especially in the case of neurosis, anxiety or physical pain,” the article reminds us.
So it seems that a mixture of both the effects of sativas and of indicas might be the right idea. Kirkman therefore suggests that mixes of around 70/30 work better than 100% indica or sativa as pure varieties can cause extreme effects, such as sleepiness in the first case and paranoia in the second.
“As with both sexuality and relationships, however, with substances each individual has to find the right formula,” warns Castilla. The article continues, quoting “activist, grower, and chemical sector professional Jose Miranda….‘All of us who are regular users know that it depends a lot on each person and even the moment. In addition, we don’t all share the same tastes. My advice is for one to read up, get informed, and try for himself the variety he most prefers for that moment, and watch the dose.”
So, it’s also important to remember that “the effects of marijuana are never 100% predictable and depend heavily on the strain, situation, and person. Cannabis does not have the same effect when smoked as opposed to cooked, and the different strains have varying concentrations of THC, CBD, CBN, and other cannabinoids.” As far as sex is concerned, smoking and vaping methods are most recommended. So a good rule of thumb is to find what works best for you and your partner—and stick to it!
How does Weed Affect Male and Female Sexuality Different?
“Although cannabis may provide some males with disinhibitors for added confidence to ravage their female counterparts…women report more pleasurable sexual experiences from smoking pot than men.” The article continues, “In fact, one particular study showed 90 percent of women think being stoned makes sex feel better with 40 percent testifying that it magnifies the intensity of their orgasm.” Also worth pondering, it’s suggested, is how the positive sexual effects of marijuana may occur because of a metaphysical experience rather than just being a product of chemistry. This experience may be heightened in the female realm, perhaps.
So What do the Studies Say?
Well it seems that even today, medical studies concerning the effect of weed on sex are few and far between. “All we have are self-reported surveys on it; we can’t give it to people in labs,” states Dr. Earleywine. However, research and anecdotal evidence consistently show that in small doses, there are perceived positive effects. He explains, “Though a “strong subset” of users report sexual enhancement, a polarized minority reports sexual inhibitions.” The article continues, “Earleywine and Grinspoon suspect the polarity is “dose-dependent,” i.e., a negative consequence from getting too high. Dry mouth, “anorgasmia,” and getting stuck in your own thoughts are possible side effects of “high dose” use.”
So it really does seem that “variety in strains of marijuana — the balance of THC and other chemicals in each strain — can also alter results.” In the New York magazine article, a friend of Maureen O’Connor, the writer, confessed “I’ve never liked smoking weed…But then I started going out with a guy who had this kick-ass Weed That Changed Everything.” And that about sums it up—find the weed that works for you! Until of course we have more detailed information on the subject…cannabinoid prescriptions for sex-enhancing escapades perhaps?
A Summary of Studies
As far as the studies have found—a lot of information on this topic seems to be quite undocumented as of yet—about two-thirds of people generally find the effects of marijuana sex-enhancing. What I want to know is the strain of weed, the dose, the underlying circumstances i.e. other intoxicants, and the romantic situation. And I want to know if these were even considered or controlled for in the studies.
There seems to be a trend toward sexual experiences being enhanced in the studies, but more specifics need to be taken into consideration so the positive effects may be increased and the negatives decreased. As weed is now becoming more and more socially acceptable and is again considered to be a very low-risk drug, I’d love to see more detailed studies on this topic so as to enhance all of our sexual experiences.
Until then, check out my guidelines. I hope they work for you, they sure work for me!
1) Marijuana: the Natural Viagra? (nymag.com)
2) Taking Advantage of Marijuana to Enjoy Better Sex (Dinafem.org)
3) Let’s Talk About Sex…and Marijuana (Reset.me)
4) What’s the Best Sex Pot? 4 Sexy Marijuana Tips (Alternet.org)