Sex and Cannabis: the Perfect Match?

In all the talk about marijuana as a medicine, we forget about some of the finer things in life. One of those finer things in life is good, old-fashioned sex, which as we all know was invented in the 60s. Orgasms finally came around in the 70s. Before that it was just mindless rutting, lying back and thinking of one’s country. The end of World War II clearly turned us all into degenerate filth bags – or so we’ve been led to think.

In truth, marijuana has been used as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years. The ancient Indian Ayurvedic medicine systems used cannabis to increase libido, produce long-lasting erections, delay ejaculation, facilitate lubrication and loosen inhibitions. Reportedly tantric sex practitioners would (and still do) drink a substance called bhang, to enhance the sexual experience.

However, for as many people who use marijuana to get them going, others complain it halts any romantic activity. Here are four reasons why (and why not) cannabis could be an aphrodisiac for some people …

It Gets You Relaxed … Too Relaxed

Unsurprisingly, being stressed out and tense tends not to lead to sexy good times. Sharing a bit of cannabis with your partner can help melt that stress away, get both of you relaxed and “in the zone”. Moreover, an old study from 1983 shows us that marijuana not only helps people get aroused but also enhances sexual pleasure and increases the frequency of sexual activity. Cannabis users may also have more sexual partners (at least according to this book by Eric Goode)!

However, this is not the case for everyone. Where getting rid of stress can help some feel sexy, for others all cannabis does is put them to sleep. Most studies out there at the moment show mixed results, with some saying “yes please” to cannabis before sex, and others a huge “no thank you – it kills my libido.” The type of strain, dosage and time the cannabis was taken all seem to make an impact, too.

Why this is the case, nobody knows as of yet. There is much to be learnt and I am sure that for this sort study, lots of marijuana users would like to get it on and tell the scientific establishment of their findings!

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) – We Haven’t Forgotten About You!

We can’t go through a blog post without mentioning the ECS in some form or another, but it’s important to do so. After all, the ECS is involved in the modulation of both emotional and non-emotional behaviors, which includes sexual behavior as well. This could be because of the body’s own natural cannabinoid, anandamide, is one of the “triggers” for euphoria and pleasure.

This is why anandamide is often referred to as the “bliss chemical”, which is also responsible for the “runner’s high”. THC works on the same CB1 receptors as anandamide, and it could be this that causes people to become aroused when on cannabis, much in the same way some people are extra frisky after a hard workout at the gym!

The Strains Themselves

When it comes to weed as an aphrodisiac, some strains are more equal than others, it seems. Whilst this is anecdotal, it seems that many people report high THC-high CBD indicas to be most helpful. Lavender, Love Potion #9, Northern Lights #5 and blueberry-based strains (e.g. DJ Short’s Blueberry or Blue Cheese) seem to be most popular for letting loose in between the sheets.

Yes, it could be a specific indica:sativa and THC:CBD ratio within these strains that could be the aphrodisiac, but I will posit that it could be terpenes like the stress-busting, lavender-smelling linalool, the citrusy, mood-elevating limonene and the floral, chamomile-like alpha-bisabolol exerting their effects as well. Perhaps unsurprisingly, being relaxed and smelling of massage parlour can be a libido-enhancer for some.

It’s Ladies Night

The results of a study conducted through the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, supported one theory that cannabis is able to improve sexual enjoyment for women by increasing arousal and strengthening the physiological responses to sexual stimulation

After a topical oil containing cannabis was applied to test subjects, one group of subjects was shown erotic films. The other group was not given an outside stimulus. Physiological responses related to blood flow associated with sexual arousal were measured, and test subjects were found to have an increased sexual response following the application of the cannabis oil. In addition, subjective responses to questions concerning perceived sensation were answered positively after application of the oil.

The ultimate conclusion of the study was that a topical oil containing medical marijuana is an effective treatment for low sex drive in women. Medical marijuana containing a lower-than-average THC concentration has also been used to increase sensitivity and delay orgasm for women, giving couples more time to share the intimate experience.

With all this in mind, it is possible that the sildenafil of the future (that’s the generic name for “Viagra”, by the way) could well involve cannabis-derived cannabinoids and terpenoids as opposed to chemicals made in a laboratory.



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