Sex and Cannabis Use

By Justin Allec

In cannabis culture, some people believe that the herb is an unparalleled aphrodisiac. Champions of cannabis as a sex booster argue that the increased sensitivity to stimuli—i.e. touching—and increased mental focus lead to better bedroom romps. Could there be some truth to the idea that indulging in cannabis can lead to greater sexual enjoyment?

After doing the reading, I will spare you the tension and say that, when it comes to cannabis and sex, it depends on the individual. We simply don’t know everything about how cannabis interacts with us physiologically, so no one can definitively say how it might influence sex. You can make assumptions based on past experiences and terpenes profiles, but you won’t really know if you’re in a heightened mood until after you indulge—and what about your partner? Similarly, sex, even for an individual, is also complicated. What feels great one day might be the last thing on your mind the next, never mind mixing in cannabis.

However, there are some interpretations to be gleaned from the studies. Part of the hesitancy for researchers to make conclusions about cannabis and sexual enjoyment is that it’s difficult to measure and set parameters, unlike studies looking at, say, cannabis use and erectile dysfunction. The studies I read were based on surveys. While surveys can show a correlation, such as between cannabis use and increased sexual satisfaction, they can’t tell us why that relationship exists. A person may respond to a survey and say that using cannabis before sex leads to a better orgasm, but is that a true causation, or are they just responding that way because they enjoy cannabis overall?

The older surveys I looked at posit that using cannabis before sex can increase a person’s desire for a familiar partner, increase satisfaction and pleasure, and improve the sensation of touching. A more recent study using only women’s responses found that there was a correlation between cannabis use and stronger orgasms, but it didn’t push cannabis use before sex—if you’re using cannabis, this survey says, you’re having better sex overall.

Despite the lack of conclusions, there’s no shortage of cannabis products that claim to provide a love potion. The problems with these claims are that they are usually crowd-sourced by the providers and then spun into marketing schemes; there’s no “sexier” strain, just branding. A cannabis product might even sink your plans, as overindulging will derail your bedroom romp. There’s the pitfalls of lethargy, paranoia, and that spiralling inward focus that takes you away from your partner. There’s also potential numbness in the pleasure receptors and genitals. A final issue worth considering is consent. Introducing a substance into a sexual situation should only be done with the full awareness of both parties.

If you are still interested in using cannabis as boost to your sex life, I would offer the same advice I would to a beginner: pick a low dosage and go slow. Ensure your partner is on board. And realize that there’s potential for a good time, even without the cannabis.