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EMBER / Health
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May 18, 2019
Are Cannabis and Sex Truly Superior Bedfellows?

BY SUZANNE ZUPPELLO

We all have that person in our lives who insist that sex on insert-substance-here is the recipe for a mindblowing experience—and for that person, it may be. But sex is a deeply personal and nuanced experience that is difficult to replicate each time, so your best friend’s recommendation may not work for you.

However, it is still fun to experiment in a way that you, alone or with a partner, are most comfortable. As more states legalize cannabis and research can be conducted on how it interacts with our bodies in different situations, one thing we do know is that cannabis isn’t physiologically harmful to one’s sexual performance or experience.

Relation Between Cannabis and Sex

Mathew Gerson, the founder and co-CEO of Foria Wellness, which makes CBD and THC products to enhance a person’s sexual experience, but he doesn’t insist that cannabis in the bedroom is for everyone. “Once you step into the world of intimacies, everything is so radically suggestive,” Gerson says. “One person's experience of the best sex ever could have been something that was like real vanilla and really boring. It’s a continuum of experience.” He points to a recent study, The Relationship between Marijuana Use Prior to Sex and Sexual Function in Women,which found that cannabis does improve sexual satisfaction. Gerson pushes back on these results, asking what that statement really means? “We're at a point now in our sophistication of understanding how cannabis does interact with individuals in the context of intimacy and all the different variables…whether you're consuming it as a topical, wherever you're consuming it as an inhalable, or whether you're using it as an edible. You rarely see that amount of nuance when we're doing research.”

But these are drawbacks with any health-related study, as it’s not possible to control for all variables, especially when you’re working with a plant whose genomics aren’t well regulated and the human body. The lack of nuance does not mean cannabis has a positive effect on sexual health and experience. Dr. Michael Eisenberg, director of male reproductive medicine and surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine, has had a number of patients come to him, curious about how or if their cannabis use could negatively impact their sexual performance in the same way, say, alcohol does. The frequency of this query is what lead Eisenberg to co-author a study for the Journal of Sexual Medicine, which concluded that cannabis use is associated with an increased frequency of sex and that it does not impair sexual function. Eisenberg agrees that studies or anecdotes that focus on sexual experience adequately assess the way cannabis is being consumed or what strains.

Another study comparing sexual experiences related to alcohol and cannabis use provided an array of feedback from participants but, commonly, they indicated that while alcohol lowered their sexual inhibitions, cannabis use made them more intentional about what they were doing and with whom—which can be the start of a promising sexual experience. What these preliminary studies do tell us is that cannabis and sex do have a positive relationship, but the focus of cannabis research thus far has been on smoking or orally ingesting cannabis. Gerson’s Foria line uses THC and CBD in topicals and suppositories, in addition to a soon-to-launch microdose vaporizer, which enhances a person’s experience by accounting for why it needs enhancing in the first place. Foria Relief suppositories were developed to help women who could not have penetrative intercourse without experiencing pelvic pain. Gerson explained the intention behind this product: “We’re getting information about women who had difficulty with penetrative intercourse because of pain or they had medical conditions that were making intimacy challenging and they were taking opiates to deaden sensation. This would allow their partner perhaps to experience pleasure, but they didn't feel anything. Cannabis was very different. It was quieting the pained noise, lessening the discomfort, but it was allowing pleasurable signaling to pass through.”

Improving Sex with Cannabis

The names of Foria’s products are also meant to add a more playful element to sex. Its Explore variation is a rectal suppository to “ease and enhance erotic play,” while Empower, the vaporizer, aims to give people the experience we read about in the studies above, one where their senses are enhanced while still being in control—unlike the effects of alcohol or a hallucinogenic. The company also has a CBD line, which combines hemp-derived CBD with other natural ingredients, like vanilla, cardamom, and mint, in the Awaken massage oil. Gerson’s primary concern with incorporating CBD or THC into your sex life is that you may overshoot and have a bad experience; so each Foria product is designed with that in mind, making it difficult for their customers to overuse a single product.

As we continue to learn more about the effects of cannabis on our health, we’ll likely see more evidence that the plant may treat certain issues better than pharmaceuticals and provides a safer alternative for those of the mind-altering inclination. But early results show that, if you’re someone who enjoys cannabis, bringing it into the bedroom will elevate your experience.

Now that you've read about the best cannabis for sex, shop MedMen in California today and start sampling some products yourself.

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