While little scientific research has been conducted (Thank you, Drug Wars!) on the intersection between the drug and our sex lives, 12-year cannabis educator and sexual lubricant entrepreneur, Chelsea Cebara, insists that cannabis causes the microcapillaries—the small blood vessels in erectile tissue—to engorge with blood which is the same as the natural arousal response. “And that has really amazing implications,” she says, “so it’s a natural thing to combine cannabis with sexuality in any number of ways.”
Ashley Manta, founder of lifestyle brand Cannasexual, has done plenty of her own experiential research: “I find that cannabis helps arousal in that it helps address things that get in the way of pleasure, connection and arousal,” the sex and relationship coach explains. “Some examples of things that get in the way could include pain (either acute or chronic), shame, anxiety, struggles with body confidence, difficulty feeling embodied, or struggles with communicating wants and needs. Cannabis, when used with intention, can help address some or all of these concerns.”
“Cannabis should not be seen as a performance enhancer, but more as a way to bring people closer together or reduce roadblocks to intimacy,” agrees Tristan Watkins, PhD and Chief Science Officer at LucidMood, a Denver based cannabis brand. In other words, through increasing emotional intimacy, which can be aided by cannabis, physical intimacy can be sparked. But cannabis is not an aphrodisiac in the same sense as chocolate or figs. Rather cannabis is an experience that can create the circumstances for sexual arousal to happen. In other words, it won’t put sex in your head, but can help grow your level of arousal once there.
If you’re ready to explore the exciting possibilities in the bedroom (or on the beach, or the pool, or the floor…or whatever you’re into), there are so many new products on the legalized market that it may be difficult to distinguish which item in what form will rouse the best results. There are lubricants, lollipops, chocolates, waxes, oils, flowers, and tinctures that could leave a novice consumer high on the possibilities before they even take their first dose. So, for the sake of any beginner who may want to brace for a cannabis-charged sexual journey, let’s simplify our exploration: Let’s differentiate the potential sexual properties of indicas versus sativas.
Today, sativa is colloquially associated with creative energy while indica is associated with mental repose. The distinction of strains is used in most any legal dispensary that sells the plethora of products described above. It helps organize the shelves and shelves of product, and more likely than not, a budtender will follow their initial greeting with something like, “Do you prefer indica or sativa?” However, most scientists dispute the idea that the two are unalike. Scientist Ethan B. Russo MD calls the sativa/indica distinction “total nonsense and an exercise in futility”.
Cebara agrees that categorizing strains as indica or sativa only further proves that “today’s cannabis strains are so far abstracted from the original designation that it pretty much doesn’t matter whether something is considered an indica or a sativa because of all the hybridization that’s happened and because of the grower influence being so strong.” In many ways, one could correlate this to the food industry’s use of marketing terms like “all natural,” which are more widespread adopted jargon than they are scientific truth.
Instead, according to Cebara, what we really should focus on is the biochemical makeup of the strain that you’re smoking—and how does that apply to your personal endocannabinoid system and your response to it. Just like any other prescription medication, different strains, regardless of how they are labeled, effect different people in alternate ways. Even if your budtender explains, “This Sour Diesel put me right to sleep”, and even though it is labeled as an indica, it may leave you with a hyperactive high. Only a few experiences that confuse what the experts suggest can make designations feel irrelevant, Cebara admits, even if you found a pure form of an indica or sativa. Our differing reactions then make it impossible to call one strain “hornier” than the other.
“What I tell people to do, if you’re smoking or you’re using an edible or vaping, you want to keep a notebook and write down everything that you try and what your reaction was, where you were at in your menstruation cycle [if you are a person who menstruates], whether you were hungry, whether you were tired, basically anything that was relevant to the experience. And over time you can do this kind of trial and error thing where you start to recognize what works for you and what makes you horny.”
If you’re a person unsure of where to even begin, Cebara recommends seeking out a hybrid strain with a differentiated effect, where they have the clear-headed mind high that one associates with a sativa and that kind of deep body feel that is associated with an indica. “But truth be told, it’s not about strain. It’s not about indica or sativa. It’s really about your own personal journey.”
So there you have it: some homework to get started on immediately.