A disclaimer: After almost 100 years of everything cannabis-related being off-limits, there’s not a ton of human research to back up CBD’s medical claims. One reason? “CBD is still considered a Schedule 1 drug on the Controlled Substance Act and as such, researchers and scientists are prohibited in doing studies,” says Bonni Goldstein, M.D., medical advisor to Weedmaps, a site that connects cannabis consumers, patients, retailers, doctors, and brands. So although anecdotal evidence has swelled like a tsunami (a survey from Remedy Review reported 68 percent of people said CBD improved their sex life), we’re still (eagerly) waiting for clinical backup.
If the big O has been slightly out of reach (or less than satisfying), enter: cannabis. A 2019 review paper showed cannabis led to longer, more satisfying orgasms.
Pain, Be Gone
This also comes down to how it (purportedly) helps the body deal with stress. In theory, if you manage bodily stress, your hormones will recalibrate as well. “While CBD can support some of the symptoms of hormone imbalance like pain, anxiety, or insomnia, it can also support via a key underlying root, stress,” says Gerson.
One of the best-known uses of CBD is as an analgesic — it’s used to relieve pain. And this is a big deal for many women when it comes to sex. Dyspareunia (a blanket term for disorders leading to painful sex) is a barrier that keeps upwards of 40% of women from enjoying — or even experiencing — intimacy and experiencing pleasure, according to some estimates.
This probably comes down to CBD’s well-known anti-inflammatory properties and ability to relax the muscles (less pain, inflammation, and tension would all contribute toward alleviating dyspareunia).
“It was amazing,” Rachel S. (who, understandably, requested that her last name not be used here) told me over email about her foray into the wild world of cannabis lubricant. “I would describe the feeling as if just your vagina was high without your mind being high. Everything felt intensified compared to normal.” In the words of Cardi B., okurrrrr. One thing worth noting, though: The lube Rachel tried was a mix of CBD and THC, so don’t expect as many fireworks with a CBD-only iteration.
“CBD lube can lead to increased sensitivity for some, and most experience relaxation which creates more willingness to receive pleasurable touch which in turn may lead to better and stronger orgasms,” says Tammy Nelson, PhD, a board certified sexologist and the author of Getting the Sex You Want. ” Using CBD lube can help with vaginal pain, with penetration, and can decrease and even prevent irritation.” She notes that some manufacturers claim that CBD lube can moisturize and regenerate skin, but says that hasn’t seen any studies that can confirm that.
. But what do people who have actually tried it say?
Given Rachel’s high praise, I decided to try the whole CBD lube thing for myself by way of Foria Awaken ($48). And, well, it really was amazing. It may have been part placebo effect, but it helped me chill the F out and relax while getting down to business in a totally new way. and I was damn near tempted to cancel my Friday night plans of going out and meeting boys to stay home with my CBD-lube and the Internet’s favorite vibrator. True story.
Research has, however, shown that there are some other sexy potential benefits associated with getting herbal in your intimate activities. CBD, and cannabis’s other standout element, THC, work with the endocannibinoid system in your body, which controls homeostasis and “can effect everything from your mood to your appetite to your sex drive and your body’s response during sex,” Dosist VP of Brand Derek McCarty told Well+Good last year.
Photo: Privy Peach