Have you noticed certain cannabis products and strains dropping hints about their sexual benefits? Betty’s Eddies Smashin’ Passion, House of Wise’s Sex Gummies, Candescent Connect, the list goes on… These names are no accident and likely not only chosen because, in advertising, “sex sells.”

Cheeky branding aside, it turns out that cannabis can be a serious boon in the bedroom. Read on to learn about how and why cannabis and cannabis products can be your friend when it comes to sexual enjoyment.

The endocannabinoid system and sexual arousal

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of chemical signals and receptors that operates throughout the human brain (central nervous system) and body (peripheral nervous system), including the sexual organs. Potentially employed in almost every aspect of our functioning, the ECS has a unique relationship with cannabis because of the interplay between the endocannabinoid receptors and the cannabinoids found in cannabis. 

Within this system, our body’s natural receptors get stimulated by our body’s own endocannabinoids, molecules that have a structural similarity to molecules in the cannabis plant. These cannabis-like molecules travel through our bodies, affecting our sensations and perceptions. Similarly, the effects of the cannabis plant occur when cannabis molecules (cannabinoids or phytocannabinoids) use our bodies’ cellular machinery and engage with the cannabinoid receptors [2].

The cannabinoid receptors are composed of CB1 and CB2 receptors and are stimulated by cannabinoids: either endocannabinoids (made by our body) or phytocannabinoids (made from plants). These receptors appear to help influence neural activity in response to things like hunger or temperature. CB1 receptors mediate most of the psychoactive effects of certain cannabinoids (when applicable), whereas CB2 receptors are more associated with anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive responses [2].

A brief history of sex and cannabis

The connection between cannabis and sexual pleasure, sexual function, and sexual performance has been documented throughout the ages. In seventh-century India, cannabis was featured in the Kama Sutra and used in tantric sex rituals. Additionally, cannabis was used to honor the pagan love goddess Freya in pre-Christian Scandinavia. The inhabitants of the time purported that cannabis held erotic powers. Those who consumed it, they believed, would receive the seductive powers of the Freya [3].

Victorian Europeans may not have been as stuffy as we imagine. In fact, they believed that cannabis promoted happy marriages. Meanwhile, in the US, cannabis was advertised as an aphrodisiac in The Pharmacopeia from the late 1850s to 1940s. The Pharmacopia promoted cannabis pills and extracts that were recommended by doctors for “stimulating the sexual appetite” and countering the lack of sexual desire, a condition they referred to as “sexual torpor [4].”

But all that ended in the late 1930s during the era of “Reefer Madness” when the US Federal Bureau of Narcotics commissioner Harry Anslinger made the ugly claims that cannabis turned women into nymphomaniacs who sought “relations with Negros and entertainers. [5]” This sexist and racist rhetoric advanced the agenda of cannabis criminalization, resulting in its designation as a Schedule I controlled substance.

Fortunately, many forms of cannabis have now been leglized, and a multitude of cannabis products are now available for widespread use [5]. 

Learn more in the Guide to CBD

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Will CBG boost your sexual energy?

Though cannabigerol (CBG) is a lesser-known cannibinoid, many covet it for its unique benefits. People take CBG for the energetic feelings they get, though more research is needed to know the science behind the perceptions. Some CBG users compare its effects to a rush of creativity. 

Can Delta-9 THC intensify a sexual experience?

Delta-9 may amplify what you feel, whether bliss or shyness. That’s why it’s important to go easy on Delta-9 THC products if you are not an experienced user or if you find yourself standing in your skivvies undergoing an existential crisis. But, don’t worry. If you start low and go slow, as they say, you should do well. Or, if the effects of Delta-9 are not for you, choose a different cannabinoid, one like CBD. 

Alternatively, you may want to explore the issue of whether it might not be the THC making you nervous but rather the type of strain. There are plenty of sensual cannabis strains to play around with until you find the perfect balance of cannabinoids.

Does cannabis enhance orgasm?

Cannabis affects people differently. Unfortunately, the jury’s still out on how cannabis affects orgasm. Fortunately, the best way to find out is probably to try for yourself.

Menopause, cannabis, and libido

Any woman approaching menopause will tell you that a lot changes when her estrogen begins to wane. Some women’s sex lives become complicated by this loss of estrogen since the hormone is part of what fuels a woman’s sex drive. 

How much cannabis should I take for better sex?

How much cannabis you should take depends upon the strength of the product, the cannabinoids present in it, and what you hope to experience. The effects of different strains vary widely, so it’s hard to recommend a specific amount for everyone. However, most products provide suggested doses listed on the packaging. But the strength of its effects will differ depending on the individual, their body weight, what food or other substances they may have in their system, and their unique body chemistry. Thus, it is recommended that you start with a small amount and gradually increase it until you reach the results you desire.

Someone newer to cannabis can achieve a lighter effect by taking half or a  quarter as much of the recommended dosage. In contrast, people who know what effect cannabis has on their bodies can take more for stronger results. Each individual is different, so it’s a process of finding the right balance. A good rule of thumb is to go easy on your pre-sex cannabis intake and then inch your way up if you find yourself curious about a higher dose.

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The legality of cannabis: know the facts

After the 2014 Farm Bill removed hemp from the Drug  Enforcement Agency (DEA) list of Schedule 1 substances, the commercialization of cannabis hit the country by storm. The Bill made hemp, which was designated as cannabis with 0.3 percent or less Delta-9 THC, as federally compliant and allowed long-forbidden research to begin after almost a century of prohibition.

Expanding on the first, the 2018 Farm Bill allowed the production, sale, and consumption of hemp-derived products, making it clear to legal experts that all plant materials and substances derived from legally-defined hemp are federally compliant [13].

Federal legislation now defines cannabis plants with less than 0.3 percent of Delta-9 THC per dry weight as hemp and allows hemp production and consumption in all 50 states. A plant with more than 0.3 percent Delta-9 THC  per dry weight is defined as marijuana, which federal law still treats as a controlled substance on the DEA’s Schedule 1 list. Even so, many states allow medical use and/or adult recreational use of cannabis containing much more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC.

Thanks to the Farm Bills, a wide range of hemp-derived cannabis products are legally available even in states that do not have medical or recreational marijuana programs.

Key takeaway

Now that cannabis is widely accessible, and myriad products are federally compliant, there’s no excuse to avoid cannabis. The tricky thing is this: there are so many amazing cannabis products, how do you choose which product is right for you?

There’s no harm in trying different types of cannabis products to put wind back in the old sails. The good news is cannabis can be a tried and true method of getting in touch with your inner love goddess, so there are countless ways to explore good lovin’.

Learn more in The Complete Guide to Cannabis and Sex

Medical Disclaimer / Legal Disclaimer – Information is provided for educational purposes. It does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice or medical advice. We attempt to be accurate and up-to-date, but the legality of cannabinoids and the science of cannabis are evolving. The author is neither a legal professional nor a medical expert. Before buying or using any products, you should check with your local authorities and medical providers.


  1. Cannabis
  2. Endocannabinoid System
  3. Cannabis and Sex A Brief World History
  4. Robert Clarke Cannabis Evolution and Ethnobotany
  5. Cannabis and Sex A Woman’s Guide
  6. NY Times Marijuana and Sex
  7. Get Base CBD Sex Benefits 
  8. Anandamide 
  9. What is CBG (cannabigerol) & What Does this Cannabinoid Do?
  10. Women Who Use Marijuana Have Better Orgasms Study Claims
  11. Effects of THC on Sex
  12. Menopause: Cannabinoids & Sexual Health 
  13. HIA Position Statement on Delta-8 and Hemp Cannabinoids

Frequently Asked Questions

Both sativa-dominant and indica-dominant cannabis strains can enhance a sexual experience, yet individual needs and desires vary, as does the wide range of effects from different hybrid strains. 

Anecdotal reports and limited studies indicate that cannabis may bolster sexual function, but more research is needed to confirm these promising ideas. 

Product labels have suggested serving sizes, but is recommended to start with a small amount and gradually increase it until you reach a satisfactory level. This is especially recommended to a novice cannabis consumer. Consult with your healthcare provider for guidance.