Cannabis’s potential properties as an aphrodisiac have become common knowledge in recent years. Some say it’s because cannabis helps your body relax and give in to pleasure and euphoria. Others say it’s because it amplifies tactile sensations and slows down your mind. Whatever the reason, a dose of cannabis is bound to increase pleasure and heighten sexual enjoyment. But what about cannabis and orgasms? Does imbibing increase their intensity and allow you to have more of them?

Here, we’ll dive into the latest theories and science about how cannabis may affect sexual functioning and satisfaction. In particular, we’ll focus on the evidence about how cannabis may affect orgasms for both men and women.

The endocannabinoid system and human sexuality

To grasp how cannabis influences sexual enjoyment, its key to understand the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS operates throughout the human body and brain. It’s a network of chemical signals and receptors that seemingly affect many of the body’s functions, including sex drive. This system has a unique relationship with cannabis because of the similarity between the endocannabinoid receptors and the cannabinoids found in cannabis, such as THC and CBD.

Our endocannabinoids, molecules that have a structural similarity to phytocannabinoids from plants, naturally stimulate these receptors. And when we consume cannabis, our body’s receptors engage with the plant’s cannabinoids. According to research, these cannabinoids work like our natural endocannabinoids and alter our experience.

For example, our response to hunger, sexual desire, temperature, and other perceptions changes depending on which cannabinoids or endocannabinoids engage with the receptors. CB1 receptors mediate the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids such as THC, whereas CB2 receptors mainly regulate anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive responses [1].

Sexual Medicine recently published survey results that examined if people who used marijuana had increased sex drive, orgasm, lubrication, and overall sexual functioning and satisfaction compared to the control group who did not use marijuana. The results made clear that the marijuana users indeed experienced increased sex drive, more satisfying orgasms and orgasm intensity, and less pain. The study concludes, “A better understanding of the endocannabinoid system in women is important— and could help lead to the development of treatments for female sexual dysfunction [2].”

Aphrodisiac notions about cannabis through history

Sex and cannabis have an intimate relationship that dates back centuries. For example, traditional Hindu culture used cannabis as an aphrodisiac. As early as 700 AD, cannabis was widely used in Hindu tantric sex and yoga rituals inspired by pagan love goddesses.

Michael Aldrich, a Hindu historian who published a paper on tantric cannabis use in India, said that the use of cannabis in these contexts was intended to awaken the participants spiritually [3]. Aldrich describes these sex rituals as places where sexual intercourse was a vehicle for achieving oneness with the other. Participants would consume a drink called vijaya, which consisted of cannabis leaves, pepper, cardamom, and poppy, before the love-making events.

Many other cultures have used cannabis for increased desire and sexual functioning. For instance, in Eastern Europe, cannabis remained an essential crop for centuries because of its healing and sensation-magnifying properties, often associated with increased sexual satisfaction. Men in Serbia still consider hemp an aphrodisiac, believing that even wearing hemp clothes will increase their sexual virility [3].

Learn more in the Guide to CBD.

What the research says about sexual functioning and satisfaction after cannabis use

An October 2017 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine confirmed what many have instinctually known: cannabis likely boosts sexual activity. In this study, regular cannabis users had 20 % more sex than non-cannabis users [4].

Another 2022 study examined sexual responses in men and women after cannabis consumption and had similar findings. Many participants found that cannabis helped them relax, heightened their tactile sensations, and increased their emotions’ intensity, leading to better overall sexual experiences [5].

Cannabis and women’s sexual function: cannabis and orgasms go hand-in-hand

Dr. Becky K. Lynn, a sexual medicine and menopause expert and the founder of Evora Women’s Health in St. Louis, told the New York Times in April 2022, “I’ve had several patients come to me and say, ‘I have low libido. Can you help me? And, oh, by the way, if I use marijuana, I can orgasm, no problem.’” She added that many of these patients also experienced increased sexual pleasure and sexual arousal with marijuana use [6].

When Dr. Lynn realized how beneficial cannabis was to her patients, she surveyed 373 women about cannabis and sex. Of those, 34 percent reported having used marijuana before a sexual experience. Most said it improved their ability to orgasm, increased their sex drive, and decreased pain [5].

Men, cannabis, and the sexual response cycle

Research on cannabis use and sexual function among men is less readily available. Yet, several recent studies indicate that cannabis may improve men’s sex lives as well. According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, some men find that their sexual performance improves when they use marijuana [7].

For example, if a man is less anxious because of the relaxing effects of cannabis, the report claims, he may have better ejaculatory control. However, other men in the study reported problems associated with heavier cannabis use, such as less motivation for sex, but more research is necessary in these areas for results to be conclusive [7].

Learn more: Can Cannabis Help Erectile Dysfunction?

Can cannabis treat sexual dysfunctions?

Sexual dysfunction sometimes stems from anxiety or depression. People in this category may find themselves in a catch-22. For example, conventional anti-depressants like Zoloft or Prozac can do wonders for lifting depression, yet usually lower libido.

According to InhaleMD, this gap is precisely what cannabis can fill. In contrast to the libido-lowering side effects of most anti-depressants, cannabis can do the opposite while also lifting a person’s mood. Research indicates that unlike Viagra or Cialis, which target only physical dysfunction, cannabis may affect the possible causes of dysfunction: anxiety, depression, or emotional withdrawal. With medical marijuana, many people report feeling more relaxed and open to others while at the same time experiencing increased sexual arousal [8].

A growing body of evidence indicates that cannabis has the potential to counter particular sexual dysfunctions. However, the FDA has not yet approved it for treating such conditions. Nonetheless, many people find that it can help them:

  • Counter low libido
  • Ease painful intercourse
  • Reach improved orgasm capacity
  • Reach a state of reduced inhibitions
  • Achieve better orgasms (and sometimes multiple orgasms) from cannabis’ relaxation effects
  • Counter worry and stress, which can lead to better sex [8]

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The Farm Bills and cannabis legality

Though marijuana is still a controlled substance in many states, hemp is federally compliant in all 50 states, thanks to the Farm Bills. After the 2014 Farm Bill removed hemp from the Drug  Enforcement Agency (DEA) list of Schedule 1 substances, cannabis research took off. The Bill stated that cannabis with 0.3 percent or less Delta-9 THC is federally compliant for research purposes.

The 2018 Farm Bill expanded on the first Bill, allowing the commercial production and consumption of hemp-derived products, making materials and substances derived from legally-defined hemp federally compliant after over half a century of prohibition [9].

Federal legislation defines cannabis plants with less than  0.3 percent Delta-9 THC  per dry weight as hemp plants.  By contrast, a cannabis 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. Even so, some states allow medical and adult recreational use of marijuana containing much more than 0.3 percent Delta-9 THC.

Key takeaway

With everything we know about cannabis and orgasms, it’s reasonable to conclude that the right dose can light a fire in your libido and bring on the fireworks. And the best part of using cannabis to achieve this kind of sexual bliss is that most, if not all, the other possible side effects benefit you. Think euphoria.

Unlike taking Viagra or Cialis, which have so many side effects that the speed-reading voiceover actors can hardly fit them all into TV ads, cannabis will likely hit you on a deeper, more pure level. Ready to try? Earthy Now offers rich high-CBD, low-THC Cannabis Flower in 10 tasty strains! Order now!

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. Endocannabinoid System-Wikipedia
    2. Marijuana Use Prior to Sex in Women
    3. Cannabis and Sex: A Brief World History
    4. Could Marijuana be an Aphrodisiac?
    5. How Cannabis Alters Sexual Experience
    6. New York Times-Live Well
    7. Can Marijuana Affect a Man’s Sexual Function?
    8. Medical Marijuana to Treat Dysfunction
    9. 2018 Farm Bill- Hemp Production
    10. What is the Orgasm Gap?
    11. Cannabis Helps Women Achieve Multiple Orgasms

Frequently Asked Questions

Many women find that cannabis use before sex helps them have better and more frequent orgasms, but women’s responses vary.

The orgasm gap is a term coined to describe the “disparity in orgasms between couples [11].”

A new study suggests that females who take cannabis before sex are more likely to climax multiple times [11].

There’s unfortunately no one answer for everyone, plus not all indica are alike, nor all sativa. Sativa strains are typically more energizing and exciting, vs indica being more calming and sedating. Which one will help you or your partner get there better? Experimentation with a variety of indica, sativa and hybrid strains will help you figure out what works!