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. 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. 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 responses and perceptions change 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 other types of responses .
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 reported experiencing positive effects. The study concludes, “A better understanding of the endocannabinoid system in women is important… .”
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 . 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 perceived wellness and sensation-magnifying properties. Men in Serbia still consider hemp an aphrodisiac, believing that even wearing hemp clothes will increase their sexual virility .
Learn more in the Guide to CBD.
Can cannabis treat sexual dysfunctions?
A growing body of evidence indicates that cannabis has the potential. However, the FDA has not yet approved it for treating such conditions .
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 .
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.
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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.
- Endocannabinoid System-Wikipedia
- Marijuana Use Prior to Sex in Women
- Cannabis and Sex: A Brief World History
- Could Marijuana be an Aphrodisiac?
- How Cannabis Alters Sexual Experience
- New York Times-Live Well
- Can Marijuana Affect a Man’s Sexual Function?
- Medical Marijuana to Treat Dysfunction
- 2018 Farm Bill- Hemp Production
- What is the Orgasm Gap?
- Cannabis Helps Women Achieve Multiple Orgasms