Relaxing and throwing self-consciousness by the wayside is key if you’re going to enjoy sex fully. The problem is that some of us harbor stress and self-consciousness regarding notions of sex. But, happily, many men and women find cannabis helps reduce anxiety so they may better yield to the joys of sexual pleasure and fulfillment. So, is cannabis an aphrodisiac?

Like chocolate, another professed aphrodisiac, cannabis can enhance mood and leave users relaxed and happy, arguably some of the best aphrodisiac qualities. But even beyond the mood factor, cannabis offers other sexual rewards. For example, cannabinoids like THC can engage the body’s natural endocannabinoid system, triggering feelings of euphoria, more blood flow, decreased pain perception and enhanced tactile sensations.

There’s no single reason why cannabis may positively impact a person’s overall sexual experience. But there is certainly no shortage of first-hand reports to give us a glimpse into what cannabis can offer in the bedroom.

The history of sex and cannabis

Many cultures and eras have used cannabis to boost sexual desire and sexual pleasure. For instance, Priapus, the ancient Greek god of the erect penis, was influential in Roman religion and was the focal point of cannabis rituals [1].

Additionally, Tantrism entered Hinduism and Buddhism in the second century and was interwoven with cannabis use. For example, the practice included the ritual use of cannabis to elevate people’s consciousness through sex and connection. In Tantric sex, the participants focused on unity with each other and the universe instead of the sex itself.

Likewise, in medieval Europe, herbalists and healers used cannabis for various ailments, including low libido, until Pope Innocente VIII banned cannabis rituals, classifying them as heretical. Even in 19th and 20th century Britain and America, cannabis found its way into the hands of aphrodisiac seekers and was prescribed by doctors and healers as a sexual aid [1].

Learn more in the Guide to CBD.

The endocannabinoid system

Many of us are familiar with some of our body’s transmitter systems, such as the sympathetic nervous system, which gives us our fight-or-flight response. But fewer know about the more recently discovered endocannabinoid system (ECS). This transmitter system regulates many of our body’s functions: learning, memory, sleep, temperature control, immune responses and sexual function, to name a few.

This unique system regulates homeostasis and comprises chemical signals and cellular receptors throughout our brains and bodies. The CB1 receptors control the levels and activity of most of the other neurotransmitters by giving immediate feedback and adjusting our responses. CB2 receptors modulate mostly immune system functions [2].

Endocannabinoids have a similar structure to the cannabinoids in cannabis. That’s why we feel differently when we consume cannabis. The cannabinoids essentially work within our body’s ancient cellular machinery and influence responses as they engage with the cannabinoid receptors. One of the ways cannabinoids can change our experience is by enhancing our feelings of sexual arousal.

Does cannabis increase sexual frequency?

Recent studies suggest that endocannabinoids heighten sexual arousal in women and the overall sexual experience in both men and women, leading to more frequent sex [3].

Dr. Michael Eisenberg, an assistant professor of urology at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and Dr. Andrew Sun, examined data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) to learn more about how cannabis affects sexual frequency and function. The survey reflected a large-scale investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on fertility, childbearing, family life, marriage, divorce and men’s and women’s health.

More specifically, they questioned 28,176 heterosexual women and 22,943 heterosexual men about how often they had sex in the past four weeks. Additionally, the participants were asked how frequently they had used cannabis in the previous 12 months. The researchers found a strong correlation between how often people used cannabis and how often they had sex. Indeed, the men and women who used cannabis had 20 percent more sexual activity than those who did not.

“The overall trend we saw applied to people of both sexes and all races, ages, education levels, income groups and religions, every health status,” Dr. Eisenberg said, “whether they were married or single and whether or not they had kids [4].”

Is cannabis an aphrodisiac? If so, which cannabinoids are best?

At moderate doses, THC may provide increased pleasure and increased arousal. Dr. Becky Lynn, a professor at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, is the lead author of a 2019 study that asked 373 women at a gynecology practice in Missouri how their cannabis use affected their sex life. Most of the cannabis users in the survey said that use resulted in an increased sex drive and more satisfying orgasms. Additionally, most participants reported that it helped reduce pain or discomfort associated with sex [5].

CBD also can have a positive impact on sex. Recent studies have found that using cannabis helps menopausal women manage their symptoms. Hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and vaginal dryness may reduce libido. Cannabinoids like CBD may ease many of these symptoms, but more research is necessary [6].

Research on men’s sexual outcomes from cannabis use is sparse and sometimes contradictory. The International Society for Sexual Medicine claims some men report marijuana increases their sexual performance. In contrast, others claim it leads to less motivation for sex, erectile dysfunction (ED) or trouble reaching orgasm. But these adverse effects may be due to higher doses of cannabis. More research is needed to understand the precise causes and effects [7].

What sex therapists say about cannabis and sex

Sex therapist Amanda Pasciucco says that people who use cannabis may put less pressure on themselves, so they may not have the same performance anxiety. “A small amount of marijuana may also help increase your ability to communicate your preferences to your partner,” she told CNN.”

Sex therapist Lawrence Siegel maintains that Delta-9 THC, in particular, “appears to target a part of our brain associated with sexual arousal [8].”

So, is cannabis an aphrodisiac or a catalyst for a placebo effect? Susie Bright, a “sexpert,” weighed in on this subject to Motherboard Magazine. “If you hold a party and everyone uses marijuana or CBD, a few people will withdraw and don’t feel sexy, while others will feel flirty and receptive to advice. So, it’s challenging to pinpoint general truths regarding cannabis and pleasure [8].”

The Farm Bills and cannabis legality

Even in states that do not allow recreational marijuana use, consumers can find hemp products with enough federally compliant cannabinoids to contribute to better sex, thanks to the Farm Bills.

After many decades of prohibition, the 2014 Farm Bill ushered in the Hemp Research Pilot Program, which allowed long-forbidden research into cannabis to begin. The bill also changed the definition of hemp versus marijuana. It defined hemp as “the Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a Delta-9 THC concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.” The Hemp Research Pilot Program allowed scientists to explore new theories about the potential therapeutic and medical use of cannabis [9].

The 2018 Farm Bill sparked the modern cannabis industry, removing the federal ban and allowing a mainstream cannabis market to emerge. In particular, it authorized hemp cultivation, production, and sales as long as the resulting products contain no more than 0.3 percent Delta-9 THC.

Earthy Now High CBD CBG CBN Low THC Oil

Best cannabis products to increase libido and sexual satisfaction

Both indica and sativa strains are said to boost sex drive. Also, strains low in Delta-9 THC and high in CBD can make ideal choices for your pre-sex smoking or vaping ritual. Here are some beloved hemp strains said to promote relaxation and awaken desire.

  • Sour Suver: This high-CBD, low-THC strain is packed with tantalizing terpenes. It produces various effects, from clear-headed alertness and energy to calm and relaxation. Sour Suver is a sativa dominant hybrid with a pungent aroma of sour apple, bitter pine, and mild cheese. The effects range from creativity and energy to focus. Bred by Oregon CBD from Gorilla Glue and Suver8.
  • Cherry Bounce: Cherry Bounce is a popular strain for energy and focus. This Vermont-grown strain is bred from CBD, Skunk and landrace strains and has flavors of lemon and licorice with hints of cherry and fuel. Bounce along with your partner and this strain.
  • Uplifter: A perfect variety bouquet for day or night, Uplifter offers a balance between contentment, mental clarity, and sensual relaxation. Bred by Oregon CBD from Suher Haze and ERB, this coveted strain has earthy, woody tones mixed with pungent, over-ripe fruit.

If smoking or vaping isn’t your thing, cannabis-infused oils or chocolate can be a fun and delicious way to get in the mood. Also, a full or broad-spectrum cannabis-infused lube can increase blood flow and leave users feeling relaxed and ready for pleasure. A cannabis-infused massage oil can fill a room with alluring scents and add to sensual pre-sex rituals as well.

Wrap-up for cannabis as an aphrodisiac

Whether you want to call cannabis an aphrodisiac or simply a fun vehicle for fabulously good sex, it’s clear that cannabis has a lot to offer seekers of sexual pleasure. But if you go the way of THC, steer clear of high doses if you’re new to using the product as a sex aid. Otherwise, it might have the opposite effect of what you hope for. A little bit of THC goes a long way when it comes to the delicate workings of libido. Ready to try high-CBD, low-THC products? Check out Earthy Now’s wide selection of premium cannabis goods.

Read next: Is Sex Better When You’re High?

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. Global History of Weed and Sex
  2. Harvard Health-The Endocannabinoid System
  3. Endocannabinoid Concentrations in Women’s Sexual Arousal
  4. Marijuana Use Linked with More Sex
  5. New York Times-Marijuana and Sex
  6. Cannabis and Menopause Symptoms
  7. Can Marijuana Affect a Man’s Sexual Function?
  8. Boston Medical Group-The Cannabis Can-Do Aphrodisiac
  9. The Farm Bill and the Future of Hemp
  10. CBD and Libido
  11. Marijuana and Sex
  12. Cannabis and Increased Orgasms

Frequently Asked Questions

CBD may help relax blood vessels and promote vasodilation to the penis, which some have theorized may relieve symptoms of ED, but more research is needed before this becomes a standard practice [10].

Sativa strains may promote energy and precipitate more cerebral experiences than indica can, which some find beneficial for sex [11]. Keep in mind that effects can vary person to person so finding what works best for you is the key.

A recent survey about sex and cannabis showed that many participants reported these outcomes: increased sexual satisfaction, increased sensitivity to touch, and increased intensity of orgasms [12].