Cannabis and sex are a match made in heaven. It’s been scientifically proven that cannabis can increase libido, enhance sexual pleasure for vulva-owners, and even help with erectile dysfunction. If you’ve had stoned sex in the past, chances are you smoked before getting down and dirty, but there are plenty of other ways to incorporate cannabis into your sex life. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know, including how to use topicals like lubes and oils, the benefits of CBD and THC, tips for properly dosing edibles, and tricks for avoiding buzzkills like cottonmouth.

But before we get into all of that, it’s important to understand the difference between THC and CBD, the main cannabinoids found in cannabis. THC is the psychoactive chemical that causes the feeling of being “high,” whereas CBD (also known as hemp) is non-psychoactive, meaning that it alone can’t get you high, but it can relax the muscles and relieve bodily tension, in addition to possessing many other medicinal properties.

How you consume cannabis is entirely up to you! You can smoke, vape, use tinctures, eat edibles, apply topicals, and more. If you’re unsure about the legality of cannabis where you live, you’re not alone. Federal and state laws notoriously contradict one another, but thankfully there are resources to help you determine what and how you’re legally allowed to consume one of the most sought after plants on earth.


Lotions, potions, and lubes

If you’re not a regular cannabis-user, or you’re just starting to introduce it into the bedroom, consider experimenting with a topical product like a massage oil or lube. Topicals can be infused with THC or CBD and can be used for a multitude of reasons—awakening the body by enhancing blood flow, relaxing tense areas, and increasing sensitivity—without getting you high.

It’s important to note that everyone’s experience with topicals is different and can be affected by a number of factors including current state of intoxication, tolerance level, general sensitivity, level of arousal, and more. Some users describe a relaxing sensation while others claim that their THC lube gets their vulvas high.

“A cannabis infused lube or arousal oil is a great start,” suggests Gabrielle Noel, sex and dating writer and influencer. “I love those products for solo play with vibrators because it can really extend the session. Vibrators make me orgasm pretty quickly, but cannabis lube helps me have multiple orgasms.”

If you’re buying something over-the-counter, be sure to check all the ingredients. Dr. Caroline Hartridge, DO General Practitioner and CBD/Medical Cannabis Expert, cautions, “Be careful about added ingredients that may cause adverse reactions, like essential oils or other scents.” Foria makes a great coconut oil-based CBD lube, or you can make a THC-infused oil at home! Just remember that anything oil-based is not latex-friendly!


Smoke (or vapor) and mirrors

Smoking, in itself, can be a highly erotic activity. Those who have a “smoking fetish” love everything from the movement of the smoke to the way it smells when it’s blown in their face. If inhaling smoke doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, vaping could be your perfect match. Vaping essentially “bakes” your flower and releases vapor that’s consumed at a much lower temperature (315°-360℉) compared to combustion (451℉).

Smoking or vaping is the fastest way to feel the effects of THC, and it can be a great way to connect with your body and with your partner. It's also the easiest way to consume cannabis slowly and determine dosing which is key if you’re not a veteran stoner.

To level up your solo-smoking or vaping game, create a masturbation ritual that involves cannabis. Visualize inhaling the smoke or vapor to all your different erogenous zones. If you’re with a partner, blow smoke or vapor into each other’s mouths or try smoking/vaping while your partner is going down on you (if you’re able to multitask). Lighting up a post-orgasm joint or blunt can also be a great addition to aftercare.

Smoking isn’t just for folks looking for a buzz. “For anyone who doesn't enjoy the psychoactive effects of cannabis, smoking hemp is great too,” according to Gabrielle.


Make it tasty

If puffing and passing doesn’t appeal to you, edibles may be the perfect alternative. “I adore edibles for sex because they last a long time, provide such a great body high, and I prefer a more intense experience,” says Sophie Saint Thomas, journalist and author of Finding Your Higher Self: Your Guide to Cannabis Self-Care.

If you’re worried about getting too high from edibles, you can experiment with microdosing. Start by consuming a small dose of THC, like five milligrams, and then wait at least an hour before consuming more. While you’re waiting for the edible to take effect, have some fun! It’s far better to be in the middle of an activity and realize you’re starting to feel warm and fuzzy than to sit and wait for the first inkling of a high. Try edging yourself, or if you’re partnered, give each other erotic massages to build desire before a night of stoned sex.

Keep in mind that dosing can be a bit trickier with homemade edibles. If you decide to take the DIY route, be sure to keep track of how much cannabis you’re using and thoroughly mix your THC oil/butter into your recipe for even distribution.


Awaken and heal

Cannabis doesn’t just have the ability to make solo and partnered sex feel amazing; it can also alleviate pain and discomfort during sex. Before you get started, use an infused oil to gently massage any part of the body, internal or external, that experiences tension during sex. If you suffer from pain or discomfort during penetration, Sophie suggests “trying a pleasure spray for people with vaginas, or using a suppository vaginally or anally, to prepare for penetration and lower pain without numbing yourself.”

In addition to its pain relieving properties, cannabis can awaken parts of the body that may feel numb or desensitized. “CBD and THC work as vasodilators bringing more blood flow to the area of application” says Dr. Hartridge. She also adds that it serves to ease an anxious mind by helping folks “experience their body sensations louder than their thoughts.” Many survivors of sexual trauma turn to topicals to help increase sensitivity in the vulva and/or anus, while also using cannabis to get out of the head and into the body.


Avoiding buzzkills

When I first started to have stoned sex, I would roll an admittedly sub-par joint that my partner and I would share before and during foreplay. Although I was brimming with desire, my mouth and vulva didn’t seem to get the message because they were drier than a desert! At the time, I felt so embarrassed so I “powered through” leading to some of the worst oral sex performances of my life. After some Googling, I quickly learned that there are some minor downfalls to smoking and fooling around but thankfully there are solutions to all of them. To ensure you have the most positive outcome in your high sex journey, here are some things to keep in mind and prepare for in advance.

Choose the right strain. Cannabis strains have come a long way, with thousands of different strains grown all over the world. But, to get started, all you need to know are the three basic types: sativas, indicas, and hybrids. Sativas have a higher concentration of THC and are great for an active high, indicas have a higher CBD concentration and provide a more relaxing, calming buzz, and hybrids fall somewhere in the middle producing an even balance of head and body high. I personally think that the perfect “sex strain” is a hybrid or a sativa-dominant hybrid. A pure sativa can cause you to get too “in your head,” while a pure indica can potentially relax you to the point where a nap sounds more appealing than getting frisky. Choosing something in the middle and consuming it at a slow pace is the best way to ensure a comfortable and exciting experience. If you want to learn more about individual strains, use an app like Leafly or Weedmaps to help determine the lineage of your flower.

Stay hydrated. Cannabis, especially when consumed via smoke or vape, is known to cause xerostomia, more notoriously known as cottonmouth. “When THC binds the submandibular gland receptors, the gland stops getting signals from the nervous system to make saliva,” explains Dr. Hartridge. Make sure you have plenty of water nearby and hydrate before, during, and after sex. Sometimes, water isn’t enough to completely counteract dryness, so drinking juice or coconut water can also be helpful. Pro tip: pure mango juice compliments a high quite nicely.

Use lube. Another mucus membrane in the body that isn’t immune to the effects of xerostomia is the vagina. Even though you might be turned on like never before, your vulva might not be as wet as usual, and that’s completely normal. Hydrating with water and doing kegel exercises can help to re-moisten the vaginal canal, but your best bet is to use as much lube as you need. Look for lubes that are paraben-free and glycerin-free (vulvas don’t like sugar). For a longer lasting lube, choose something silicone-based like Sliquid Silver (but don’t use it with silicone-toys because the silicone in the lube can bond with the toy causing it to warp and swell).

Keep pure CBD on hand. In case you find yourself too high, take some pure CBD to counteract that ultra-stoned feeling. CBD can help you calm down and bring your heart rate and anxious thoughts back to a base line. Hemp comes in many forms including tinctures, edibles, vapor cartridges, and even actual flower! Make sure to purchase your CBD from a reputable source (Tribe Tokes has a great CBD tincture oil), and be wary of the CBD products found at gas stations or local supermarkets.

Integrating cannabis into your sex life can be such a fun experimentation process! This amazing plant possesses so many properties that can relax, heal, awaken, and transform our relationships with our bodies. Take things slow, get creative, and enjoy the magical sensations that Mary Jane can offer you.

Looking for the perfect Dipsea story to enhance your cannabis escapades? Join Reese as she recalls her stoned-encounter with a keyboardist at Bonaroo in "Encore." Or, if you're looking for something more relaxing, get intimate with Emmy as she gives you a deep tissue massage.

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Miss Cory B (she/they) is a queer, polyamorous sex educator and kink coach. She uses humor and honesty to mentally, emotionally, and physically navigate the slew of (mis)information surrounding sex and non-monogamous relationships. Through self-exploration and experimentation, she has paved a path of sexual liberation for herself and is helping others do the same.