When it comes to sex, cannabis can be useful and effective but not without some potential drawbacks. Cannabis has been used for centuries in some cultures in association with sex. In Ayurvedic practices dating back to 2000 BCE, small quantities of cannabis were used as an aphrodisiac. Ancient Tantric sexual practices included the consumption of bhang, a mixture of cannabis leaves, flowers and stems blended with milk, water and spices such as cardamom.

Cannabis can increase relaxation, reduce anxiety, lower inhibitions, and increase sensitivity in human erogenous zones. Cannabis can trigger the parasympathetic nervous system that is responsible for sexual arousal. For men, a little bit of cannabis can reduce “performance anxiety” and enhance sexual pleasure. Too much can ruin the moment.

In terms of CBD, this popular and less-regulated cannabinoid can reduce inflammation when applied topically or ingested. When ingested or inhaled, CBD can also reduce anxiety.

Different types of cannabis for better sex

If you’re looking to use cannabis to enhance sexual experiences, know that each way cannabis is administered can have a different effect. For immediate relaxation, smoking or vaping cannabis delivers THC rapidly into the bloodstream.

Too much THC, however, can reduce the libido or cause drowsiness. Smoking or vaping a small amount of cannabis flower or concentrate with a high CBD content that tempers the THC can produce relaxation and reduce anxiety without getting you too high or dampening the mood.

While cannabis strains can vary in terms of percentages of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids, if you’re looking for energy, euphoria, and stimulation, sativas like Ultimate Trainwreck and Green Crack or a sativa/indica hybrid like Sour Dream or Sour Diesel could do the trick. Indicas such as Granddaddy Purple or Blue Cheese may increase arousal and the duration or intensity of orgasms.

Cannabis edibles can put you in the mood by easing stress, producing feelings of euphoria and well-being and relaxing a busy and distracted mind.

Know your sensitivity to cannabis and your right dose so you feel good without getting too drowsy or feeling overly high. While edibles can take up to an hour or more before you feel the effects, oral sprays applied under the tongue can deliver THC more quickly into your bloodstream. In Alaska, most edibles come in 5 mg pieces that can be cut in half to start with a lower 2.5 mg dose.

Cannabis- or CBD-infused topical creams, lubricants and sprays can provide relief for women who are experiencing dryness or painful sex. THC can act as both an analgesic and a vasodilator increasing blood flow to a specific region. More blood flow into female erogenous zones typically equals more intense sexual pleasure. Because topicals are more effective when absorbed through mucous membranes, male erogenous zones may be somewhat less responsive but may still be affected.

Cannabis suppositories can deliver pain relief and increase blood flow to the lower portion of the body for both women and men. CBD topicals or suppositories can help reduce inflammation.

Products for enhancing sex

Many of the popular cannabis products for the bedroom are only available in one or two states because of the THC content. These include Foria Pleasure Sprays and Suppositories (California) and Velvet Swing Sprays (California and Washington).

Bare Spray by Great Northern Cannabis and Lady Gray’s Elation are two products marketed as sexual enhancers that are available in Alaska dispensaries. Both products can be applied as topicals for women. Both are also approved as edibles and can be used as oral sprays by men and women.

In terms of edibles, Momo’s Bakery and Lady Gray Medibles are popular brands that can be purchased in Alaska dispensaries. Lady Gray Medibles makes an infused butter mint that melts in your mouth and tastes and smells minty, always a plus for close encounters.

CBD-infused products can be shipped to Alaska, and some of the popular CBD sexual enhancers include Quim, Foria Awaken, and Apothecanna Sexy Time.

Remember to follow the instructions on product packaging, including how soon before sex to take it, typically at least 20 to 30 minutes for topicals, less time for tinctures or sublinguals and even less for smoking or vaping. Edibles will always take the longest to produce effects.

Be careful about taking too many products at once. You’re fine inhaling or ingesting one form and applying another – just don’t eat an edible, smoke a joint, then try an oral spray, or you may not end up with anything other than a good night’s sleep!

Aliza Sherman lives in Anchorage and has been involved in the cannabis industry since early 2016. She is the co-founder of Ellementa, an international network for women interested in cannabis for wellness. She is the author of a new book, “The Essential Guide to Cannabis and CBD: Optimizing Your Health With Nature’s Medicine” (Ten Speed Press). http://ellementa.com/cannabisbook

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