In 2017, researchers at Stanford University officially confirmed what cannabis consumers have known for a long time: cannabis can enhance your sex life.
To reach their conclusion, researchers surveyed more than 55,000 cannabis consumers, who, on average, had sex about 20% more than their non-consuming counterparts. But let's get to the nitty-gritty. Sometimes, even sex can be too much of a good thing. But that can be fixed by buying something that should be in every person's nightstand for a sexy night in: a good, quality lubricant.
Some shy away from using lubes with their partner for fear it will signal a lack of desire. However, one Indiana University study found that 70% of 2,453 women surveyed said that using lube made sex a more pleasant and enjoyable experience.
Lube could be a game-changer for women experiencing perimenopause or menopause, phases that include lower sex drive, vaginal dryness, and discomfort during sex. For men, being well-lubricated can enhance pleasure and prevent vaginal abrasions and penile friction burns. Some medicines, as well as being anxious or stressed out, can interfere with a pleasurable sexual experience. Bonus for everyone: lube can help sex last longer and feel better.
But what about CBD lube? Does adding this non-intoxicating cannabinoid to lubricant make for better sex or solo play?
Dr. Rachel Knox, an endocannabinologist and cannabinoid medicine specialist, told Weedmaps that there is little research on lubricants in general, much less the tiny niche dedicated to CBD lubricants.
However, she points out that there is a lot of research on CBD in general. “There has been a great deal of research on the effects of CBD on the physiology of the body, including its effects on vasodilation, muscle relaxation, anxiety, and inflammation, which are all relevant to the conversation around creating and choosing a great intimacy oil.”
What is CBD lube used for? Is it safe?
Generally speaking, people are most interested in using CBD lube, and weed at large, to enhance sex, generally speaking. This could be either to get more pleasure from a sexual experience, or to reduce pain.
“My interest in [using cannabis for sex] came from the many patients that I see in my clinic who have confided in me that using marijuana treats their sexual problems,” gynecologist-obstetrician Dr. Becky Kaufman Lynn told Weedmaps News in a previous article. “I have seen [cannabis] used in women with chronic pain disorders that lead to painful sex, women who experience difficulty with orgasm or an inability to orgasm, and women who use it to improve their libido, which may not match their partner's libido.”
Lubricants in general start with a base of water, oil, or silicone. From there, lube makers can add other ingredients like CBD to differentiate themselves on the market. However, many lubes contain preservatives and chemicals which could disrupt a woman's pH balance and potentially cause infection. Additionally, not all lubes are sperm-friendly and may interfere with women trying to get pregnant.
Some CBD lubes (and lubes in general) have preservatives, chemicals, or natural stimulating ingredients like cinnamon or ginger that could be irritating to the nether regions. Lest we forget, CBD lube is applied locally, so there will be some systemic absorption. CBD may reduce or increase the effectiveness of your medications, an important consideration, especially if that medication is birth control.
When deciding on a lube, make sure that the base will not break down latex condoms. For example, a popular base for CBD lube is coconut oil. This repurposed health food ingredient may break down the latex in condoms and promote yeast and bacterial growth. It will also stain your sheets, so throw down a towel first.
However, when used as intended, lubes are safe.
Does CBD Lube get you high? Does it help sexually?
Since CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, it doesn't give you the traditional “high” feeling most THC-based products do. This can make it difficult to tell if CBD lubricant is working at all.
Dr. Brandye Wilson-Manigat M.D., a South Pasadena-based obstetrician-gynecologist, told Shape Magazine, "we do know that the relaxing and anti-anxiety inducing properties of CBD may facilitate a woman being more receptive to sexual activity.”
While CBD lube makers are quick to point out positive reviews on their websites, CBD review outlet Review Remedy surveyed more than 1,000 people about CBD and their sex lives. Sixty-eight percent of survey takers said that CBD, regardless of how they used it, improved their sexual experience, helped them relax, or improved their overall mood.
But when it comes to high-quality clinical research on the effectiveness of CBD lube and sex, the research simply doesn't exist. In addition to cannabis research lacking due to it's scheduling and complications with the federal government, women's sexual health is also, unfortunately, lacking.
And yet while people find success using these products, Dr. Knox thinks that something to consider with CBD lube and sex is the placebo effect, “when people use something that they expect to make them feel good, they often do.”
Below, check out three CBD lubes we currently love.
This vegan/gluten-free/organic formula uses organic MCT coconut oil as its base — making it incompatible with latex condoms. Made with broad-spectrum hemp-derived CBD and organic botanicals, this lube is designed to support blood flow and increase sensation and lubrication. It also features 9 plant-based aphrodisiacs. Foria recommends applying 15 minutes before getting busy to let all the warming effects kick in.
Quim Smooth Operator
Smooth Operator is aloe-vera based and condom safe. Formulated using full-spectrum CBD hemp oil, this lube could help increase blood flow, decrease inflammation and pain, and promote relaxation. Quim recommends applying the serum at least five minutes before play. As a bonus, Smooth Operator is 100 percent organic and vegan.
Kush Queen Ignite
This lube is going old school with Ignite, a water-based lubricant that comes in both THC or CBD formulations. Though it is not a plant-based oil, it is paraben-free, petrochemical free, latex compatible, and non-staining. A benefit of using Ignite, in addition to it being safe with condoms and non-staining, is that you don't have to apply and wait for it to marinate.
Written by Mary Jane Gibson and Erin Hiatt. Featured image by Matthes Trettin/Unsplash