We won’t lie: we’ll still take the chocolate, but we don’t want the oysters. There are much better ways to achieve truly great sex.
Cannabis tops that list.
In this post, we’ll dive into the science behind cannabis and sex, cover all of the different reasons why cannabis can enhance sex, and explore the best strains for sex no matter your situation.
The Science of Cannabis and Arousal
Cannabis has been used as an aphrodisiac in the Indian Ayurvedic philosophy of medicine for thousands of years. Consuming it also plays an important role in some tantric sex rituals.
But don’t think that using cannabis for sex is just an old-school idea. Cannabis and sex may be steeped in history and culture, but their synergistic benefits are also supported by science.
Do Strains Matter?
Probably, but maybe not how we traditionally think about them. Delivery method and dosing are just as important, but strains can certainly produce specific effects for different preferences. That doesn’t guarantee you will get the particular result you’re hoping for—but it might help set the scene.
How does this work? Terpenes do the real work in terms of producing the unique effects you get from a particular cultivar. Those plant compounds that create flavor and aroma also influence how you feel and can range from ramping up your energy to calming you down.
If you’ve tried enough cannabis to develop a preference for strains that pop like lemons, or maybe strains with that sour, diesel aroma, you are responding to terpenes. Pay attention to those preferences because they can serve as a basic starting point.
If you need to stay clear-headed, energized, and motivated for your sesh: pinene and terpinolene are great terpenes. If you are hoping to try something new and get creative, limonene and ocimene are good choices. If you want more relaxation and calm for your sex, linalool and myrcene are excellent options.
As far as cannabinoids go, this is again very individualized. THC and CBD are both excellent for pain relief, and THC is also wonderful for heightened sensation while THCV is even more stimulating. So if pain is a real problem for you, look for balanced THC/CBD strains and avoid THCV. CBN can make some people feel dull or sleepy, so you might want to avoid it if you’re planning on getting down to business.
And which is better: indica, sativa, or hybrid? This is really a lot less important than all of the rest of these factors. Indica and sativa are simply ways to classify cannabis plants physically, not ways to understand how they’ll affect your body—although, as we’ve explained elsewhere, there are trends in terpenes and cannabinoids among various strains.
Sexual Benefits of Cannabis
So, what are the actual benefits of using cannabis for sex? Here is what the science says:
Cannabis Users Have More Sex
Although you may have heard that smoking pot lowers your sex drive, research from Stanford University School of Medicine has linked cannabis use and increased sexual activity. Specifically, the researchers found that cannabis users of both genders have about 20 percent more sex on average than those who don’t use cannabis.
Is this connection down to other factors—like the lowered inhibitions or increased intimacy reported below? Unclear.
Cannabis Improves Sensation
The human endocannabinoid system (ECS) contains two primary receptors: CB1 and CB2. Cannabinoids activate both, but the CB1 receptor appears to be involved with euphoria and improved tactile sensations.
Cannabis Boosts Creativity and May Lower Inhibitions
Many cannabis users like to try something new sexually with the help of cannabis. This may be because many users report that cannabis helps them lower inhibitions, and it may also be related to the common experience of feeling more creative while using cannabis.
Cannabis Increases Sensuality and Fosters Intimacy
Research suggests that using cannabis with sex can foster intimacy between partners in addition to relaxing them.
Cannabis May Help Women Achieve Orgasm(s)
Recent research found an association in female users between increased frequency of cannabis use and improved sexual function. Just remember to keep water and possibly lube at hand because it may not just be your mouth that gets slightly dry.
How Do I Use Cannabis for Sexual Pleasure?
Resolved: we’re going through with it! Now that you’re going to try cannabis and sex, here are some tips for getting the best experience you can.
Try solo sex the first time
If you’ve never used cannabis for sex, try it solo first. This way you can really pay attention to how it makes you feel and decide if you like it. Adding another person into the mix complicates things when you should really be making sure you like the effects the cannabis is having on your body and mind.
Once you’re ready to add a partner (if you are!) remember that good communication is essential to great sex and has to happen before you use cannabis. You want to make sure you are both on the same page in terms of judgment and decisions, so be clear while you do it. Before you start anything, you should set clear boundaries and get consent.
You should also discuss safe sex before using cannabis to make sure you agree on all details. If you use barrier protection and/or lube, remember that latex products and oil-based lubes do not mix. That includes cannabis-infused oils, so be careful.
Start low and go slow
Dosing can mean the difference between a magic carpet ride with your Boo and the Overlook Hotel with Jack Torrance, so start with a low dose and go slow as you consume more. Wait for effects to hit you, and remember that they may hit your partner first. Be patient!
The quickest-acting delivery methods are typically vaping, smoking a joint or bong, or tinctures under the tongue, and these are best for sex. You will know within about 10 to 15 minutes if you need to take more cannabis or if you’re good to go.
Avoid edibles unless you’re solo
For sex with someone else, edibles aren’t ideal because they’re too unpredictable and slow to activate. Before they can take effect, edibles need to pass through your digestive system, and your BMI and other factors also impact the speed of onset. All of this means that partners tend to peak at very different times or experience very different effects, with one of you feeling nothing and the other getting couch lock.
On the other hand, if you love edibles and have used them before, they’re great for a solo sesh.
Keep water and lube nearby
Smoking out and making out is pretty hot, but then experiencing vaginal dryness or cottonmouth? Not so much. Stay hydrated inside and out by drinking lots of water, and keep a water-based lube close by.
What are the Best Cannabis Strains for Sex?
As a cannabis writer, believe me: people ask me this a lot. Actually, of all of the “What’s the best cannabis strain for _____?” questions I get, this is maybe the most common, right up there with pain.
It also has the worst, most annoying answer: this totally depends on what is standing in the way of your very best sex. Unfortunately for us all, this often leads to more discussion.
Now our lives are all better because we can all read this post instead of talking about it!
Here are some of the factors to think about when pairing cannabis strains with sexual activities:
What kind of sex do you want? Alone time? Are you “making love” or just banging it out? Is this a stranger who you’d like to keep that way or someone you love? All of these things matter.
How do different strains affect your body normally? Do you find yourself with strong preferences—even just for smells or tastes? Are there certain times you like to use cannabis? If so, why?
How do you consume your pot? If you typically use a tincture, will it weird you out to kiss someone right after? Same question for smoking. If you usually use edibles, are you open to trying something else? Does smoking make you feel different than a tincture? How so?
But to me, the ultimate question is still what is holding you back? Is it libido? Energy? Do you have issues getting and staying out of your head long enough to just do it? Are you that person who just can’t relax?
The answer to these questions is your sex strain.
Best Strains To Boost the Libido
If you have identified libido as your issue, look for strains with high levels of the terpene limonene. With limonene you can go for something more or less energizing based on the rest of the strain’s composition and your goals.
For example, if you want something that really gets your body tingling and amps up the libido, choose Wedding Cake or GSC (formerly Girl Scout Cookies). These high-THC, indica-dominant hybrids hit hard and fast with a gentle euphoria before really leaning into the body-melting relaxation. Or if you’re more in the mood for something a little more uplifting but you still want that limonene libido boost, choose WiFi OG or Dragon OG.
Best Strains for Crazy, All Night Long Sex
If an all-night session is what you’re after, Green Crack is one of the best strains out there. It will fill you with energy, a euphoric head high, and enough creativity to get it done all night.
Sour Diesel is another excellent sativa-dominant strain for an all nighter. The rush you get from Sour D is unmistakable, and the head effects which can normally be a bit much for some people can be channeled in a positive way with a high-energy session.
Best Strains for Solo Sex
For solo sex we like relaxing strains, especially those that have a little linalool in the mix along with the more typical suspects such as caryophyllene and myrcene. These let you take your time, forget about what’s bothering you, really build up to an intense climax, and come down as slowly as you like—nice.
Top choices for solo sex: LA Confidential, an indica; Girl Scout Cookies, a nice balanced hybrid; and Amnesia Haze, a sativa. All three lead to some vivid euphoria and serious creative thoughts—your mind will wander in the best ways.
Best Weed Strains for Getting Out of Your Head
For some of us, the main thing getting in the way of great sex—and maybe a lot of things—is getting stuck inside the unpleasant echo chamber that our own heads can become. Yes, you can get undressed in front of another person, or make noise, or…whatever. This is truly a job for cannabis. With just enough reduction of inhibition and social grease for your wheels to get you there, we love Ultimate Trainwreck, a sativa-dominant hybrid; Blue Dream, a balanced hybrid; and the potently sweet Strawberry Cough.
Best Strains for Morning Sex
Okay, so if you still have to make it to work after your morning sex session, you probably don’t want to be too impaired. We get it. For this, we love Harlequin. It’s a high CBD strain that gives you pain relief and a focused, clear head, yet relaxes you and gets you into that happy morning sex mood.
Best Strains for Cuddling and Passionate Sex
Okay, for all you lovemakers out there, it’s the higher THC content strains with the long-lasting body buzz that you want. Let that warm relaxation wash over you and get your foreplay on with indica-dominant strains Afghani Kush or Bubblegum Kush. It’s the difference between that slow-burning build that peacefully sends you over the edge and that screaming toe-curler you may have had in that all-night session.
Best Strains for Trying Something New
And speaking of the difference, when you’re wanting to try something new, experiment, or you just really enjoy kink generally, you probably want strains that are very uplifting, creativity-boosting, and euphoric—strains that build confidence and relax a bit yet allow you to maintain focus. For this we love Jillybean and LSD. You’ll have enough imagination to come up with that weird roleplay dialogue or whatever, but you won’t forget what you’re doing!
Best Strains for Pain
Pain can put a serious strain on enjoying sex, or having a sex life at all. If pain is your issue, look for indicas and indica-dominant hybrids. These tend to be rich in pain-relieving terpenes such as beta-caryophyllene, caryophyllene, humulene, and myrcene. For this we love the sweet, fruity strains indica-dominant hybrid Zkittelz and indica Granddaddy Purple (GDP).
Best Marijuana Strains for Anxiety
Ah, anxiety. General anxiety is a sex killer, not to mention a joy killer. Fortunately for humans, anxiety-curbing is one of cannabis’s real strengths. This extends into the sexual arena, and the strains we love for soothing anxiety and improving sex are sativa Lamb’s Bread, indica-dominant hybrid Hindu Skunk, and basically most of the Kush family, including indica Bubba Kush, indica-dominant hybrid Skywalker OG Kush, and indica Kosher Kush.
Best Strains for Female Arousal vs Strains Male Arousal
Hopefully you can see that this is basically an exercise in gender stereotyping; women and men and nonbinary people all like different things. Yes, there are gender and sex-specific issues, but overall it helps a lot more to focus on specific issues that are troubling you than it does on gender.
Think of it like focusing on a strain’s specific terpene and cannabinoid profile, not just whether it’s an indica strain or a sativa cultivar. You’ll get a lot more useful information that way as you browse the dispensary.
Best Strains for Female Arousal
For people who want more energy but not so much that they tip into anxiety, seek out strains that uplift but aren’t overly cerebral. A strain with a limonene boost of euphoria might feel right, or a terpinolene rush tempered with a bit of linalool.
Body-centric strains are ideal for people who hope to enhance their sensitivity to touch. These are more about a sensual or romantic mood, but also about deeper, more intense physical effects like orgasms. Seek out strains rich in caryophyllene, for example.
Most humans could use a little more relaxation in a sexual setting. Myrcene and linalool help with this, and terpenes like pinene and terpinolene alongside these more relaxing compounds can provide some focus and balance if you’re worried about going the distance or getting sleepy.
The Best Strains for Male Arousal
If you’re looking for a strain to act as an alternative for Viagra, or at least you wish you had some. No problem. Cannasseurs seem to agree that the right strain can help you out. The right mix seems to be that balance of head and body effects that lets you let go of inhibitions but stay engaged mentally and physically. For male arousal, we like Bruce Banner and Atomic Northern Lights.
Final Thoughts on the Best Strains for Sex
Ask any regular cannabis user: sexual experiences are better if you deploy the plant correctly. It can take some trial and error to find the right balance for you and your partner, but it is totally worth it!
If you are ready to give this a shot, remember to use only licensed, reputable cannabis from a trusted source. If you’re on medications, talk to your doctor first—and most of all, enjoy yourself.