Gone are the days where the word “weed was about teenagers cutting pieces of hoses and making dirty bongs out of drink bottles. I once had to inform my own mother why her hose out the front of the house kept getting shorter and how the boys down the street might be to blame. We now have a world of sophisticated and useful cannabis with ingesting, smoking or vaping it in some countries feeling as socially acceptable as a glass of wine. Only recently in West Hollywood, I walked past what I thought was a beauty salon only to realise it was a weed shop, buzzing with people and elegant in looks.
In the US, nine states and Washington DC have legalised marijuana for recreational use, not even a doctor’s prescription needed with medical marijuana legal in another 29. It was only a matter of time before the idea of including marijuana into our sex lives would become a popular trend. Let’s be honest, it is not exactly something new, but now with this herbal substance becoming more easily and legally available, the public side of this trend can now be openly explored and discussed (well at least in the US).
Ashley Manta, a cannabis friendly passionate sexuality educator has trademarked the term Cannasexual, and now works to not only educate people about sex but also how to incorporate cannabis into their sex lives. “Cannasexual refers to the practice of mindfully and deliberately combining sex and cannabis to deepen intimacy and enhance pleasure. It’s a lifestyle brand and an approach to sexuality. She continues, “Back in 2014 when I used infused cannabis oil (for genitals) for the first time, I realized that there was a lack of sex educator derived information about intentionally using cannabis to enhance sexual pleasure and reduce discomfort. I wanted a term to encapsulate this as a concept–intentionally combining sex and cannabis to produce desired effects (rather than haphazardly smoking a joint and hoping for the best).”
It’s not matter of one puff solves every problem, but looking at what is getting in the way, which could be a result of our current hectic life schedules these days.
Ashley explains, “Cannabis can be useful for reducing pain and increasing pleasure, as well as helping people get out of their heads and into their bodies. One of the most common issues for folks getting aroused is stress–if cannabis can help calm the stress response and bring the consumer into a calmer state of mind, that creates a mindset more conducive to connection and intimacy.”
Besides the more obvious effects, in terms of how it might work on the body, “When a THC-infused topical is applied to the vulva and vagina, it has the effect of vasodilation–vaginal vasodilation is one of the hallmarks of sexual arousal. States Ashley. “When there’s more blood flow to the area, the tissue and muscles become engorged and more sensitive to sensation. And it can be used in many forms including smoking, vaping, edibles, tinctures, topical and transdermal. So, if you are wanting to increase your performance in the bedroom, maybe it’s more about increasing her sensitivity first?
But what about those with a different member? It seems the jury is still out. Ashley explains, “There are results from a recent study where frequency of cannabis is associated with difficulties in men’s ability to orgasm as desired. But she also states that another study suggested that cannabis could be used to treat erectile difficulties in people with high cholesterol. Wait till they advertise that on TV.
One of the issues is a lack of research in this area. But I’m sure we will get plenty of volunteers. Manta agrees, “There aren’t any studies to back all this up yet, but I have heard anecdotally from a number of vulva owners (in addition to my own experience) that applying infused topicals increases pleasurable sensations, can make it easier to orgasm, and can create more powerful orgasms.”
But what about for men? A recent study by HelloMD, a telemedicine platform, found that men and women had seen a boost in their sex lives after using cannabis. Some of the past literature however, states that there is no evidence to support marijuana assisting men in the bedroom and that it can work in the opposite direction causing problems like erectile dysfunction and lower testosterone. Many have criticised this research as being outdated, but due to the issue of federal grants needed, we might not see updated data for quite some time. However, Tishler and Perry Solomon MD, the chief medical officer at HelloMD, say they will continue to prescribe cannabis as a treatment for men suffering from erectile dysfunction, lack of desire and difficulty reaching orgasm.
Of course, like with everything there is a downside, however the downside doesn’t seem to be that bad. Manta explains that, “If you apply a topical to your genitals and your partner goes down on you, your genitals are now an edible (meaning your partner could literally get high because they’re consuming the topical that you’ve applied). How terrible?
However, on a more serious note, there are risks when it comes to safer sex practices, “Oil-based products are not compatible with latex condoms, so if you’re using barriers for safer sex, you’ll want to use nitrile or polyurethane barriers.” I would also think if consuming marijuana on a mind-altering level, fumbling with a condom might not be at the front of your thoughts.
But what is Manta’s advice for those of us living in a country where we can still be arrested for what she teaches? “People have access to cannabis whether it’s legal or not (although obviously, I cannot condone illegal activities). My golden rules– prioritize ongoing and enthusiastic consent, negotiate before you consume mind-altering substances, start with the smallest amount needed to accomplish your goals, stay hydrated, communicate your needs clearly to your partner– all of these are suggestions that transcend sex and cannabis.”
Whilst the evidence might be there, the unfair reality is when it comes to Cannasexuality, those down under are not yet able to become legal members of this tribe. However, with many Australian states already introducing marijuana for medical uses and many reports claiming we will eventually follow the US, we might eventually see this as something soon practiced on our shores. Until then however, a few beers (only a few) and a glass or two of wine (not 3 or 4) might have to do to get those daily life stressors out of your head.