Many cannabis enthusiasts (ourselves included) have found that cannabis has the potential to enhance sex. And no wonder; many strains—especially those further towards the indica side of the spectrum—produce a relaxing, full-body high that tends to accentuate the pleasures of touch.
And, more so for women than men, cannabis has a scientifically validated effect on arousal, libido, and orgasm. The evidence for guys is mixed. While many report an improvement and heightening of sexual response while high, a 2009 study pointed to correlations between cannabis use and dissatisfaction at the length of their sexual performance.
Of course, cannabis has the well-documented effect of skewing one’s sense of time, so it’s possible that respondents’ sexual performance was much longer (or much shorter!) than reported.
That said, we wanted to investigate an even deeper connection: between cannabis and real intimacy. Is it possible that—beyond sexual arousal and performance—cannabis can actually spur greater closeness and bonding?
The Chemistry of Intimacy
On a strictly chemical level, the evidence is slim but potentially promising. It appears the Endocannabinoid System—with which you’re already familiar, right?—has a role to play in producing oxytocin, a hormone sometimes known as the “bonding hormone.”
Oxytocin is a fascinating subject in and of itself; studies have shown that it plays prominent roles in childbirth, breastfeeding, and—perhaps you saw it coming—orgasm!
While evidence of a direct link between cannabis consumption and oxytocin production has yet to emerge, it appears there’s at least a circumstantial link. Lacking firm clinical evidence, it’s tempting to approach the question from an experiential perspective. And that’s where things get really interesting!
Can Cannabis Enhance Intimacy? It Depends…
When we speak anecdotally—about individuals’ personal experiences—most cannabis users report that it has the potential to increase closeness, intimacy, and joy through sex and other forms of physical contact.
But a significant number of respondents—roughly a third, as reported in various scientific and informal surveys—say the exact opposite: That cannabis “shuts them down,” closes off sensation, or draws them too deeply “into their head(s).”
So, what gives? Is cannabis good or bad for intimacy and sex? Like so many things in life, it all depends. Everyone’s experience is slightly different—and that’s one of the fascinating aspects of cannabis—but we can draw a few broad conclusions:
- Strains higher in THC—again, the indica-dominant side of the cannabis spectrum—are more likely to produce a body high which is conducive to intimacy and connective sex. While head-high heavy strains on the sativa-dominant end of the scale—are more apt to spur self-analysis and (in some people) an introverted, reflective mindset.
- Terpenes play an important role here: Some budtenders recommend strains with lavender or nutty notes, as opposed to “skunky” sleep-inducing terpenes or more energizing citrus aromas.
- While some experts suggest small doses of cannabis edibles, it’s worth pointing out that, even with the regulated doses in our edibles, cannabis ingested this way can take a long time process in the body, making spontaneous sex or intimacy more challenging.
If you’ve found a sure-fire way to kindle your connection and intimacy, we want to hear about it! Drop us a line and let us know about your incredible cannabis experience!