We know that the cannabis plant has been used both  medicinally and as a material (for fabric/paper/fuel/etc.) since 2700  B.C.E., but did you know that it was also popular for its effects on sexual behavior? Ancient Chinese and Indian peoples used cannabis in the bedroom. Tantric religious practices believed (and still believe) that cannabinoids stimulate sexual desire, improve/lengthen intercourse, and enhance the quality of the orgasm.

Well, those tantric practitioners’ thoughts on cannabis weren’t  wrong! The genital regions have the second highest concentration of  cannabinoid receptors in the whole body, only bested by the brain.  Why? Honestly, we need more research to truly understand how  cannabinoids affect sexual functioning, but current research has  uncovered some interesting findings! 

These include…. 

  • The endocannabinoid system plays a paramount role in fertility! The cannabinoids in the uterus are at their highest concentration during ovulation because CB (cannabinoid) receptors are what allow the implantation of the fertilized egg onto the wall of the uterus.
  • As far as pleasure? The Journal of Sexual Medicine published a study titled ​Circulating Endocannabinoid Concentrations and  Sexual Arousal in Women​ by Carolin Klein et al. which found that, in women, sexual arousal is directly correlated to decreases in endocannabinoid levels. This confirms that the endocannabinoid system is directly influencing sexual functioning in women.
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Photo by Deon Black on Unsplash

I want better orgasms!!! 

Those with vaginas: 

It’s rough out here! Did you know that there are nearly 30  pharmaceutical medications available for male sexual  pleasure/dysfunction? How many do you think there are for females?  That’s right—none! This truly makes no sense when we consider the  fact that women have statistically lower satisfaction in the bedroom.

Keeping the information above in mind, it’s as if we have put  men in charge of our (female) sexual pleasure? That’s enough! It’s  time for women to experiment with their bodies without reserve, know  their bodies without shame, and recognize what they like and what  they don’t without the male gaze in mind. Ladies! We do NOT need to  depend on the man for an orgasmic release anymore! Down with the  patriarchy in the bedroom! 

The clitoris has over 8,000 nerve endings and every one is  different! It is not just that little button, it’s a large, deep internal  organ that spans across the public bone, under the labia, and wraps  around the vaginal opening. So, finding the clitoris as if it is the  same specific spot on every female? That’s not a real thing—by  stimulating any part of the genital region, you’re most likely  stimulating a part of the clitoris.

We know that everyone’s body is made differently, therefore,  why would anyone think that one particular mode of stimulation is  going to work for everyone? Just because playing the piano with  that button works for some ladies doesn’t mean it’s going to work for  you (or your partner)! So, ladies—experiment with yourself, let go of  the movies, books, or conditioning that has told you there is a  certain way for you to receive pleasure. You may be a part of that  30% of people who aren’t stimulated by the “button,” or you may be  part of the 70% who are! Either way, leave your inhibitions at the  door and discover your body for yourself; later, if you want to tell  someone else about it, I am sure they will be very happy to hear. 

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Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash 

Something very important for orgasms? Arousal,  people—orgasms are not possible without arousal! When women  become aroused there is increased blood flow which enlarges the  labia, the clitoris, and, perhaps, makes things a bit more slippery. It is  important to first arouse the female because the glands, tissues, and  nerve endings which create the orgasm will be the​ last​ part of the  body to be aroused and enlarged. Therefore, the orgasm is the last  step and some form of foreplay is non-negotiable! 

Additionally, with penetrative orgasms—some will climax very  easily in this way, while others may not. So get a toy, do some  internal massaging, and see where you fall on the internal orgasm  spectrum. We are all capable of different types of orgasms —you  just have to find what works for you!  

Those with penises: 

High cholesterol is one of the most common risk factors for  erectile dysfunction (ED). This is because high cholesterol levels  impair blood flow and increase oxidative stress. Luckily, cannabinoid  receptor activation both increases blood flow and reduces oxidative  stress! This is probably why researchers have found that  cannabinoid receptor activation has improved ED in mice! While  cannabinoids might be able to help bloodflow and physiological  functioning, a lot of ED, especially in younger men, is a result of  anxiety around sexual performance, so let’s talk about anxiety  around sex. 

SEXUAL ANXIETY! 

Sexual anxiety is a self-sabotaging cycle. A person gets anxiety,  which takes them out of the moment, therefore making sex less  enjoyable. How does someone know if they have sexual anxiety?  Foria interviewed sex therapist Shadeen Francis, LMFT, and asked.  Francis explained that one with heightened levels of sexual anxiety  may experience: panic attacks around sex, dissocitaion during sex,  not being in one’s body during sex, perfectionism around sex,  avoiding sex, seeking constant reassurance from a partner,  catastrophic thinking around negative outcomes of sex, hyper  focusing on minor details of sex, overcompensating/faking  confidence in the bedroom.  

Francis also gave advice to those who do deal with this: 

“​Be Mindful :​ Allow yourself to focus on the present  moment. Pay attention to how your body feels. Are you relaxed  or tense? Are you ready or is there an urgency? Are you having  sex to prove something or please someone else, or are you  doing it because you are wanting to be sexual? Learning to act  on your “yes” requires you to slow down enough to listen to  yourself. This is a key to lowering anxiety. Focusing on pleasure  rather than performance helps disrupt the anxious cycle.

Counter the Thoughts :​ Interrupt critical self-talk with  affirmations, and challenge cognitive distortions (like black and  white thinking) that cause you to spiral into anxiety. Sometimes  writing down the worries can help us be more objective and  realize which are reasonable things to address, and what can  be ignored. Sometimes it is hard to soothe ourselves or reflect  on our thoughts when we are anxious. This is a skill that we can  develop overtime. If you can, seek the support of a therapist to  help you.

Learn More : Learning is empowering. Get more  information about the things that bring you doubt or  uncertainty. That could be through formal sex education in  person or on blogs, it could mean learning more about yourself  and what you like through sex therapy or self-help books.  Communication is also a way to settle sexual anxiety; learning  about your partner and what they want and need sexually gives  you an opportunity to work on things together.

Be Vulnerable : Give yourself permission to advocate for  your needs. Practice asking for clarity and having honest  conversations about what works and doesn’t work with your  partners. It is easy to feel alone in your fear; allow your partners  to participate in your soothing. Anxiety alerts us to danger, so  it can be helpful to make joint plans for avoiding or minimizing  risks. Reassurance can be helpful for the performance features  of anxiety, but try not to over-rely on external validation and  instead work on seeing yourself positively. This can also be  worked on in therapy. 

See Your Doctor : Please see a physician or a psychiatrist if  your anxiety feels unmanageable or interferes with your ability  to live comfortably.”  

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Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash 

Pain!!

Next week, we will be putting out a blog on endometriosis and  sex—if this is what you are looking for, check back next week.  Generally, pain comes from inflammation and tension. Relaxing,  allowing time for arousal, and promoting bloodflow are key to  soothing sex pains. This is where we think CBD can really shine.  

One of Awaken’s key ingredients, besides CBD, is Kava Kava.  Both CBD and Kava Kava are known to help relieve pain, promote  muscle relaxation, and provide anti-inflammatory effects, therefore  aiding in blood flow and decreasing muscle tension.   

If it’s pain due to anal sex? We hear that our CBD suppositories  are really helping people out and even getting them to their first  anal orgasm—ooo-la-la! 

What do we recommend to help you in the  bedroom?

Besides opening your mind and your body to your own,  individual sexual pleasures? We recommend CBD of course! Sexual  pain, anxiety, and arousal difficulties (such as ED) are usually  correlated with muscle tightening and blood flow restriction—this is  exactly what CBD specializes in! S​exual anxiety can create tension  throughout the muscles of the body and restrict blood flow, creating  arousal difficulties. ​Perhaps beginning the night with a CBD joint or  taking a daily tincture could help, as cannabinoids are responsible  for calming our fight-or-flight response, HPA axis pathway (main  stress pathway of the body), and the central nervous system in times  of stress. A night alone with you, a CBD joint, and some CBD lube  might be a way to gain a greater understanding of yourself as a  sexual being!

Note: A CBD joint is not going to work like THC, as THC can actually  increase anxiety and make one more nervous. CBD is the antithesis  of THC and creates antithetical chemical reactions in the brain. For  example, while THC produces dopamine, CBD produces serotonin.

Our Sexual Products: 

Foria Awaken Natural Arousal Oil
$48

Formulated especially for women, Awaken is designed to  enhance sexual pleasure and support painful conditions in the  intimate regions of the vagina. Awaken isn’t lubricant—it is intended  to be applied 10-15 minutes before sexual activity in order to activate  arousal. Made with 9 organic plant-based aphrodisiacs, including  Kava Kava, cacao, and broad spectrum CBD, with this gentle yet  potent formulation, a little goes a long way. Awaken enhances and  intensifies tactile sensation in intimate pleasure zones, while at the  same time, easing tension, discomfort, and dryness. Awaken comes  in a convenient spray-pump bottle, so you can pump for pleasure  and not worry about any unintended mess.

Foria Wellness Lubricant with CBD
$44

This is as pure and all-natural as it gets, containing nothing  other than pristine, organic MCT coconut oil combined with broad  spectrum CBD extract made from organic certified,  regeneratively-grown USA hemp. You and your lover will sink deep  into the pleasure-enhancing and soothing effects of CBD. CBD is  well-known for penetrative muscle relaxation and its ability to  increase blood flow, making this a perfect addition to the bedroom.  Intimacy Natural Lubricant with CBD will increase tactile sensation to  erogenous zones, while also easing tension, pain, and dryness. Use  this luxurious lube exactly as you would use any other oil-based  lubricant. Like other oil-based lubricants, do not use Intimacy  Natural Lubricant with latex condoms or toys. Each four-fluid ounce  bottle contains 200mg of CBD. 

Foria Basic Suppositories
$72

Made from 100% organic and fair-trade cocoa butter, designed  for either rectal or vaginal insertion, these can be used by anyone  for local muscle relaxation and inflammation reduction. Basics  Suppositories are made from pristine, broad spectrum CBD that has  been sourced from sun-grown domestic hemp. Each suppository will  deliver 100mg of cannabidiol to soothe tension within minutes. Users  have also benefited greatly from using Basics Suppositories thirty  minutes before sexual activity. Each pack contains eight  suppositories, for a total of 800mg of CBD. 

Foria Intimacy Suppositories
$20

This is the same formulation as the basic suppositories, but  with half the potency (50mgs VS 100mgs of CBD). It also comes in a 4  pack rather than an 8 pack. 

Endoca Suppositories $49.99

Because suppositories bypass digestive and respiratory  systems, CBD can reach the blood in much higher concentrations.  Rectal administration also increases the uptake of CBD entering the  bloodstream by almost 10 times when compared with traditional oral  consumption. Each box contains ten suppositories, each delivering  50mg of CBD for a total of 500mg CBD per package. 

A Final Note 

There is a lot of shame around sex and we recognize that  overcoming shame is not simple. There are many tools we can use to  talk to that voice in our head that shames us, including therapy,  inner child work, meditation, journaling, etc. You deserve to live  without shame in regard to the most basic human desire: sex. Freud  said it best: just like the most basic lifeform, cells (all they do is reproduce then die)—the human being has 2 basic goals: sex and  death (regeneration). Here’s to a new year, the death of the old, and  the rebirth of the evolved!  

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Photo by Elizabeth KF Munro on Unsplash 

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An Article By Evie Louise

Evie Louise is a recent psychology graduate from New York University. She is a certified in International Cannabinoid Clinical Therapy. Evie sees all forms of the cannabis sativa plant as the future of psychiatry, and hopes to use it in her therapy practice as a full spectrum approach to mental health and wellness.

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