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!
- 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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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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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 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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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! Sexual 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:
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.
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.
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.
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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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.