Science Explained: Why Does Weed Make Us Horny?

Science Explained: Why Does Weed Make Us Horny?

Many of us discovered this long ago after smoking a joint and proceeded to get it on; weed can make you horny. This isn’t a new discovery. Research suggests that people in Ancient Rome and India used cannabis as an aphrodisiac.

In 2022, thanks to modern science, we are beginning to understand how and why weed makes you horny and safe ways to consume it. 

The Physical

Cannabis can enhance sexual pleasure and help people who have sexual difficulties,” says Harvard cannabis specialist Jordan Tishler MD. “Cannabis can stimulate libido (in people who are at least receptive), enhance arousal in both women and men, and increase the intensity and frequency of orgasm.” One theory why cannabis enhances orgasms is that it’s a vasodilator, which increases blood flow to the region. 

Cannabis can also offer pain relief. It’s not uncommon that women can experience pain during sex. Cannabis can reduce this pain.

The Mental

You may be ready to get it on after sharing a joint because THC lowers inhibitions. This is a reminder to always discuss consent before lighting up and getting it on, but if you want sex but feel too shy to ask for it, cannabis can help with that.

For some people, cannabis can help them get in touch with their body, become more attentive to their physical sensations, and therefore, they’re aroused and able to feel more sensual,” says Julie Holland, MD psychiatrist and author of Good Chemistry: The Science of Connection from Soul to Psychedelics. “Other times, people get anxious, or wrapped up in their thoughts and can’t fully open themselves up to a sexual experience.”

Cannabis can undoubtedly calm anxiety, but it also does wonders for people with PTSD (in this case, primarily stemming from sexual assault) that gets in the way of happy sex. PTSD is one of the many conditions medical cannabis treats because it can pause flashbacks and help you stay entirely in the moment — not back in the wrong place. 

The Emotional

The biggest sex organ isn’t between your legs; it’s your brain.

In addition to providing mental benefits, cannabis can increase emotional intimacy, which plays a significant role in sexual satisfaction. “Perhaps most important, [cannabis] increases oxytocin release, which increases the feelings of intimacy and satisfaction,” says Dr. Tishler. 

This can make you more comfortable with yourself and be helpful in masturbation as well as partnered sex. One study suggests that cannabis can lower your negative bias and see the glass (or pipe) as half full instead of half empty. It’s hard to feel horny when you’re stuck in a lousy mood and mentally reviewing all of your partner’s flaws. Cannabis could help remind you why you’re with them in the first place and initiate sex for intimacy and shared pleasure. 

What’s best for me?

There is no one-size-fits-all method to use cannabis, especially when paired with something as personal as sex.

If smoking a joint gets you in the mood, keep on rolling. Inhalation methods such as smoking or vaping are handy because of their quick onset time; think of it as a quickie for a quickie. “Typically, two to four puffs on a flower machine will land you in the sweet spot,” Dr. Tishler says.

Some prefer the body high of edibles, but since they usually take one to two hours to kick in and last longer, be careful about taking too much. Start with 5mg or 2.5mg, depending on your tolerance.

If you are brand new to cannabis or want to avoid a psychoactive effect, use topicals, such as a pleasure oil, lube, or suppository.

When it comes to sex, topicals only work on areas with mucus membranes, such as the vagina or anus, so people with penises will have to get creative. Start low, go slow, discuss consent, and relax and enjoy the satisfaction. 

Choosing The Right Strain

Different strains affect different people in different ways. We compiled a list of 10 strains that are a good fit for elevated sexual pleasure. Have a look here.

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