Welcome to our Endoctrination Series—a series of reports on the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) created by our in-house product education team to investigate the most common personal care concerns, how the ECS is involved, and what technologies can be used to address them. The Cannabis and Sex report dissects the available literature on the ECS and its relationship with sexual health and pleasure, ending with tips for toning the ECS to improve sexual health and pleasure with cannabis.


  • Increased Sexual Activity Among Cannabis Users: A Stanford University study from 2018 reported that regular cannabis users have 20% more sex than non-cannabis users. Surveys indicate that cannabis consumers not only have more sex but also have better, more satisfying sexual experiences.
  • Historical Use of Cannabis as an Aphrodisiac: Cannabis has been used for thousands of years as an herbal aphrodisiac, recommended for improving male sexual performance and virility in ancient Ayurvedic medicine.
  • Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and Sexual Function: The ECS, described as the "guardian angel" of mammalian reproduction, plays a role in every stage of the reproductive process. Cannabinoid receptors, especially CB1 receptors, are present in organs producing sex hormones and reproductive organs, influencing the ebb and flow of hormones and neurotransmitters.
  • Effect on Female Sexual Arousal and Orgasm: Studies show a correlation between circulating endocannabinoid (ECB) levels and female sexual arousal; lower ECB levels lead to increases in libido. Surveys indicate that women using marijuana before sex report an increase in sex drive and better orgasms
  • Impact on Male Erections and Ejaculation: Cannabis may have a dose-dependent impact on male sexual function, with moderate doses potentially delaying ejaculation, while high doses could desensitize receptors. The article suggests that a low-to-moderate dose of cannabis might contribute to more satisfying sexual experiences for men.


From suppositories and lubes to oil drops and vape pens, there’s no shortage of cannabis products on the market that supposedly increase libido. And there’s also no shortage of claims about how cannabis can enhance pleasure and supercharge our sex lives.

For example, a Stanford University study generated headlines in 2018 by revealing that regular cannabis users have 20% more sex than non-cannabis users. What’s more, according to several surveys, cannabis consumers aren’t just having more sex—they’re having better sex, as well.

This could have significant implications for treating common sexual problems that burden much of the populace.

The University of Guelph reports that issues with sexual function affect 40% of women and 30% of men in Canada. As it stands, effective treatments for sexual disorders are woefully inadequate. If cannabis can help with sexual function and performance issues—meaning anything from low libido, pain, and performance anxiety to premature ejaculation, inability to reach orgasm, and vaginal dryness—it would be the remedy that millions of people have been waiting for.

Nonetheless, despite the many claims about cannabis and sex, there’s currently no clinical research proving that cannabis has any direct influence on sexual experience.

That may sound disappointing at first, but it doesn't mean cannabis doesn't have any influence on our sexual experiences. If you have ever consumed cannabis and engaged in acts of pleasure yourself, you likely experienced firsthand the waves of ecstasy cannabis can bring to the bedroom (or couch, or kitchen counter, or floor, or desk).

What that means is that official barriers to researching the plant—and the extremely nuanced and complicated science of sexuality—have frustrated efforts to study the direct relationships between cannabis consumption and sexual function. Thus, we don’t have any double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials on the effect that cannabis—or any single plant components, such as CBD (cannabidiol) or THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)—has on sexual experience.

What we do have, however, is a mishmash of human studies on factors that impact sex (like pain, disease, and anxiety), animal studies, surveys, and related research that make some interesting connections between the world of sex and the world of cannabis—connections that are that compelling enough to warrant further consideration.


Although we sell and love medicinal herbs and mushrooms, we believe in bringing science-backed, repeatable, experimental evidence to the forefront, replacing the unknown with reliable information, so that the fear of the unknown cannot be used as a form of marketing against us. While we understand that there is much to be uncovered, we conscientiously avoid cherry-picking information to further an agenda, choosing instead to trust the many scientists making a monumental effort to evaluate a complete body of evidence pertaining to the safety and efficacy of the products that you know and love.

Is cannabis an aphrodisiac?

Cannabis has been used as an herbal aphrodisiac for thousands of years. To cite just one example, practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine in ancient India often recommended cannabis to improve male sexual performance and virility. A review article in BioMed Research International, citing historical data in a section on “Ayurveda and the Concept of Aphrodisiacs,” referred to cannabis as a plant that delays ejaculation and improves ejaculatory function.

It appears that humans have been mixing cannabis and sex, with positive results, for quite a long time. But it wasn’t until relatively recently that academics began to focus on this area.

A 1979 study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology was among the first peer-reviewed papers to reveal substantial evidence of a link between cannabis and sexual functioning. 84 graduate students were asked about their experience with cannabis and sex; the results showed that “experienced cannabis users” believed that the plant improved orgasm and should be considered an aphrodisiac. As the authors (Dawley et al) concluded: “The implication is that there may be value in researching the use of marijuana in treatment of sexual disorders.”

Similarly, a series of anonymous questionnaires given to college students in 1984 showed that over two-thirds reported greater sexual pleasure and satisfaction with cannabis use. Published in the Journal of Sex Research, this study also found that “most had used marijuana as a preparation for intercourse on occasion, and 20% did this on a regular basis.”

Indeed, most of what we know about cannabis and sex has been gathered through surveys. This is somewhat problematic as surveys rely primarily on a person’s memory. Survey responses are highly subjective—“enjoyable sex” could mean many different things depending on the individual.

The connection between your Endocannabinoid System and sex.

Why does cannabis lend itself so well to sexual intimacy?

Italian scientist Mauro Maccarone has described the ECS (Endocannabinoid System) as “the guardian angel” or “gatekeeper” of mammalian reproduction. Extensive preclinical research has established that cannabinoid receptor signaling is involved in every stage of the reproductive process—from sexual arousal to climax to fertilization to embryo implantation and throughout fetal development.

According to a 2017 report by Czech scientists in Psychopharmacology, cannabis stimulates a part of the brain called the right nucleus accumbens, which also plays an important role in controlling sexual arousal. Otherwise known as the brain’s pleasure center, the nucleus accumbens is densely populated with CB1 cannabinoid receptors that are activated directly by THC and indirectly by CBD.

CB1 receptors are part of what scientists refer to as the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the major regulatory mechanism in the brain and body that balances many physiological processes and mediates how we experience the effects of cannabis.

As it turns out, there’s quite a bit of overlap between the ECS and the physiology of sexual function. For starters, cannabinoid receptors are located in organs that produce sex hormones, as well as in the reproductive organs themselves. Cannabinoid receptors are also present on the axon terminals of dopaminergic and serotonergic neurons, which play an important role in sexual function and interact with testosterone, estrogen, and oxytocin to modulate sexual response. The ECS influences the ebb and flow of various hormones and neurotransmitters.

Arousal, orgasm, and your ECS.

Maintaining healthy endocannabinoid levels is likely instrumental in a toe-curlingly satisfying sex life. When arousal culminates in climax, our endocannabinoid levels suddenly spike, according to a 2017 paper titled “Masturbation to Orgasm Stimulates the Release of the Endocannabinoid 2-Arachidonoylglycerol in Humans.”

In this report, a team of German scientists noted that “endocannabinoids are critical for rewarding behaviors such as eating, physical exercise, and social interaction,” as well as sexual pleasure. Published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the results of this single-blind randomized study showed that 2-AG is released after climax and “may play a role in the rewarding consequences of sexual arousal and orgasm.”

However, as with any drug or medicine, much depends on your biology.

Female Arousal and Orgasm

A 2012 study by U.S. and Canadian researchers shed additional light on the connection between the ECS and sex. The authors (Klein et al) measured serum concentrations of the endocannabinoids 2-AG and AEA (the brain’s own endocannabinoids, or marijuana-like compounds) in 21 healthy women before and after they viewed neutral and erotic film stimuli. Sexual arousal was also measured through vaginal photoplethysmography, a technique that allows you to observe volumetric changes in an organ or body. Another device, called an “arousometer,” measured continuous subjective arousal throughout the duration of the film.

The findings of this experiment were published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. The authors observed a direct correlation between circulating endocannabinoid levels and sexual arousal in women: AEA (Anandamide) concentrations dropped significantly as female sexual arousal increased, and 2-AG concentrations were also “significantly negatively correlated with increased perceptions of physiological sexual arousal, overall subjective sexual arousal, and increased continuous subjective sexual arousal.”

According to a 2019 survey of 373 women published in Women’s Sexual Health, more than half of those who had used marijuana before sex reported an increase in sex drive and better orgasms. Similar findings were highlighted in a 2019 review paper — titled “Effects of Cannabinoids on Female Sexual Function” — coauthored by Becky Lynn, M.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women’s Health at St. Louis University School of Medicine. Lynn’s team concluded that combining cannabis and sex appears to be associated with prolonged and more satisfying orgasms.

This suggests that proper endocannabinoid balance is not just better for sex, but a necessary component in female arousal and pleasure. A healthy regimen of balancing full-spectrum CBD can help to raise endocannabinoid levels, while low to modest doses of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) mimic AEA's euphoric effects and relieve any pain or inflammation preventing pleasurable intercourse.

CBD may also increase arousal by:

  • better regulating stress, which kills your libido and disrupts signals from the brain that regulate arousal and lubrication,
  • supporting healthy hormonal balance, and
  • improving blood flow, which can improve pleasure and sensitivity

But while CBD doesn't directly increase your wetness, it brings your body back to homeostasis and eases you into a mood that gets your juices flowing.

Male Erections and Ejaculation

In a 2011 review of existing research titled “Impact of Cannabis Use on Male Sexual Health,” two Canadian doctors suggested that cannabis may actually promote erectile dysfunction. But the same review article also concluded that “most results of these studies are conflicting and contradictory.” These inconsistent findings may be attributable to the biphasic nature of cannabis and its key components, THC and CBD, whereby low and high doses generate opposite effects.

The dose-dependent signaling of CB1 cannabinoid receptors—which THC and CBD interact with—could have a major impact on the quality of stoned sex. Multiple sources have shown that the CB1 receptors play an important role in sexual function. A 2008 Canadian study determined that antagonism of CB1 receptors promotes ejaculation, which suggests that CB1 could be “a novel target for pharmacological agents aimed at treating ejaculatory-based sexual dysfunction.”

From this one can reasonably infer that a moderate dose of cannabis, which stimulates CB1, will delay ejaculation, while a high dose could desensitize the receptor and inhibit how it signals, thereby facilitating ejaculatory processes. A similar dynamic may apply to marijuana’s impact on libido: a small amount of cannabis tends to energize, while a large amount can be sedating. In support of this theory, a 1978 study on rats showed that low doses of THC enhanced lordosis (a measure of libido), but high doses did not.

So, when it comes to cannabis and sexual pleasure for the fellas, a little less weed might mean a lot more fun. 😉

Keep reading for the most common causes of sexual dysfunction and our tips for treating them.

When (and how) does cannabis support libido and sexual healing?

Physiologically speaking, how can we explain the dozens of positive associations between using cannabis and sexual satisfaction? There are likely dozens of factors involved.

  • THC and CBD are both vasodilators, which means that cannabis relaxes and dilates blood vessels. And vasodilation plays a key role in sensitivity and sexual arousal.
  • Cannabis can improve sexual function by reducing anxiety and pain, which are common barriers to positive and satisfying sexual experiences. Seventy percent of 199 men and women, who responded to a survey by University of British Columbia researchers, said they could relax more during sex when they used cannabis.

The most common barriers to pleasurable sex, along with our tips for addressing them, are:

Stress and Sex


Anxiety, depression, irritability, exhaustion, lack of sleep, low drive, generally unsatisfying sex.

How to use cannabis:

  • Take up to 150mg of Full Spectrum CBD oil two times per day, preferably with a breakfast and dinner that is rich in healthy fats. This helps to ease you into the mood by regulating the stress response, optimizing your hormonal and neurochemical balance, and supporting healthy inflammation.
  • Try taking up to 5mg of Unwind 60 minutes before intercourse, ideally with CBD, to turn the dial up on your senses while easing tension and pain. Unwind is a THC oil formulated with terpenes that are known to promote relaxation and deepen sensory experiences.
  • Bonus: For a complete sexual health protocol, add Energy Stack, a microdose formula for boosting energy, increasing libido, and reducing stress.


Ongoing stress can trigger increased cortisol and can manifest as inflammation, exhaustion, lack of focus, irritability, and more. While a number of biological, psychological, and social factors play a role in the prevalence of sexual dysfunction, stress is one of the most consistent risk factors to both male and female sexual health, along with poor physical health and pain during sex (more on that later).

As mentioned earlier in this report, endocannabinoids like 2-AG and AEA play a critical role in sexual health and pleasure due to their role in maintaining homeostasis. That’s because they interact directly with the ECS, which is responsible for monitoring and deploying resources where needed. They’re your body’s first line of defense against stress—without healthy endocannabinoid levels, your systems become dysregulated.

It's simple:

Chronic stress shifts your body into survival mode so it can better prepare for handling the threat, whether it’s perceived or real. This leads to a transient drop in endocannabinoids, particularly anandamide, along with an adrenal response (cortisol and adrenalin), triggering a cascade of neurological processes that codes the event as a fearful experience. This is what typically manifests as trauma or anxiety. At the same time, low endocannabinoid levels neutralize the rewards of arousal, orgasm, and ejaculation, impairing sexual function.

If you suffer from chronic stress and are looking to get your mojo back, we recommend a combination of 1) CBD to address ECS dysfunction that supports stress, calm, energy, mood, focus, sleep, and recovery, and 2) Psilocybin to address impairment to functional connectivity caused by stress, which also manifests as irritability, depression, anxiety, and more, and 3) THC, to relax physically and mentally.

Acute Inflammation and Sex


Sudden body damage, such as bruising yourself.

Suggested Support:

  • 50mg+ CBD in the AM, 50mg+ CBD in the PM of our Full Spectrum CBD oil supports healthy inflammation and fights pain.
  • THC as needed has 20x the anti-inflammatory properties of aspirin. Start with 2.5mg, wait 60 minutes, and take more as needed. Available at My Supply Co. an inspiring Uplift THC Oil blend and relaxing Unwind THC Oil blend.
  • For best results, combine CBD + THC with one of our Ratios, available in 5 unique blends so you don't have to buy multiple CBD and THC products at once. Our beautiful planet thanks you for it. 🌎💙

Chronic Inflammation and Sex


Continued inflammatory response even when there is no outside danger. For example, in rheumatoid arthritis inflammatory cells and substances attack joint tissues leading to an inflammation that comes and goes and can cause severe damage to joints with pain and deformities. This may be caused by exposure to toxins or untreated acute inflammation, in addition to lifestyle choices such as:

  • Excessive alcohol consumptions
  • High BMI
  • Too much or too little exercise
  • Chronic stress
  • Smoking

Suggested Support:

  • 100mg+ CBD in the AM, 100mg+ CBD in the PM of Full Spectrum CBD oil supports healthy inflammation.
  • As much THC as needed, which has 20x the anti-inflammatory properties of aspirin. Start with 5mg, wait 60 minutes, and take more as needed. Available at My Supply Co. an inspiring Uplift THC Oil blend and relaxing Unwind THC Oil blend.
  • For best results, combine CBD + THC with one of our Ratios, available in 5 unique blends so you don't have to buy multiple CBD and THC products at once. Our beautiful planet thanks you for it. 🌎💙
  • 1–4 microdose capsules of Energy Stack, Brain Stack, or Immune Stack in the AM can ease pain-related depression, anxiety, and irritability while repairing and strengthening brain networks to improve energy, mood, and focus.


Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by affecting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation, and interacting with neurotransmitters.

Some research suggests that CBD may be effective for certain types of pain, including nerve pain and back pain, when used on its own. However, it seems to be most effective when combined with THC.

Several human studies have found that a combination of CBD and THC is effective in treating pain related to multiple sclerosis (MS) and arthritis.

An oral spray called Sativex (nabiximols), which is a 1:1 combination of THC and CBD, is approved in several countries to treat pain related to MS, the equivalent of our 1 CBD : 1 THC oil drops.

A study that included 47 people with MS examined the effects of taking Sativex for a month. The participants experienced improvements in pain, walking ability, and muscle spasms.

Still, the study didn’t include a control group, so placebo effects cannot be ruled out.

In one review, researchers noted that Sativex may benefit those with MS-associated neuropathic pain and chronic severe neuropathic pain. The review also found that Sativex may help relieve anxiety and stress, which are major drivers of chronic pain.

Additionally, some research suggests that CBD may relieve symptoms of rheumatic diseases such as fibromyalgia.

A study that included survey data from 2,701 people with fibromyalgia found that those who used CBD for pain relief generally reported slight to significant improvement in symptoms.

And according to preclinical evidence from rodent studies, CBD may have beneficial effects on pain and inflammation related to arthritis, but human studies are lacking.

Although researchers are cautiously optimistic that CBD may be helpful in the treatment of some types of pain, especially when combined with THC, more high quality studies are needed to determine its effectiveness in pain management.


With so many constant sources of stress, pain, and inflammation people often need a more holistic approach to heal. Even medical doctors have begun suggesting that people combine traditional psychotherapy & pharmaceutical treatments with relaxation techniques like yoga & meditation.

On the other hand, inflammation and tension in the pelvic floor are common themes when it comes to pelvic pain, whether it’s the result of scar tissue, hormones, or emotional experiences being held in the body. On a physical level, A number of modalities can help with pelvic floor function, muscle tension, and somatic awareness. We recommend working with a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist, Sexological Bodyworker, or Holistic Pelvic Care provider.

Beyond these clinical approaches, when it comes to actually engaging in sex or self-pleasure, our clients benefit from approaches that “promote relaxation and bloodflow to the genitals while decreasing pain, and ‘rewiring’ the nervous system to create a sensation of safety.” 

When it comes to creating relaxation and bloodflow, we believe in the benefits of our Full Spec. CBD and Ratio tinctures. The combination of these whole-plant cannabinoids, rich in therapeutic phytochemicals, is terrific support for enhancing your arousal capacity and decreasing the tension and inflammation that can prevent pleasure.

Our products won’t necessarily fix the problem, but they can be reparative to your nervous system by setting new patterns of pleasurable sexual experiences—so you don’t anticipate pain each time. 

If you choose to supplement with CBD, it will work best as part of a comprehensive anxiety treatment plan. A multi-faceted approach is essential to healing and preventing painful sex and sex interrupted by stress and anxiety. Determine the correct nutrition and hormone balance for your biochemistry. Work with trauma-informed practitioners to address any negative experiences that may be stored in your body. And for sex and self-exploration, keep tools like Full Spec. CBD or other high-quality CBD products on hand.

We encourage you to speak first with a trusted medical professional about your plans, especially if you currently take prescription medications. Similar to grapefruits, CBD could interfere with your body’s ability to metabolize drugs. A doctor or integrative practitioner can also help you rule out any contributing deficiencies and other worrisome health issues.

We wish you success on your journey and deep healing for your brain and your body.

We wish you success on your journey and deep healing for your brain and your body.

Other reports in this series:

We reviewed the clinical data on some of the most commonly reported medicinal cannabis uses. Learn more about how you can use both CBD and THC to improve your sexual performance, get better sleep, and eliminate anxiety:

Read: Cannabis and Mood

Read: Cannabis and Sleep

Read: Cannabis and Anxiety

Shop Sex + Libido.

Leave a Reply