It’s clear that public attitudes and opinions towards cannabis are changing rapidly. The days of reefer madness are long gone as voters, communities, and public health officials more widely approve the legal use of recreational and medicinal cannabis.

Increasingly, people are also recognizing the side benefits of weed – including the ways having sex while high can improve your sex life. Some say it’s a libido enhancer, while others tout enhanced sensations and orgasms from mixing weed with sex.

Since cannabis use has only recently become more widely accepted, there isn’t a ton of research on how it impacts sex. Recent studies though show its potential to increase pleasure and connection in the bedroom. Just like sexual encounters can be incredibly different, so does cannabis affect people differently.

While it’s hard to say how weed will impact your sex life, cannabis connoisseurs would likely suggest having sex while high is an experience worth exploring. 

The Pleasures of Being Turned On While High 

The small body of research around sex and weed is growing. Currently, around two-thirds of sexually active cannabis users say it enhances sex.  

Users are citing increased arousal, sensitivity, and more overall satisfaction when mixing weed and sexual pleasure. In one study, those who smoked cannabis prior to sex reported having deeper orgasms. This same study found that those who toked regularly were more likely to have satisfying orgasms on a consistent basis.

Cannabis increases blood flow and opens up the blood vessels, which is likely why users are experiencing deeper pleasure. Smoking weed can also help bring us into the present moment and into our bodies. It’s probably the driver behind women reporting twice as likely to experience deeply satisfying orgasms. These women also noted increased sex drives, improvements in orgasm, and a decrease in pain. 

Beyond the enhancement of physical sensation, smoking cannabis prior to sex can support intimacy and creativity in the bedroom. Two-thirds of participants in one study stated that using weed prior to sex increased emotional closeness and sexual satisfaction.

And some strains of cannabis can be really cerebral. This can lead to deeper conversations and exploration of new erotic curiosities. The increased relaxation can also help people drop self-consciousness around their bodies, allowing them to be more present in the moment. 

Concerns about Cannabis and Sex

Not all cannabis users enjoy having sex while high. The psychoactive effects of cannabis can take some people out of their bodies and into their heads, leaving them disconnected or anxious in an intimate encounter.

The type of strain and strength can also have a huge impact on the experience. It’s important to establish trust and communicate regularly with your partner(s) if experimenting with cannabis use and sexual play. Consent conversations are also important, making sure boundaries are established before engaging in sexual activity while in an altered state.

You can also discuss your intentions for using cannabis explicitly to enhance intimacy. It could address increased pleasure and sensation, deepened intimate conversations, or to address a sexual challenge. 

Does Weed Affect Sperm Count?

There are also concerns about the impact of long-term cannabis use on the body and sexual health. Researchers have been trying to determine if weed affects sperm count. At this time, the jury is still out with contradictory results.

A study published in 2015 showed regular marijuana use (more than once a week) did impact sperm quality and count. A study from 2019 however reported that moderate cannabis use actually had significantly higher sperm count than those who never smoked. It noted there may be “reproductive benefits to moderate cannabis use,” but that higher doses do adversely affect sperm count.

What about “Weed Dick?” 

Many men are also worried about a connection between marijuana and erectile dysfunction. Smoking a joint before sex has the potential to relax men too much, making an erection challenging. This is referred to as “weed dick.” 

A recent study showed a direct connection between marijuana and erectile dysfunction. It stated that “people who smoke weed every day are three times as likely to suffer erectile dysfunction than people who don’t smoke at all.” It’s important to remember that frequency of use and the type of cannabis impacts everyone differently. While using cannabis might affect your erection, there are many other routes to sexual pleasure. Being turned on while high could lead to creative exploration in the bedroom.  

Weed dick is the connection between marijuana and erectile dysfunction.

Indica or Sativa for Arousal?

Exploring weed and sex with an enthusiastic partner in the right headspace can translate into a really great time. It’s important however to keep in mind that the strength and strain of the weed can have a big impact on your experience.

Many people wonder if it’s better to smoke indica or sativa for sex while high. Both have their benefits: indica strains can provide greater relaxation and more of a body high, potentially making the body much more sensitive to touch. The chill-out impact of indica can also leave you without motivation to get up off of the couch, making it important to be mindful of dosage. 

Sativa strains on the other hand are known to be energizing. The extra surge of energy that comes from sativa could be a great boost to a night of lovemaking. It also has the potential to cause anxiety, or send people up into their heads and out of their bodies. Start with a smaller dose to see how that affects you. Then play with your partner to find that sweet spot to show up with both your body and mind energized. 

The Best Strains for Female Arousal

Whether you’re planning a night of psychedelic solo exploration or a romantic evening with a lover – there are many strains of cannabis to try. Some have even been reported to be particularly potent for female pleasure. The best strains for female arousal are known for their relaxing, anxiety-inducing components, and ability to heighten the senses. Here are some of the best ones, according to the website Herb:

  • Sour Space Candy: This high-CBD hybrid will help you relax and clear the mind.
  • Green Goddess: Provides a relaxing body high and a clear mind, giving you an energizing buzz that’s perfect for staying in the moment and exploring pleasure.
  • Green Crack: This powerful sativa is ideal for an all-night lovemaking session, leading to “feelings of joy, energy, and hyper-focus”, perfect for a playful romp between the sheets.
  • Sour Diesel: This popular hybrid is sativa-dominant so it will have your mind buzzing while leading to increased sensitivity in the body.
What is the best strain for male arousal?

The Best Strains for Male Arousal 

Women don’t get to have all the fun. There are also some best strains for male arousal. These tend to increase both relaxation and focus, helping men let go of daily stresses to be more present and attentive lovers.

  • Sour Space Candy: Also great for female arousal (see above).
  • Blue Magic: This is an upbeat sativa-dominant strain with euphoric effects that support focus and functionality. 
  • Rockstar: An effective natural remedy to chronic stress and good for relieving pain, this strain can help get men get into their bodies and into the mood.
  • Chemdawg: Can help relieve mental stress and provide an all-body euphoric feeling. Herb cautions users against starting with large doses, as this is an extra-potent strain.

Slippery When High 

So what is you’re not a smoker and still want to play? Cannabis can also be used in a topical form to increase relaxation or stimulation, or decrease pain in the bedroom.

Conveniently, there are many THC and CBD-based lubes on the market, with many yielding glowing reviews from users. While topical application doesn’t get you “high” in the same way as smoking flower or eating edibles will, it does impact the sensory experience of the body. According to one user it made the clitoris much more sensitive, while increasing blood flow and heat in the body.

Lube has the added benefit of aiding pleasure by helping with issues such as vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse. One popular lube on the market is called Pleasure by Foria.  This THC-based lube, designed specifically for women, is known to increase sensation while decreasing tension. 

Exploring Sex While High

Clearly, there are many options to choose from if you want to explore using cannabis before, during, or after sex.

It’s important however to be mindful of dosage and stay in regular communication with your partner when experimenting with something new. You can also explore new strains in partnered or solo sex to see how indicas and sativas impact your arousal and pleasure.

With the exponential growth of the cannabis industry, we will likely see an ever-greater selection of products and strains. We look forward to a fun future of having orgasmic sex while high!

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Celeste Hirschman is the co-founder of the Somatica® Institute. She trains coaches in the Somatica® Method of Sex and Relationship Coaching, and has her own private practice in San Francisco, where she works with clients to have profoundly pleasurable and fulfilling lives. She has co-authored multiple academic articles published in peer-reviewed journals and three books: Cockfidence, Making Love Real, and Coming Together. Celeste has her MA in Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University (SFSU) and her BA in Women’s Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). She has taken the Hakomi Pro-Skills Training, as well as multiple trainings in sexuality and relationships. Celeste also has a Certification in Sexological Bodywork from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS).