Carnal Cannabinoids

Taking the high road to pleasure through active elixirs found within cannabis and hemp.
Cannabinoids can increase physical sensitivity, boost blood flow and reduce pain. Photo: Susan Wilkinson

By Kevin Menard, LAc

Sex and intimacy are central to our lives, bringing physical pleasure and nurturing emotional health. For generations, we have sought to intensify this bond through a variety of potential aphrodisiacs—the revitalizing maca root, the powerful deer antler velvet, tribulus and of course, the erotic oyster.

In the modern era, cannabinoids—active elixirs found within cannabis and hemp plants—have garnered attention for their potential to amplify sensual experiences. Many are familiar with cannabinoids such as CBD and THC for their potent anti-inflammatory properties, benefiting everything from pain relief to skin health. However, their burgeoning role in sex and intimacy is a less-explored path.

Cannabinoids promise to heighten physical sensitivity. They play with the vanilloid receptor-1, a gatekeeper of perception. CBD can decrease activation of this system, easing pain and inflammation. Conversely, THC stimulates this system, releasing neurotransmitters involved in pain signaling. This modulation of the vanilloid receptor-1 could mitigate discomfort during sex, heightening satisfaction and enjoyment. Moreover, CBD’s potential to boost blood flow may increase sensitivity and arousal.

While these findings are exciting, keep in mind that individual reactions to cannabinoids can differ, and research is still exploring the potential benefits of CBD and THC. It is of utmost importance to prioritize communication, consent, and personal boundaries when weaving cannabinoids into your sexual and intimate experiences, ensuring that the path to enhanced pleasure is both safe and satisfying.

Kevin Menard, LAc, is the founder of Dragon Hemp Apothecary.