Marijuana contains high amounts of Delta-9 THC, the intense psychoactive compound that affects our minds, bodies, and libido. But what about hemp? Can hemp-derived products pack the same sex-enhancing punch? The short answer is yes.
Hemp-derived products often contain the same cannabis compounds, including Delta-9 THC. They also include psychoactive THC isomers and analogs, like Delta-10, Delta-8, HHC, and THC-O. Research and surveys suggest these full-spectrum hemp extracts can positively affect users’ sexual experience.
What the research says about THC and libido for women
The evidence shows THC in marijuana enhances the sexual experience among many women. In particular, marijuana led to prolonged and improved orgasms, increased sex drive, and decreased pain.
A 2019 study that surveyed almost 400 women exclusively showed:
- Marijuana increased satisfaction regarding sex drive, orgasm, lubrication, reduced pain, and overall sexual experience.
- Higher frequencies of marijuana use led to more sexual satisfaction.
A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that marijuana enhanced the female sexual experience in several ways that could explain better orgasms, including:
- Helping them relax
- Heightening their sensitivity to touch
- Increasing the intensity of feelings
Increased sex drive
Researchers studying the link between cannabis and sexual desire in women showed several positive results:
- An online survey of more than 200 women and men who use cannabis found that nearly 60% said cannabis increased their desire for sex, and almost 74% reported increased sexual satisfaction.
- The study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, which compared data from the U.S. government’s National Survey of Family Growth of more than 28,000 women, found women who used marijuana daily had about 20% more sex during the previous four weeks than their peers who abstained.
Decreased pain and discomfort
Research also shows that marijuana use can help women manage pain and discomfort during sex, such as menopause symptoms, that can contribute to lower libido and sexual discomfort, including:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal changes, such as dryness
Why does cannabis help women’s libido?
Researchers believe delta-9 THC’s mechanism of action in the brain helps women feel pleasure more intensely, more easily connect with their partners, and desire sex more than usual. Here’s how:
- THC interacts with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS), which has receptors in the brain that regulate things like pleasure, pain, and relaxation.
- THC promotes the release of oxytocin, the “bonding hormone” that makes us feel closer to our sexual partners.
- The ECS also impacts hormones like estrogen and progesterone, influencing sexual desire and arousal.
- Cannabinoid receptors are widespread in the female body, found in the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, vagina, and vulva, where THC can quell inflammation and increase circulation.
What the research says about THC and libido for men
While THC shares its arousing effects with both women and men, studies show some unique potential downsides for men. First, let’s look at the positive sexual changes for men.
Better sex drive and performance
As with women, male THC users reported increased sex drives and satisfaction:
- The study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found a similar trend for sex drive in men as it did for women. Men who abstained from marijuana said they had sex an average of 5.6 times in the four weeks before the survey, while men who used marijuana daily reported having sex 6.9 times—an increase of 23%.
- According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, some men said their sexual performance improved after using marijuana.
The reasoning here also points to THC and its binding with cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body that affect mood, perception, and behavior. For instance, marijuana users often report feeling happy and relaxed, which can lead to better ejaculatory control in men.
THC downsides for men
A recent study showed marijuana use had no significant adverse effects on male sexual function, but THC does display some possible downsides for men.
- Too much marijuana use can decrease sperm count. Some researchers think chemicals in the drug can affect sperm cells’ motility, weakening their ability to swim toward an egg and fertilize it.
- While men may want sex more often, orgasm could be more challenging. THC’s interaction with cannabinoid receptors might make some men too relaxed to have a firm erection.
Dosing can be a factor
Experts say that the extent to which marijuana improves or impairs sexual function can depend on the dose and frequency of use. Additionally, some people are more sensitive to THC’s effects than others. In men and women, lower amounts of THC seemed to enhance sexual excitement, desire, orgasmic response, and overall sexual satisfaction than high doses.
The key is always to start low and go slow. For edibles, 2-5 mg may be the perfect starting point.
Why hemp-derived products can make sex better, too
Hemp-derived products can make sex better, too, because they contain the same Delta-9 THC as marijuana. The only difference is hemp products are produced according to the 2018 Farm Bill rules on Delta-9 THC limits–Delta-9 must be less than 0.3% by dry weight. As a result, hemp-derived products are federally legal.
Hemp products also include psychoactive THC isomers that act similarly in the brain to heighten the senses and boost feel-good hormones.
Hemp-derived edibles, tinctures, and other THC products are popular, legal, and readily available. If you’re wondering where to buy Delta-9 products, check Qwin’s catalog of Delta-9 syrups, cookies, and gummies.
The Bottom Line
While cannabis and hemp aren’t 100% guaranteed to improve your sex life, anecdotal evidence suggests that the right dose can increase sex drive in men and women and make orgasms more satisfying. Researchers believe this is because THC interacts with receptors in the brain related to pleasure. THC also heightens the senses and can alleviate many symptoms that negatively affect sex, like anxiety, pain, and inflammation. However, high doses could negate these effects and cause men to experience erectile dysfunction or low sperm count, so it’s best to start low and slow.
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