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To Be Blunt: Can cannabis help us in the bedroom?


Dear Blunt,

I have heard a lot about CBD lubricant, specifically that it helps women who have difficulty getting turned on. I want to try it, but my husband is in the military and gets drug tested. If he tests positive, our life is over so I’m not going to risk it with THC, but I thought maybe CBD would be okay? Is this something we can try?

Thanks for your question; cannabis and sex are my favorite topics! Since most drug tests, including the ones used in the Armed Forces, test only for THC, a CBD-only lube would be an appropriate alternative, but there are hidden risk factors that might affect your decision.

Cannabis “lubes” are something of a misnomer, since they are actually topicals rather than lubes. Whatever you call them, they are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to decrease discomfort and improve blood flow and sensitivity.

We’re not talking Viagra here; it’s more of a subtle, attention-commanding feeling that would make it difficult to concentrate on, say, the dialogue in a Quentin Tarantino movie.

The sensation is similar to a natural arousal response, unlike warming lubes, which are a bit too reminiscent of IcyHot. Cannabis lubes containing THC also seem to enhance orgasmic potential (the strength, length and number of orgasms you can have), especially for people with vulvas.

They are not direct aphrodisiacs, but many people find that when their body is responding, their brain gets into the act!

Due to the dual stigmatization of both cannabis and sexuality, though, the research on cannabis topicals as a sex aid is effectively nonexistent, but we can make a reasonable inference that the enhancement is due to peripheral vasodilation – cannabis’ ability to increase blood flow to the smallest capillaries in the body.

To properly use a cannabis lube, you will need to apply it 20-40 minutes in advance of playtime. Remember, its main purpose is to enhance sensation and decrease discomfort rather than to lubricate (fortunately, most of them do both). This gives the cannabinoids the ideal amount of time to absorb. They work on any thin-skinned, densely vascularized tissue, certainly including genitals but also areolas, behind the ear, or even on the interior wrist or ankle.

In general, cannabis lubes, whether THC-inclusive or CBD-only, give local rather than systemic effects, meaning that they do not enter the bloodstream in sufficient quantities to cause psychoactive changes in the brain. I have known many sober individuals who were able to get the benefits of cannabis’ sexual enhancement properties in this way without risking their sobriety.

This statement comes with a gigantic asterisk, however: If you ingest enough of a product orally or anally, or you use it in great quantity or frequency, you are risking a systemic effect.

For this reason, I’m in agreement with your decision to stay away from THC lubes, even though the risk is low, simply because your consequences are so dire. That’s unfortunate, however, because THC is the main powerhouse behind the vasodilation effect that gives cannabis lubes their – ahem – bang.

With a CBD-only lube, you will need to keep your potency higher and expectations lower. Decreased tension and inflammation are still likely, but the sensation and orgasmic enhancement might miss you.

This is not to say don’t give CBD lube a go, but you will need to be more conscientious than most customers. Not only will you need to find a product that is body-compatible (no glycerin, parabens, or glycols), but also high-potency and cleanly extracted. You will need to research to make sure the product is properly tested to back up what’s on the label. This is because some allegedly CBD-only products contain enough residual THC to potentially trigger a positive drug test.

As nearly everything on the lube market is oil-based (cannabinoids are oil-loving compounds) you will also need to confirm that the carrier oil is safe. Steer clear of jojoba, shea, or mineral oils, which can cause infections. It is also possible to make CBD cannabis lube at home using basic kitchen equipment, which would give you greater control over the finished product. Check out my basic recipe below. And remember that oil-based lubes, cannabis-infused or not, are incompatible with latex barriers such as condoms.

One parting note: If you do decide to give this a go, make sure that you have your husband’s informed consent. Don’t apply it without his knowledge, no matter how certain you are of its safety. Just because CBD is non-intoxicating doesn’t mean it is non-psychoactive, and we all have a right to consent to what goes in, and on, our bodies.

Cannabis Lubricating Oil & Sensual Topical

3.5 grams of high-quality cannabis flower, Clean Green certified if possible (Consult your local budtender to find a high CBD/low THC flower.)

2 cups coconut oil, MCT, olive oil, or a blend (The oil you choose will determine the consistency of your lube. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature; MCT is coconut derived, but liquid at room temperature.)

A double boiler

A candy thermometer

A fine strainer


A clean, dry, glass container for finished oil

To prepare: Grind the cannabis finely and put it in the top of the double boiler with the oil. Fit the candy thermometer on the side and heat gently, keeping the temperature around 200 degrees for 2 hours.

Strain oil through a strainer lined with cheesecloth into the storage container. Store in a cool dark place and dispense with a spoon or squirt nozzle rather than your hands, which can lead to spoilage. Have so much fun!

Chelsea Cebara is a medically-certified cannabis consultant and product developer. She teaches and speaks nationally on the intersection of cannabis with sexuality, relationships, and culture. Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaCebara.
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