Cannabis Can Boost Emotional Connection.
This intimate feeling extends into post-sex cuddling, since an orgasm leads to the release of both dopamine and oxytocin. Often referred to as the "cuddle chemical," oxytocin can increase empathy. "Cannabis stimulates both [dopamine and oxytocin], but it really pushes the oxytocin, which leads to a feeling of satisfaction and intimacy," Dr. Tishler says.
Interestingly, one 2014 study found that the post-sex bonding effect of oxytocin was ineffective if alcohol was consumed, since conversations after drunk sex were deemed less deep in terms of subject matter and more negative in general compared to conversations after sober sex.
Both cannabis and Red Wine Can Increase Desire.
That doesn't mean that cannabis lovers see no boost in desire, and, in fact, many report that they do get a libido lift from weed. "Cannabis is clearly beneficial for erectile function, desire, and libido," Dr. Tishler says.
Cannabis Can enhance Physical Sensation.
Molly Peckler, a cannabis-friendly matchmaker and consultant, says that cannabis increases sexual sensation for her, but she says that it's important that each person selects the right strain of marijuana for them. (Peckler says she's had wonderful experiences with Grandaddy Purple, an Indica strain.) While Sativa strains are known for leading to more invigorating and energetic highs, Indica strains are known for providing more relaxing and anxiety-relieving highs — which can be great for a cozy night of love-making.
"When you’re drunk, your sensations are dulled; and when you’re high, your sensations are enhanced,” Peckler says. And, in fact, one 2009 study found that while alcohol increased sexual risk-taking, it had no impact on physiological sexual arousal.
Alcohol, in particular, Lowers Inhibitions.
Of course, cannabis can also lower inhibitions when over-consumed, but not in the same manner as alcohol. "It’s not a blackout in the same sense as alcohol, but more of a hallucinatory and altered state, from paranoia to visualization," Dr. Berman says. "It’s not the same amnesia." In fact, one small 2016 study found that people tended to regret drunk sex more often than high sex.
You Can Use Cannabis For Sex Without Getting High.
Along with these types of products, CBD capsules may be another way to get the pleasure-enhancing effects without the high, says sex educator Ashley Manta. Like THC, CBD is a cannabinoid found in marijuana, although it doesn't hold the same psychoactive properties as THC. Due to the restrictive federal laws surrounding cannabis, however, research on CBD and humans is still limited, and more research is needed before we can definitively say this works.
Alcohol is easier to get in most states.