Right now, it seems like cannabis-infused products are everywhere. You can buy cannabis-infused face masks, lattes, gummies, bath bombs... the list goes on. Celebs are also getting into the cannabis products game: Kim Kardashian is throwing a CBD-themed baby shower, Martha Stewart is launching a line of CBD products for pets, and Chelsea Handler is developing a mysterious cannabis product line. The hype hasn’t escaped sexual wellness products, either. Introducing: cannabis-infused lube.
First, let’s look at the science of cannabis-infused lube. There are two types: CBD-infused lubes, and THC-infused lubes. CBD is short for cannabidiol, while THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol; both are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD won't get you high, and THC will — so THC-infused lubes are only available in certain states (thanks, Refinery29's California office, for helping us test them out!).
Both CBD- and THC-infused products have a lot of potential medical benefits. Key word: potential. So far, only one CBD product is approved by the FDA for medical use (Epidiolex, a prescription oil used to treat epilepsy), and the FDA has recently started warning certain companies about the claims they're making about their CBD products. THC's proven benefits are also somewhat limited, so far: the Mayo Clinic notes that THC has been proven to help reduce nausea and vomiting in people undergoing chemotherapy.
However, just because the benefits aren't proven yet doesn't mean they don't exist. According to the Mayo Clinic, CBD is currently being studied as a treatment for a variety of conditions, including anxiety, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and schizophrenia. THC is being studied for its potential to reduce eye pressure in people with glaucoma, treat seizures, and reduce muscle stiffness in people with multiple sclerosis. And people often use both as home remedies to reduce anxiety, pain, and period cramps.
There are currently over a dozen cannabis-infused lubricants on the market — and the companies that make them say they offer a range of benefits, from reducing pain and anxiety during sex, to increasing arousal and the intensity of orgasm, to making men last longer and women orgasm quicker. A recent study of 5,398 Americans by Remedy Review found that 9.3% of respondents had used CBD sex products — and the majority of them said they noticed a difference in their sex lives. 66% of respondents who used CBD sex products said they noticed a decrease in anxiety; 72% of men and 76% of women said they experienced stronger orgasms; and 98% of respondents said that CBD alleviated post-sex soreness at least slightly.
So, we decided to give cannabis-infused lube a try. Here are anonymous Refinery29 staff members’ reviews of different cannabis-infused lubricants.
Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity and would like to remind its readers that marijuana usage continues to be an offense under Federal Law, regardless of state marijuana laws.
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Foria Awaken (contains CBD)
"Compared to other lubes I've tried, I thought that the smell of the Foria lube was heavenly! It smells like a mix of coconut, vanilla, and chocolate — super welcoming and warm. The fragrance really does set exactly the mood I wanted for foreplay and more. Aside from the scent, the product seemed extremely similar to other lube products I've tried (THC lube and water-based lubes included).
"I thought that the Foria worked well as a lubricant in general, and definitely assisted in getting my boyfriend and I in the mood — it relieved dryness and sped up the arousal process in general — but it didn't cause more arousal or orgasmic pleasure than a drugstore, water-based lube. My partner did not notice anything out of the ordinary aside from the wonderful scent.
"Honestly, I felt a little disappointed in the product. Maybe because my boyfriend and I tried Foria's THC lube when we were in California, I expected it to be an overwhelming sensation that added a new layer of pleasure to our sexual encounter. With the THC lube we tried, both of us definitely got high and I had super intense and quick orgasms. Overall, the product is a great lubricant, just not really anything more than that. I personally wouldn't go out of my way to buy this one again."
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Infinite CBD Big Bang (contains CBD)
"The first thing that drew me to this was definitely the scent — it smells so good, like vanilla and something earthy, which was a huge plus for me. I appreciated that it didn’t feel sticky, like a lot of lubes. It absorbs into the skin quickly and well.
"When I applied it, I let it sit for about 15 minutes before my partner and I used it. I did feel a slight tingling sensation, which was nice. I am a person who smokes a lot of weed, so with CBD products, I have to use a lot of it to feel something. I tried to use a bunch of pumps.
"I didn’t feel much of a difference with energy, anxiety, or my mood. But I felt a heightened libido and comfort. I’d say it was very pleasurable; I’d definitely use it again — but I actually think it was nicer when I used it on my own than when I used it with a partner.
"I also love it as a massage oil. I had my partner massage my shoulder because I thought I pulled something at the gym, and it did make me feel better."
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Spiral Herbal Remedies Yes! Yes! Yes!
"I’m in a long-distance relationship, and we see each other about once a month. Reunion sex feels great in the moment, but I always have some pain after. It feels like my vagina is confused and upset — there’s discomfort externally and internally, and sometimes in my lower back, too.
"This lube needs to be applied 20 minutes ahead in order for the CBD to be effective, but can be applied up to four hours in advance for convenience. I applied it about two hours in advance. I wouldn’t say the lube made me particularly predisposed to orgasm, or that it made the actual sex feel any better than normal lube would.
"However, it was a pretty game-changing for me as far as post-sex discomfort. I didn’t experience any of the usual pain, and when I had sex the next day not using the Yes! Yes! Yes! lube, I still didn’t experience any pain afterward. I will definitely keep using it!"
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Jack Knob Polish (contains CBD)
"Knob Polish was in line with what I typically see with lubricants (non-scented, slippery). I really liked how it wasn’t scented. I experienced increased arousal, and my partner and I both thought Knob Polish created a warmer sensation."
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Privy Peach Coco Jambo Heavy Duty Lubricant (contains CBD)
"Unlike most of the lubes I’m used to, this lube was not a liquid at room temperature. It’s more of a hardened balm that you have to warm up in your hands in order to apply onto the body. My boyfriend and I weren’t particularly fond of that since we had to take a break from doing what we were doing in order to kind of dig the hardened lube out of its container. This lube worked just as well as any other lube at cutting down friction, once it was liquefied a bit. The lube also smelled like a delicious coconut dessert, which my boyfriend and I both loved.
"Neither my boyfriend nor I felt more relaxed or aroused than we usually are during sex, so I’m not sure that the CBD had much of an effect. Afterward, my boyfriend said he did feel extremely relaxed, but he thought that was more due to the fact that he just had an orgasm and not because of the CBD. He did mention that he thought the lube was more warming than others he'd used, which he liked. As for me, after having sex with this lube, I too was just as relaxed and satisfied as usual, but was left to mop up the now-very-liquefied lube running down my legs."
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Privy Peach Personal Lubricant (contains CBD)
"This lube required some warming up in order to use. However, because it came in a little pouch, it was easier to heat up in the hands before tearing open the pouch and pouring on. Again, it smelled delicious, warming, and cut down on friction during sex, which we liked, but it didn’t seem to have strong CBD-effects."
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Privy Peach Sensation Intensifying Erotic Tropical Oil (contains CBD)
"My boyfriend used this to give me a massage during foreplay, which really relaxed me and got me in the mood, but I think that was more thanks to being touched by him and not so much about the CBD. It smelled a little like spearmint and had kind of a light brown color, which surprised us, but not in a bad way. We'd use it again, but we really don’t think there was anything obviously special caused by the CBD infusion."
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Quim Night Moves Intimate Oil (contains THC)
"Overall, I liked it! I did not notice any difference from non-cannabis lubes. It is a good lube and good texture. It worked well, but I didn't notice any cannabis effects, and neither did my partner."
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Quim Oh Yes! Latex-Safe Serum (contains THC)
"It definitely has a different consistency than lubes I'm used to. It's almost like a gel cream, and it's white, while most lubes are clear. Because of the consistency, it absorbed a lot quicker into the body than other lubes, so it didn't necessarily last that long. It definitely had a relaxing effect, and I had much more sensitivity. My partner didn't notice much."
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Good Clean Love CaraGold Premium Lubricant (contains CBD)
"I haven’t used too much lube in the past, and this one almost felt like it wasn’t there, which was a plus — it didn’t feel different, but it did feel good. I definitely felt a heightened arousal, and so did my husband, but I’m not sure if it was the CBD. It had been a while since we’d had sex, and I didn’t feel sore afterwards, which was a bonus. I did notice that after, I felt very relaxed."
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High On Love Stimulating Orgasm Oil (contains THC)
"Maybe it was naive of me to think I'd get a serious high from a sex lube, but that was the hope, so I was little disappointed when that didn't happen. However, the lube itself was quite delightful. It's thick and gooey and comes in a beautiful metallic rose gold dropper. The absence of a high aside, it was quite pleasurable during penetration, and using lube in a bottle that pretty made sex pretty romantic."
(Note: The THC version of High On Love Stimulating Orgasm Oil is not yet available for purchase; there's also a CBD version, without THC, that is available for purchase.)
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Bella Olio D'Amore (contains CBD)
"While I am not much of a purveyor of lubes, I have tried a couple. I really liked this one, and the texture felt very organic. It didn't feel messy like other silicon-based lubes, and was thin enough to dissipate in timely manner. I felt reduced anxiety; I do get a bit anxious before being intimate. My partner noticed that it was better and less messy than the lube we currently have."