Not long ago, the U.S. government prohibited almost all research into the effects of marijuana, now increasingly called cannabis. But in recent years, 28 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, and seven states have also legalized its recreational use. One welcome consequence has been a modest increase in research into its effects—including its impact on lovemaking. Three recent reports show that around two-thirds of users find it sex-enhancing.
The Three Recent Studies
Researchers at St. Louis University in Missouri surveyed 133 adult women during annual gynecology check-ups. Thirty-eight (29 percent) reported having used cannabis shortly prior to partner sex. Of that group, 16 percent said it ruined sex, 68 percent said it made sex “more pleasurable,” and 16 percent expressed no opinion. Among those who called cannabis sex enhancing, almost three-quarters (72 percent) said it always increased their erotic pleasure, while 24 percent said it sometimes did. Almost two-thirds (62 percent) said it increased their libidos and the pleasure of orgasm. In addition, 16 percent of users reported consuming cannabis prior to sex specifically to relieve pain that interfered with it.
Next, the same team surveyed a larger group, 289 adult women, during gynecology check-ups. The results echoed the first study. Among the findings were that 33 percent said they’d used cannabis prior to sex. Users and abstainers were demographically similar, with no significant differences in overall health, libido, sexual function, orgasm, or sexual satisfaction. Among users, 3 percent called the herb sex-killing, 65 percent deemed it enhancing, 23 percent said it made no difference, and 9 percent expressed no opinion.
Finally, Stanford researchers conducted the largest study to date. They extracted information about sex and marijuana from three installments of the large, ongoing National Survey of Family Growth—data from 2002, 2006-2010, and 2011-2015. Their total data set included 28,176 women and 22,943 men, average age 30, who formed a reasonably representative sample of the U.S. population. Compared with cannabis abstainers, men who used it weekly reported 22 percent more sex, women 34 percent more. Among those who used marijuana more than weekly, sexual frequency increased even more. This study did not ask if participants found cannabis sex-enhancing, but to an extent, that can be inferred.
These studies confirm and extend previous reports. Most studies--including my own informal survey of readers of a previous blog post—show that around two-thirds of people call cannabis sex-enhancing. This group generally says the drug increases their enjoyment of sensual pleasure and helps them focus intently on their partner. Around 20 percent call it sex-killing, saying the drug makes them withdraw from partners into themselves, which destroys their erotic connection to lovers. And around 15 percent say marijuana’s sexual effects depend on other factors: the strain (sativaor indica), their mood, and their feelings for the other person.
Cannabis Vs. Alcohol
Meanwhile, the drug most widely used prior to sex is alcohol. Many people lose their virginity drunk and quite a few pairs booze and sex throughout life. But depending on one’s weight and tolerance, two or more drinks increasingly depress the central nervous system. This raises risk of erection impairment in men and reduced clitoral sensitivity in women. And in both genders, drunk sex reduces the pleasure of orgasm and decreases sexual satisfaction. In addition, the combination of sex and alcohol greatly increases women’s risk of sexual assault.
article continues after advertisementI’m not advocating marijuana for sex. That's up to you. Many lovers value total sobriety during lovemaking, and more power to them. But if you feel inclined to combine lovemaking with a recreational drug, know that for most lovers, marijuana seems to be sex-enhancing, while drunk sex is often lousy sex. Unlike alcohol, no study has ever shown cannabis to impair sexual function. And to date, marijuana has never been shown to increase risk of sexual assault.
One Cannabis Caveat
With edibles, dose control is more difficult than with smoking or vaping. Label recommendations can’t be trusted. And edibles may take an hour to produce their effects, so while waiting to get high, some people feel tempted to eat more than they can comfortably handle. In states with legal recreational cannabis, almost all emergency room admissions have involved edibles—people eating too much and later regretting it—suggesting a need for careful experimentation with dosage and timing.
The Ultimate Guide to Golden Milk, Everything You Need to Know
Gaia Herbs Team • October 20, 2016
Golden Milk is based on the traditional Ayurvedic recipe that has been savored for centuries and used to support the mind and body in a number of ways.* Making Golden Milk from scratch only takes about 15 minutes - if you have all the ingredients already on hand - but in today's busy world, sometimes even that can feel like an insurmountable task. That's why we created our own convenient version, which honors the Ayurvedic roots of this nourishing drink - and acknowledges the realities of our over scheduled lives. Gaia Herbs Golden Milk is vegan and gluten-free with no GMOs or soy, with natural sweetness from Dates. Golden Milk is a convenient modern spin on a revered ancient drink.
Turmeric is a versatile herb that supports a healthy inflammatory response in the whole body while maintaining overall health and vitality.* Turmeric offers whole-body support, with both antioxidant support and support for a healthy inflammatory response.* (Read more about using Turmeric for cooking and taking it as a supplement.)
Black Pepper Traditionally paired with Turmeric to support absorption, Black Pepper also adds a hint of spiciness.* This herb is very common in Ayurveda, and it is traditionally considered to be a hot, pungent herb. As such, it stokes digestive fire, called agni, by promoting the natural release of digestive secretions.* It was actually called the "King of Spices."
Vanilla The sweet aroma of this herb has long been used to naturally boost mood.* Plus, it just tastes so good in warm milk! Traditionally, Vanilla was considered to be an aromatic herb that supports the nervous system, and it was used to support a healthy libido.*
Ashwagandha Valued in Ayurveda, this adaptogen tonifies the entire system.* Ashwagandha is one of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs used today. This herb is both a tonic, meaning it supports the body's overall wellbeing, and an adaptogen, meaning it supports the body's natural resistance.*
Cardamom This aromatic herb has a long history of supporting the digestive system.* A relative of Ginger, Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) was called the "Queen of Spices" in Ayurveda, where it is commonly used. It supports elimination of intestinal gas, while improving digestive function.*
Dates This naturally rich, sweet fruit is a source of vitamins and minerals. Dates have a complex sweet taste similar to caramel, making them a popular swap for sugar.
Ginger is a common addition to support digestion and add spiciness.* Allspice, Cloves, Mace and Nutmeg are sometimes used, too. Saffron - which has been used in Ayurveda to support a healthy mood - can also be added.*
Making Golden Milk is easy. Follow these basic steps to make this Turmeric-based beverage:
Prep Time: 1 min Cook Time: 5 min
You can also follow this if you prefer a true D.I.Y. experience.
Tip: Personalize your Golden Milk by adding any of Gaia’s Liquid Herbal Extracts to suit your tastes and support your health.* Add a dropperful of Ginger for tasty digestive support, or try Holy Basil for stress support.*
4 Ways to Customize Golden Milk with Herbs
There's no wrong way to consume Golden Milk, so you can really get creative and make it your own. If you're a fan of using herbal supplements in your food and beverages, you can customize your Golden Milk by adding other herbs. We like liquid herbal extracts of:
How to Incorporate Golden Milk into Your Daily Routine.
Here are five easy ways to start adding Golden Milk into your daily routine:
Swap in a different milk
Use whole milk with cream on top for a particularly rich cup of Turmeric tea. Use coconut, cashew or almond milk - maybe even one with extra vanilla flavor. You can also top it with whipped cream or coconut cream. Or use your "everyday" milk but stir in a special honey. This sweet drink is worth sipping slowly! You could also use a honey swizzle stick or melt a dark brown sugar cube in the bottom for a rich sweetness to the last drop.
Drink it instead of coffee or tea.
Sometimes it's not the caffeine we crave but the ritual surrounding having a fresh, hot cup of our favorite beverage. "Turmeric tea" doesn't require any fancy equipment like that morning cup of pour-over coffee, but it does involve a few mindful steps. There's an aromatic component that triggers our olfactory bulb to signal to the brain that the scent is a pleasant one, thus releasing serotonin and other feel-good hormones. Breathe deeply to inhale the scents of each herb, and savor every sip.
Garnish it as you would you a regular latte.
Try a sprinkle of cinnamon or cardamom, an extra dash of vanilla or a pinch of nutmeg. Add frothy milk, use a dollop of whipped cream (can you tell we really like this idea?) or sweeten it to taste. Or try a sprinkle of vanilla- or cardamom-infused raw sugar.
Blend it with goji berries or whole, pitted dates,. For antioxidant support, blend your milk with a tablespoon or two of goji berry powder before whisking into your Golden Milk.* Whole, pitted dates are a caramellike natural sweetener that can be used in place of honey, making it vegan, too!
Why Golden Milk?
Taking the time to treat yourself to a comforting, nourishing drink is an act of mindfulness. Imagine, after a long day of work, curling up in your favorite chair and wrapping your hands around a steaming mug full of rich, creamy milk that's slightly spicy and sweet. That's your Golden Hour, no matter how long you stay present. Because there is no caffeine in Golden Milk, you can have your Golden Hour any time of day without worry that you'll be up all night.
How do we find Golden Hour?
History of Golden Milk
Golden Milk is having a moment, but while this warm, comforting beverage seems like a new and trendy drink - invented, perhaps, by a clever barista - this Turmeric latte actually has a long, rich tradition of use dating back thousands of years. Within the ancient branch of medicine in India known as Ayurveda, Golden Milk is a tonic that's meant to be nourishing, while also tasting delicious.
Ojas, meaning vigor in Sanskrit, is the essential energy of life, and it's said that Golden Milk - or haldi ka doodh as it's traditionally known - helps to naturally strengthen that vitality. The ojas circulates to sustain the body and support clarity of mind and emotions. With one sip, you'll understand. Just as in the West, warm milk has been used as a comforting bedtime beverage, "Turmeric tea" has served the same purpose. Other herbs can be added (and always have been) to offer additional support as desired.*
BY MARTIN A. LEE ON FEBRUARY 18, 2015 (UPDATED ON FEBRUARY 2, 2019)Updated: February 2, 2019
MISCONCEPTIONS With the growing awareness of CBD as a potential health aid there's also been a proliferation of misconceptions. Find questions and responses to common misinformation.
It doesn’t get you high, but it’s causing quite a buzz among medical scientists and patients. The past year has seen a surge of interest in cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabis compound with significant therapeutic properties. Numerous commercial start-ups and internet retailers have jumped on the CBDbandwagon, touting CBD derived from hemp as the next big thing, a miracle oil that can shrink tumors, quell seizures, and ease chronic pain—without making people feel “stoned.” But along with a growing awareness of cannabidiol as a potential health aid there has been a proliferation of misconceptions about CBD.
#1 “CBD IS MEDICAL. THC IS RECREATIONAL.”Project CBD receives many inquiries from around the world and oftentimes people say they are seeking “CBD, the medical part” of the plant, “not THC, the recreational part” that gets you high. Actually, THC, “The High Causer,” has awesome therapeutic properties. Scientists at the Scripps Research Center in San Diego reported that THC inhibits an enzyme implicated in the formation of amyloid beta plaque, the hallmark of Alzheimer’s-related dementia. The federal government recognizes single-molecule THC(Marinol) as an anti-nausea compound and appetite booster, deeming it a Schedule III pharmaceutical, a category reserved for drugs with little abuse potential. But whole plant cannabis, which is the only natural source of THC, continues to be classified as a dangerous Schedule I drug with no medical value.
#2 “THC IS THE BAD CANNABINOID. CBD IS THE GOOD CANNABINOID.” The drug warrior’s strategic retreat: Give ground on CBD while continuing to demonize THC. Diehard marijuana prohibitionists are exploiting the good news about CBD to further stigmatize high-THCcannabis, casting tetrahydrocannabinol as the bad cannabinoid, whereas CBD is framed as the good cannabinoid. Why? Because CBD doesn’t make you feel high like THC does. Project CBD categorically rejects this moralistic, reefer madness dichotomy in favor of whole plant cannabis therapeutics. (Read the foundational science paper: A Tale of Two Cannabinoids.)
#3 “CBD IS MOST EFFECTIVE WITHOUT THC.”THC and CBD are the power couple of cannabis compounds—they work best together. Scientific studies have established that CBD and THC interact synergistically to enhance each other’s therapeutic effects. British researchers have shown that CBD potentiates THC’s anti-inflammatory properties in an animal model of colitis. Scientists at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco determined that a combination of CBD and THC has a more potent anti-tumoral effect than either compound alone when tested on brain cancer and breast cancer cell lines. And extensive clinical research has demonstrated that CBD combined with THC is more beneficial for neuropathic pain than either compound as a single molecule.
#4 “SINGLE-MOLECULE PHARMACEUTICALS ARE SUPERIOR TO ‘CRUDE’ WHOLE PLANT MEDICINALS.” According to the federal government, specific components of the marijuana plant (THC, CBD) have medical value, but the plant itself does not have medical value. Uncle Sam’s single-molecule blinders reflect a cultural and political bias that privileges Big Pharma products. Single-molecule medicine is the predominant corporate way, the FDA-approved way, but it’s not the only way, and it’s not necessarily the optimal way to benefit from cannabis therapeutics. Cannabis contains several hundred compounds, including various flavonoids, aromatic terpenes, and many minor cannabinoids in addition to THC and CBD. Each of these compounds has specific healing attributes, but when combined they create what scientists refer to as a holistic “entourage effect” or “ensemble effect,” so that the therapeutic impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its single-molecule parts. The Food and Drug Administration, however, isn’t in the business of approving plants as medicine. (See the scientific evidence.)