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How CBD can boost your pleasure, intimacy, and relaxation

Every so often, a new sexual trend sweeps the globe, promising increased excitement, arousal, and fulfillment. Some of these trends are indeed pleasurable and positive – such as the spike in BDSM’s popularity after the Fifty Shades of Grey novels became bestsellers, or the proliferation and normalization of using vibrators during sex – and some are snake oil wrapped in a veneer of legitimacy. It can be tough to tell the difference.

However, a current trend amongst the sexually adventurous – CBD – appears to be backed up by science. CBD is short for cannabidiol, and it’s one of the intoxicating compounds found in the marijuana plant. Unlike its trippy sibling, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD doesn’t actually get you “high” – but it does promote relaxation, which is why it’s sometimes helpful for people suffering from anxiety, pain, and even epilepsy.

That relaxation effect is one of the reasons CBD works so well in sexy and sensual products. Beginning a romantic evening with a CBD-infused bath or a CBD massage can help reduce any pain, inflammation, or circulation issues you or your partner might be dealing with, which will make it easier to focus on the pleasures to come.

CBD absorbs best through mucous membranes, which is why applying it to sensitive areas like the labia and vagina often has stronger effects than simply rubbing it onto normal skin. CBD-based lubricants and pleasure oils, such as Toca Toto organic lube  purportedly increase natural vaginal lubrication, reduce any pain you might be experiencing in the pelvic region, and intensify sensations and orgasms.

Many such products also incorporate stimulating ingredients like peppermint oil, to increase these effects and encourage additional blood flow to the area. Just be aware that oils weaken latex, so you should not use these products before, or while, using latex condoms and other latex barriers for STI prevention and/or contraception.

Penises don’t absorb CBD as well as vulvas do, but CBD can nonetheless be absorbed anally by people of all genders and body types. Try mixing a small amount of CBD oil with your normal lubricant and applying it to your favorite anal toy prior to insertion. Some people report it increases pleasure, helps relax the area for more comfortable penetration, and can even relieve pain in or near your ass.

As with all sex products and all ingredients therein, CBD doesn’t work for everyone. But sexually adventurous people who are curious about new sensations should consider giving it a try!


Kate Sloan is a journalist, blogger, podcaster, and educator who has been writing about sex online and in print for over five years. She writes about sex, kink, relationships, fashion, beauty, writing, and mental health. She has been voted a Sex Blogging Superhero for four years running, and her words reach over 22,000 sex nerds, weirdos and queerdos every month. As a journalist and essayist, Kate has written for Glamour, Teen Vogue, Daily Xtra, the Establishment, Maisonneuve, Herizons, the Plaid Zebra, xoJane, and more.

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