Sensual Strains Sex expert Ashley Manta navigates through a plethora of options for consuming cannabis in the bedroom

“What’s your favorite strain for sex?” is one of the most common questions I’m asked as a sex educator and resident expert on all things sex and cannabis. I understand the appeal—we want to have an easy, go-to, one size fits all answer so that we can implement it and go on with our day. Sorry to disappoint you, but the answer is . . . it depends. Like most things related to sex and pleasure, there is no universal answer. Factors to consider include tolerance, what kind of sex you want to be having (the strains or products you might use to facilitate slow sensual sex are not the same products you might choose for frenzied, lustful sex), and most importantly, method of consumption. Since the methods of consumption one chooses affect the body in different ways, it seems prudent to discuss some of the methods along with how they lend themselves to be conducive to various sexual encounters. Remember, consent is mandatory, so negotiate before you medicate! Be clear on what you’re a “yes” and “no” to, how to signal that you’re ready to be done and any specific care you might need after sexy times are over.

“Remember, consent is mandatory, so negotiate before you medicate!”

Flower (smoking or vaping): I would say this method is the most versatile but also requires the most experimentation. I appreciate that smoking and vaping can be slightly easier to modulate dosage (you can choose to use a specific amount and also choose to take large or small hits). Depending on the cannabinoid and terpenoid profiles in the strain, you can choose the effects you’re looking for. A strain high in pinene or limonene could be great for active sex and might help facilitate being communicative in the moment. A strain high in linalool tends to be more relaxing, lending itself to slower, more tactile-oriented pleasure.

Edibles: Edibles are an excellent option for those who have the time to commit. Since edibles can take up to two full hours (and sometimes longer) to take effect, not to mention that the effects can last four to six hours (and sometimes longer, depending on tolerance), save edibles for days when you have a great deal of time to devote to your sexploits. Weekends away with your sweetie, rainy afternoons with nothing to do—these are the situations in which edibles are most useful. The effect is also different than smoking or vaping—I notice that I feel a stronger effect in my body after edibles and less in my head. This could be great for sexy times involving sensation—playing with temperature, impact or teasing touch (for example, hovering your mouth over a partner’s nipple and letting them feel the hot breath, then moving on to another body part, then coming back).

Tinctures: Tinctures could absolutely fall into the edibles category, but I’m giving them their own spot because if a tincture is applied sublingually, the onset time is 10 to 15 minutes rather than up to two hours like an edible. Tinctures are fantastic and are becoming more plentiful as the industry grows. You can choose cannabidiol (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) dominant tinctures, and dosage is easy to determine because most tinctures come in a bottle with a dropper and directions on dosing. I love 1:1 tinctures for helping me get my head ready and set aside any lingering anxiety after a long day of work or any period of stress in my day.

Topicals: Topicals are one of my favorite ways to combine sex and cannabis. Since topicals do not cause psychoactive effects, you can incorporate them regardless of circumstance. There’s a bit of a time delay when applied to a mucous membrane like the vulva—THC-infused sex oils take around 25 minutes to “marinate” before effects are noticeable. You should also be aware that oil degrades latex, so if you’re using oil on any part of the body that will come in contact with a condom or glove at some point in the evening, you need to have non-latex options like nitrile or polyurethane on hand. Topicals can also be used as a way to build intimacy, like offering your partner an infused massage after a long day. I like to use them both ways—apply a THC spray to my vulva and then have my partner give me an infused massage while I wait for the 25 minutes to lapse.

Hopefully this has given you some ideas on the pros and cons of various methods of consumption for sexy fun times. I encourage everyone to test both methods of consumption and new strains and products solo before trying them with a partner. Yes, that means I’m suggesting you masturbate. It helps you isolate variables and figure out what feels best for your body. Plus, it’s fun!

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