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    Cannabis Transformed My Sex Life, And It Could Do The Same For You

    From how cannabis interacts with your body, to exploring the medical studies that have been done, to how users incorporate cannabis into their sex lives and why...let's discuss it all!

    Let me take you back to a time in 2015. I had recently-ish received a diagnosis for endometriosis. It took over five years, which makes sense when you consider that the average time for a diagnosis of endometriosis for white women is seven years and more like 10+ years for women of color! Despite this being a disease that impacts 1 in 10 people assigned female at birth. I also received a subsequent diagnosis for overall pelvic floor dysfunction. Vaginismus, vulvodynia, vulvar vestibulitis syndrome — you name the term for vaginal or pelvic pain, and I probably received a diagnosis for it in the late 2010s.

    I tried many, many things to fix this problem. As mentioned earlier, I went to pelvic floor physical therapy for years. I worked with dilators (a tool used to expand your vaginal muscles), I saw sex therapists, and tried to rewire my brain and the way it thought about sex and the pain I had long associated with it. I bought myself vibrators, I watched porn. I used vaginal valium suppositories. I had multiple surgeries. I even got Botox in my vagina! I hired therapists of all kinds, I got acupuncture and chiropractic work. I used laser therapy. And yet, the debilitating pain was still there. It became such a part of my life that I began to avoid intimacy or sex of any kind altogether. In my mid-twenties, this was not the way I saw my life playing out. And I wasn't happy about it.

    I felt like giving up. I was so far into depression that I wasn't sure I would ever come out again. I felt as if I was destined to live a life without sex of any kind. And it was so hard, because in many ways I already felt like so much of my life had been stolen from me because of my illnesses. It was extremely difficult to process the idea that this could be taken away too. I didn't believe I would ever find a way to experience less pain when it came to orgasming. That is, until I found cannabis.

    It's not a secret that I fucking love cannabis. I have written about it before, and I am writing about it again today. I started using it for pain management when it came to my endometriosis and adenomyosis in late 2014. I would use tinctures, topical rubs, bath salts, smoke joints, dab, anything I could get my hands on, really. You name it — I've probably tried it on a bad pain day. But it wasn't until a couple of years later when I realized just how many ways this plant could be utilized. And today we're going to focus on one way specifically — through sex.

    But don't just take my word for it! Let's take a look at why this may be, and who else is experiencing a better sex life because of cannabis.

    To start, it's important to understand the true relationship between cannabis and the body in order to have a greater understanding of the way this plant could interact with your sex life in any capacity. So, in order to do that, we sat down with Emma Chasen, cannabis educator and industry consultant at Eminent Consulting, to help us better understand the relationship between this plant and our bodies.

    An image of the cannabis plant

    And when it comes to those assigned female at birth, there may be even more of a connection. The ECS is largely present in female reproductive tissues and therefore has a large role in the regulation of hormones, reproductive maturation, and regulation of female reproductive cycling. Theoretically, if a person of female sex is experiencing a reproductive issue, hormone imbalance, pain localized to reproductive tissues, or pain associated with intercourse, consuming cannabinoids may help the ECS to better regulate hormones and provide therapeutic value.

    An image of a woman smoking cannabis

    It's no secret that the internet is rife with claims regarding the ability of marijuana to improve the sexual experience; however, scientific data can be lacking. This is partially because marijuana is still federally illegal as of July 2021. So let's take a look at some studies that have been done to see where we land. First, let's take a look at this study ("The Perceived Effects of Marijuana Use Before Sex") from 2017 that aimed to determine if users believed that marijuana use before sex affected the sexual experience, by how much, and which domains of sexual function were affected.

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    Next, a study from March of 2019 that took a look at the relationship between "Marijuana Use Prior to Sex and Sexual Function in Women."

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    I also got a chance to sit down with Dr. Jordan Tishler — who is a Harvard physician, cannabis therapeutics specialist, and president of the Association of Cannabinoid Specialists — to chat more about the science behind cannabis and sex.

    But I didn't just stop there. Generally speaking, I am definitely not alone in using cannabis for sex. So I spoke to some others users who include cannabis in their sex lives to see how, why, and what it's been like for them.

    Maggie, a 23-year-old from the southeastern US, uses cannabis to treat their fibromyalgia and endometriosis pain. Maggie discovered the beautiful relationship between cannabis and sex a few years ago when penetrative sex became nearly impossible for them and orgasming at all caused them a lot of pain. Maggie told BuzzFeed, "I was already using cannabis to treat other endometriosis-related pain, so I started to investigate. That's when I found the wonderful world of cannabis sexual wellness. I first tried professional suppositories when they were offered to endometriosis patients through a study and loved them for general pelvic pain and for intimacy!"

    An image of a woman smoking weed

    And Elicia, a 24-year-old from Washington, first discovered a relationship between cannabis and sex when they used cannabis after sex to treat the pain they were experiencing during and after sex.

    An image of a woman smoking weed

    Rolando, 40 from Michigan, began using cannabis as a part of his sex life in his early twenties, telling BuzzFeed, "I started smoking young, and now I am an everyday user, whether it be smoking, ointments, or edibles. Cannabis helps me live life better in so many ways."

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    So, how exactly do I use cannabis for sex? Well, I've tried it all.

    You may be wondering where you can start, so Emma Chasen gave some suggestions for adults in legal states.

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    But Dr. Tishler wants users who are considering incorporating cannabis into their sex lives to know that there still are risks involved as we learn more about this plant. "If possible," he added, "consult your doctor or a medical professional that you trust so that as a team, they can work on these issues and get the best benefit and minimize those risks."

    So — what have we learned today? While the studies are still lacking (in part because of this plant still being considered illegal at a federal level, causing a lack of access), the studies that do exist show promise. While I can't say for sure that cannabis will improve everyone's sex life, I believe that everyone should be given the option to try for themselves.

    An image of the marijuana plant over a pink background

    To learn more about how you can get involved in the ongoing fight for cannabis justice, check out Last Prisoner Project or Cage-Free Cannabis.