In 2016, April Pride tried a cannabis-infused lubricant for the first time. It left her speechless. Married to her husband of 20 years, it wasn’t hard to recognize when something was different [sexually]. “I thought, ‘Wow! If people could try this, it would really open up their minds,’” explains Pride. In fact, it was this exact experience which led her to found Van der Pop, a female-focused cannabis brand that strives to empower women to explore the flower on their own terms, that very same year.
Based on Van der Pop’s survey stats, 6.4 million women across North America are curious about how cannabis can enhance their sex life. “It became pretty clear that there was a lack of information related to women’s wellness and cannabis that people could count on,” she says. “That’s why we make sure everything our content delivers is relevant to a woman’s life and how cannabis interacts with her body.” That includes making sure women have the information they need to ensure positive results after their first use.
Using cannabis as a sexual aid has guidelines — especially for those who are first-time users.
Though not yet legal in Canada, Pride advises newbie cannabis users to steer clear of edibles. She also projects a similar attitude towards smoking and vaping: “If you’re not a smoker, don’t start on a night that you plan on being intimate with your partner.” As for topical use, such as cannabis-infused lubricants, remember that they don’t kick in instantly. “It can take up to an hour to activate,” she says. “Just be aware that topicals are not something you apply in the bathroom, run straight to bed and get off.”
She also suggests women create their own cannabis-infused topical oils, using a flower that’s already available on the market. The Levo Oil Infuser, a nifty countertop kitchen appliance (that could pass as a revamped coffee maker), is a great way to make your own, she says. “Just infuse your flower of choice with whatever natural-based oil works with your skin,” she says. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding a method that’s comfortable for you.
How our bodies respond to cannabis during sex
Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the two most commonly known cannabinoids — play a major role in what kind of experience you want to have. In a nutshell, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that lends a hand in helping your body relax, and THC, which is the cannabinoid that produces a psychoactive effect (known as a “head high”), acts as an aphrodisiac, stimulating your sense of arousal for increased sensitivity and an intensified orgasm. Three recent reports on cannabis consumption show that around two-thirds of users find it sex-enhancing, according to Psychology Today. Users said it increased enjoyment of sexual pleasure and helped them focus more intently on their partner.
Choosing the right cannabis strain for female arousal
Being that our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids (receptors within the human body that are capable of processing cannabis), certain cannabis strains tend to affect us all differently, according to Van der Pop. That’s why searching for the right strain that complements your desired experience is crucial.
For someone who’s looking to enhance sexual pleasure, “I recommend that a woman looks for a hybrid that’s sativa-dominant,” says Pride. (FYI: A hybrid is a strain that is crossbred with an indica and sativa strain.) That way, you’ll still get the body-sedative effects from the indica strain, as well as the uplifting psychoactive effects from the sativa. “Just make sure to get a hybrid strain that contains a higher level of THC (15 percent or below) and a lower level of CBD,” she says. This concentration of CBD will help mitigate any high that could come on too strong. (You might also want to check out these natural libido boosters.)
With honesty comes change
Today, Pride has created an educational and safe community for women with Van der Pop. But when it comes to how female cannabis consumption is perceived, she’s well aware that it’ll take time. “I feel the more women who confidently come forward with their cannabis experiences, the more it will begin to resonate with other women that they can, too, be honest,” she says. Ultimately, Pride hopes that if a woman decides to make the decision to use cannabis as a sexual aid, that her experience is met with interest and wonder and curiosity, as opposed to judgment.
Next, read up on the truth about terpenes and why everyone is talking about them.