The best strains for arousal, according to cannabis and sex experts
It’s no secret that a dash of weed will spice things up in the bedroom. In recent years, the legal market’s been awash with topicals, suppositories, and tinctures aimed at doing just that. But while these products are great — and work very, very well — puffing on a pre-roll or taking a bong hit of some spicy flower can be just as effective when it’s time to get down.
However booming the canna-sexual market may be, it seems to be devoid of any smokable sex aids. While something is working with smoking pot before (or even during) a sexual experience, there is little data on what kind of flower lends itself best to enhance sexual pleasure.
When it comes to sex and using flower, are there strains that specifically heighten arousal? Or, when it comes to sex, is all weed created equal? Is there such a thing as a “viagra strain” to kickstart your sex life?
So many strains claiming to enhance female arousal and male arousal with names like Atomic Northern Lights and/or high-THC content that claim to be “sure things” can be intimidating, confusing, and just downright mood-killing when they don’t work. Or, worse, make you get in your own head.
This kind of journey is personal, intimate, and determined by how the plant’s chemical makeup of terpenes and cannabinoids react with your individual endocannabinoid system, as well as how you react with your surroundings, so we spoke to some of the experts behind the canna-sexual uprising that’s rocking the weed world and bedrooms alike.
While there’s no single strain that’s guaranteed to get your engines going, here are a few of their favorites.
“There is no such thing as the perfect strain for all. yet,” explains cannabis expert Jaron Gladstone, co-founder of CBCeuticals. “Think of shopping for condoms or toys. Often, you will find a variety of shapes and sizes to appease everyone’s interests. This tends to be — in part — due to the nature of our bodies each being psychologically and mentally unique. Answering the question of what cannabis strain is best is relative to what you like, what you need, and what the situation calls for.”
While Gladstone’s personal go-tos are Tangie, Original Glue, and Bruce Banner, his favorite is Mimosa, a cross between Purple Punch and Clementine with high levels of the terpene limonene, known for its bright and uplifting effects, and myrcene, known for promoting calm and relaxation.
“Mimosa is the crown jewel, if you can find it,” he raved. “Think of the Mimosa as doing spin art during Sunday brunch. It throws in a little energy, a little pep in your step, and takes all worries away, leaving you happy-go-lucky, euphoric, and free from anxiety.”
For Joe Vela, co-founder and CEO of Emojibator, a shame-free, accessible pleasure-tech brand debuting a CBD pleasure activator later this year, it’s all about Strawberry Cough.
“I keep a steady supply of sativas and sativa-hybrids,” said Vela. “My go-to strain for arousal is Strawberry Cough. In addition to the sensual smell and taste of berry, this strain gives me creative energy and full-body relaxation.”
Strawberry Cough is a sweet, potent strain known for its heady high and hard, cough-provoking smoke. With a terpene profile high in caryophyllene and limonene with a dash of linalool, it produces a shimmering, euphoric high that is at once uplifting, relaxing, and perfect for getting freaky.
High in euphoria-inducing myrcene, uplifting pinene, and sedating terpinolene, Trainwreck is a fabulous strain for foreplay and beyond, according to our sex experts. While it hit its peak popularity about a decade ago, that doesn’t stop Laura Eisman and Allison Krongard, CEOs and co-founders of Her Highness, a brand of glamourous cannabis accessories, from enjoying Trainwreck’s hard-hitting cerebral high, surging euphoria, and creativity.
“My absolute favorite strain for sex is Trainwreck,” said Eisman. “I love it in any form. Nothing is sexier than slowly smoking a Trainwreck preroll. It makes me feel completely euphoric. I get lost in the experience and every sensation is intensified.”
Krongard adds, “Personally, the best pre-sex strain for me is whichever one I have available. Getting high before sex makes it better for me, and all strains deliver. However, if I had to pick just one or two notable pre-sex standouts, they would be Trainwreck and Red Congolese.”
“I think, more than focusing on strains, something to think about, ask about, and look into is terpenes and cannabinoids,” said Anne Louise Burdett, co-Founder & CEO of TOCA, an organic CBD line of intimacy lubricants. “Different strains have different terpene and cannabinoid profiles which is what makes them unique, and if you know what you’re looking for, you can try out all kinds of different combinations.”
She continued, “When it comes to terpenes, for example, if you want to be clear and focused, look to pinene. If you are wanting something more relaxed and sedating, myrcene or linalool, with limonene being more euphoric, creative. As far as cannabinoids, CBN is a major chemical that makes people feel kind of sleepy and dull, so likely best to avoid. THC is fantastic for pain relief and heightened sensation, and THCV is more stimulating. So overall, it’s a pretty idiosyncratic choice, depending on what you need to get aroused and how you like to feel.”
That said, her recent go-to has been Granddaddy Purple (or GDP), an indica-growing cross between Purple Urkle and Big Bud that is high in relaxing myrcene, anxiety-curbing caryophyllene, and uplifting pinene. “Grandaddy Purple is currently the strain I use the most because I have very full days … a pretty regular obstacle to sex is the task of slowing down my brain and getting present and relaxed in my body at the end of the day. Grandaddy Purple is perfect for a longer, more languid experience. A sensual, relaxed time.”
Sour Diesel, one of the most popular strains in existence, is a sativa-growing plant that took over in the 90s. This cross between ChemDog 91 and Super Skunk was cultivated by grower AJ Sour Diesel and launched a ton of beef between growers in the weed world at the time due to its diesel-y aroma and general prowess as the ultimate 90s dank. High in uplifting limonene, peppery caryophyllene, and fruity, relaxing myrcene, Sour Diesel made two of our expert’s lists, including Anne Louise Burdett above.
Daniel Saynt, Founder & Chief Conspirator of The New Society for Wellness (NSFW), a private members club for the adventurous, agreed. “My choice strains for great sex are Sour Diesel, Afgan Goo, Blue Cheese, and Voodoo.”
Saynt continued, “Just think about the experience you’re about to have and try to match the strain that best fits. If you’re looking for a Barry Manalo style, long and romantic sex experience consider going with an indica-based weed like Bubblegum Kush. Try other indica strains if you want to stretch out your sexual experience with more touch and massage, as these strains make that action feel amazing. If you’re looking for wild and crazy sex making, go for a sativa or hybrid-based strain like Sour Diesel or Jillybean. Both are great for getting the juices going and raising arousal.”
“It’s not about getting insanely high when you’re mixing weed and sex. It’s about enhancing the experience, not overpowering it … much like great sex, it’s better to start slow and build up.”
Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
We spoke to some of the experts behind the canna-sexual uprising that's rocking the weed world and bedrooms alike to find out which strains to try.
The Best Cannabis Strains for 8 Different Types of Sex and Sensation
Set aside the chocolate and oysters, there’s a new aphrodisiac in town that can help take your sexual pleasure to another level. Yep, we’re talking about cannabis.
Though research continues into cannabis and its benefits in and out of the bedroom, 68.5 percent of people in one study said sex while using cannabis was more pleasurable.
Curious? So were we. So we reached out to John Renko, cannabis expert and cofounder of GoLove CBD Naturals and Jordan Tishler, MD, a Harvard physician and medical cannabis therapeutics specialist who runs InhaleMD.
They shared more on choosing the right strain and product for the most mind-blowing sexual experience — no matter what type of mood you’re in.
Experts disagree on the role strains play when it comes to effects. Dr. Tishler believes strains lead to different preferences during sex, but don’t guarantee any outcomes. He advises his patients to ignore strains altogether and focus on dosing and method of delivery.
Renko believes the real magic lies in the terpenes when it comes to defining the effects of each strain.
Terpenes are compounds found in plants that are responsible for the aroma and flavor. If one cannabis plant smells like diesel and another reminds you of lemons — that’s terpenes at work.
Terpenes impact the different effects of cannabis, though how is not clear yet. The research into strains’ individual traits — and how those might affect humans — continues.
To ramp up your sex drive, Renko recommends choosing strains with high levels of the terpene limonene, like Do-Si-Dos and Wedding Cake.
Both are indica-dominant, high-THC hybrids that hit you fast with a body-warming euphoria before melting to blissful relaxation.
Strains containing the terpene linalool — known for a nice calming effect — are the way to go to enhance your solo session, according to Renko.
LA Confidential, an indica, and Amnesia Haze, a sativa, are popular strains that fit the bill when it comes to making self-pleasure a full afternoon activity.
Users report a slow start before an intense euphoria with a gradual come down. Sounds a lot like a good orgasm, no?
This is where cannabis really shines. Along with plenty of convincing anecdotal evidence, current research also shows that cannabis may reduce anxiety.
A small 2018 study analyzed cannabinoids and terpene levels of different strains. Participants rated those most effective at treating their anxiety.
Looks like getting your “Kush” on is the way to go if any self-consciousness is making your adult playtime less enjoyable.
The top strains for anxiety were:
- Bubba Kush, an indica
- Skywalker OG Kush, an indica-dominant hybrid
- Blueberry Lamsbread, a sativa-dominant hybrid
- Kosher Kush, an indica
There’s evidence that cannabis relieves pain and past studies have found that indicas seem to be the preference when it comes to pain relief.
If you’re worried about pain putting a damper on sex, look for strains with terpenes that might ease pain, such as beta-caryophyllene, humulene, myrcene, and caryophyllene, according to Renko. His top pick is the strain Zkittlez.
Zkittelz is an indica-dominant hybrid with a strong beta-caryophyllene and humulene profile.
Other strains to try:
- G13, a potent indica
- Cannatonic, a low-THC, high-CBD hybrid
- Harlequin, a sativa-dominant strain
If you’re looking to break out of your comfort zone when it comes to sex, there’s anecdotal evidence that some strains can help.
Based on online user reviews, these strains lower your inhibitions and boost your confidence:
- Granddaddy Purple, an indica
- Trainwreck, a potent sativa-dominant hybrid
- Atomic Northern Lights, an indica-dominant hybrid
- Blue Dream, a sativa-dominant hybrid
Some strains, especially with the right dosing, can give you the energy to keep up with the most enthusiastic of bedmates.
Based on online user reviews, these are the strains to consider if you’re in the mood for an Energizer Bunny-esque romp:
- Green Crack, a sativa
- Cheese Quake, a hybrid
- Super Lemon Haze, a zesty sativa
Any cannabis stain will make you chill if you use too much, so look for relaxing strains and dose right to ensure the right level of chill for turning up the heat.
Try these relaxing strains:
- Master Kush, an indica
- Mr. Nice, a sativa
- Animal Cookies, a balanced hybrid
Many a seasoned cannabis user will tell you that certain strains increase sensitivity to touch and change tactile sensations for the better.
Everyone’s different, so some strains may enhance touch for you, while your partner’s body may respond to different strains.
If you’ve been enjoying cannabis for a while, Renko recommends balancing out your fave THC-dominant strain with a CBD-dominant strain like ACDC. It gives you a “rich terpene profile coupled with the synergistic effect of CBD and THC.”
ACDC is a sativa-dominant strain with 14 percent CBD and less than 1 percent THC.
Here are some other strains to really ramp up erogenous play and give you the tingles:
- Bubblegum Kush, an indica-dominant strain
- Sour Diesel, a pungent sativa
- Jillybean, an indica-dominant strain
There’s no simple answer to this question, because these classifications are less important than the terpenes in a strain, according to Renko.
“Those actually are just physiological plant classifications made around the physical plant properties and not its flower profile, which is where the focus should be,” he explained.
There’s no right or wrong strain for sex. The best one for that encounter will depend on how your body responds to specific strains and on the type of romp you’re aiming for.
Both Dr. Tishler and Renko agree that edibles aren’t the best way to go for partnered sex because they’re too slow and unpredictable.
Edibles need to pass through your digestive system before they take effect. Your BMI and other factors also affect how quickly they kick in.
Chances are you’ll peak at different times than your partner, have sex long before you feel anything, or end up ingesting a dose that isn’t optimal.
If edibles are your preference, they’re probably better saved for a solo sesh.
Here are a few to tickle your taste buds and nether regions:
- 1906 Love Chocolates. These sexy treats combine five herbal aphrodisiacs with cannabis for a physical and psychological high that peaks at around two hours after ingestion.
- Kikoko Sensuali-Tea. The ingredients in this cannabis tea sound as sexy as it’s supposed to make you feel! Rose petals, hibiscus, and lavender are just a few ingredients that are combined with cannabis to arouse passion in anyone who drinks it.
Loads of things! But since we’re talking about cannabis and sex, here are a few other cannabis products made with sexy time in mind.
THC or CBD lube
THC and CBD-infused lube is a thing — and a damn wonderful thing according to many who’ve tried them.
Makers of these lubes say they offer a number of benefits, from increased arousal to faster, more powerful orgasms. The scientific evidence to back some of the claims may not exist yet, but that doesn’t mean the benefits don’t.
Topical application of CBD can be slow to take effect and research is ongoing into ways to improve delivery for faster results. Still, that doesn’t mean that a cannabis-infused lube can’t give your sex life a little boost.
Sufficient lubrication is key to comfortable and enjoyable penetrative sex. Also, it just feels great.
If you want to give a THC or CBD lube a go, you have a few to choose from, starting with GoLove CBD Intimate Lubricant. John Renko is the cofounder of GoLove CBD Naturals, along with sexologist and bestselling-author Dr. Sadie Allison.
A couple more popular options are:
- Foria Pleasure Lube (contains THC and CBD)
- Kush Queen Ignite CBD Lube (contains hemp-derived CBD)
- Velvet Swing Cannabis Sensual Lubricant (contains THC and CBD)
THC or CBD anal or vaginal suppositories
Clinical research on cannabis suppositories is limited.
There’s no solid evidence that they’re absorbed into the bloodstream via the anus or vagina, so don’t expect to get a high from them. This doesn’t mean they don’t have other effects that can help you below the belt.
Users of CBD and THC suppositories, like Foria Intimacy Suppositories, say they’re great lubricants that also help mitigate pain during and after anal or vaginal sex, as well as enhance sexual pleasure.
THC or CBD massage oil
Who doesn’t love a good, oily rub down? Since topicals don’t enter the bloodstream, this can be a nice way to make your body feel good physically, without the “high.”
Oils and condoms don’t play nice together, so be mindful of your method of protection.
Now that you’re armed with some cannabis strain and product ideas, here’s some advice to help you get the most out of the experience.
If you’ve never used cannabis during sex before, try solo sex first
If it’s your first foray into the world of cannabis or even your first time using it for sexual pleasure, trying it during solo play is a good idea.
This gives you the chance to see how you react to a product and whether or not it rocks your world. It can also help put any of your cannabis worries to rest if you’re concerned about any less-than-sexy effects.
Negotiate before you consume
Communication is key to great sex and it needs to happen before you get high. Cannabis can impair your judgment and cause sedation if you take too much.
Get consent and set clear boundaries before getting started. This is also the time to discuss safer sex and make sure you have barrier protection on hand.
Start low and go slow
Dosing can make or break your experience, so heed the advice of most experts and start low (dosage-wise) and go slow if you choose to consume more.
Dosing varies between the different methods of delivery, as does the time the effects take to kick in.
Inhalation methods and tinctures taken under the tongue are quick-acting methods, which make dosing a bit easier. You can tell within 10 minutes if you need another puff or a few drops, or know to stop if you’ve hit your sweet spot.
Keep water and lube on hand
There’s nothing sexy about cotton mouth or vaginal dryness when you’re trying to get your freak on. Make sure you stay hydrated in every way by keeping water and lube on hand.
There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that cannabis makes sex better. Research even shows that cannabis users have more sex than non-users.
If you want to give it a try, cannabis is usually well-tolerated when used as directed. Be sure to purchase products or flower from a reputable, licensed source — and have fun exploring!
Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board.
Last medically reviewed on February 4, 2020
Sure, you’ve heard it from friends, but the research is also in: Cannabis and sex is a potent and pleasurable combo. Experts told us how to choose the right strain and product for the most mind-blowing sexual experience — no matter what type of mood you’re in.