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I Tried CBD Suppositories for Sex and the Results Were Shocking

Published: APRIL 20, 2022 | Updated: JULY 21, 2022 09:56:21
Sex and CBD? Brands claim this cannabis-borne chemical relaxes the muscles and mind while expanding your potential for pleasure, but my experience was anything but arousing. Kinkly enlisted the help of 2 cannabis sexperts to find out why.

Sex and cannabis are BFFs these days, and when properly formulated, appropriately dosed, and used in moderation, the cannabis plant can work wonders for pain and anxiety in the bedroom for some people.

However, the marketing hype surrounding the use of CBD for sex could be just that: all hype and no results...or not the results you were hoping for! At least that was my experience when I finally took the plunge and tested a CBD suppository made especially for pain relief and (supposedly) more pleasurable sex, whether used anally or vaginally.

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The results of my CBD test sessions were a total bust. In short, sex was the last thing on my mind after popping an 800MG suppository into my bum. Similarly, when tested vaginally, I felt similar effects that were simply less-so, but the opposite of what was claimed on the box.

Dry mucous membranes; extreme sensitivity to pain and touch; sleepiness and seemingly incurable hunger; and a glazed-over stare accompanied by mental fog. Had I just tried one of the pleasure industry's most sought-after CBD brands, or had I merely smoked a $5 joint bummed from the high school kid around the block?

Believe it or not, this was my experience with one of the many CBD-imbued sexual wellness products that's flying off retailer shelves. My career as a freelance marketer and writer has often lead me down the path of promoting CBD cannabis products, like lubes, oils and products intended for consumption or insertion. Why not put one of the most popular brands to the test (in the name of investigative journalism, of course)?

Read: 7 Ways to Use Lube (including CBD Lube) for Sex with Yourself

My experience was shocking, though not unfamiliar. As a California resident, I'm familiar with the side effects of enjoying a puff of flower on a casual afternoon. But CBD was supposed to be different, right? Manufacturers claim their suppositories provide a boost to one's sex drive and sexual response, without all the typical side effects associated with THC.

However, my result was anything but sexy. If I had wanted cotton mouth (and, let's be honest, cotton crotch), a head in the clouds, and a case of the munchies, I could have done so without the price tag of a trendy sex and cannabis product.

My experience was such a stark contrast to what I'd been promised by CBD product manufacturers and even some cannabis-focused sex educators, I knew I had to find out the truth behind the current CBD sexuality craze with help from the real experts.

CBD Shouldn't Get You Stoned

As a Californian, I'm no stranger to the psychoactive effects of cannabis flower and cannabis-based products, like brownies and candies. When I purchased an 8-pack of 800mg CBD suppositories, however, I wasn't expecting to get stoned, but that's exactly what happened.

Read: Can My Butt Get Stoned? Experts Weigh in On CBD Oil for Anal Sex

How was this possible? Everything I've read about CBD claims that when isolated, this chemical will not produce any psychoactive effects.

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“CBD should not get you high. The fact that you were so far gone, tells us that this product was simply poorly made and tested,” explains Dr. Jordan Tishler, MD, a cannabis expert with over 23 years of experience.

Dr. Tishler is a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, President of the Association of Cannabinoid Specialists, and CEO/CMO at inhaleMD, a patient focused clinical practice.

“[The CBD suppository] had to be full of THC, whether by accident or design,” Dr. Tishler continues. “CBD products are entirely unregulated, unless from a state-legal dispensary, and can have all sorts of things in them that shouldn’t be there, from THC to heavy metals to pesticides and even opioids or benzos.”

Yikes. So in short, your CBD-for-sex product could come from a company that ensures you'll relax one way or another, and not in a necessarily beneficial way for your overall health.

“Worse, CBD can be converted into other cannabinoids, like d8-THC, intentionally or inadvertently,” he explains. “That conversion process requires some careful chemistry and can lead to unexpected results if not done right, including potentially toxic byproducts. This is a just-emerging area of concern and there’s going to be more and more about this in the near future.”

If CBD Wasn't the Culprit, What Was to Blame?

“All the unpleasantness you described is THC related,” says Dr. Tishler. “Too much of a good thing is, well, too much.”

“Too much of a good thing is, well, too much.”

THC isn't inherently a bad idea for better sex. Plenty of folks absolutely love smoking up, eating or drinking THC goodies, or using a cannabis lubricant prior to sex. But as Dr. Tishler explains, it seems the seemingly THC-stocked, 'CBD' suppository I tried was simply too strong for me and caused more negative side effects than increased pleasure.

“I’ve treated many women for such [pain and discomfort] issues quite successfully, but at WAY lower doses, typically about 10mg of THC,” he explains. “I find that local administration of cannabinoids, whether vaginal or anal, is less effective than systemic. I often say: most of sexuality occurs between the ears, not the legs.”

Is CBD Good For Sex?

Under the right circumstances, could CBD have been the right choice for pre-sex prep? Both Dr. Jordan Tishler and sex and cannabis expert Chelsea Cebara say it isn't necessarily so.

“As for what CBD should have done for you, there are no data to support the claims that people are making,” says Dr. Tishler. “CBD has been shown in the lab to cause smooth muscle relaxation in the vagina, but nowhere near as well as THC.”

“The hype around CBD has tipped from exaggeration to outright falsehood in many cases. Much of the trouble comes, as Jordan says, from the transposition of expectations from THC onto CBD,” explains cannabis expert and business consultant, Chelsea Cebara.

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Cebara's job has been to help humans love cannabis since 2010 as a medically-certified cannabis consultant, product developer, and owner of Cebara Consulting. Cebara co-formulated the world's first water-based THC lubricant, Velvet Swing, and co-founded the Sex & Cannabis Professional Alliance.

“Sadly, marketers either take advantage of the confusion or directly encourage it,” she says. “While useful at sufficient dosage and in conjunction with other cannabinoids for inflammation, pain, or spasticity, CBD does not have the fundamental oomph that THC does. Oomph here meaning the ability to dilate blood vessels, which is the largest portion of the arousal-enhancing effect THC provides.”

Read: 7 Ways Cannabis Enhanced My Sex Life

Who and What Can You Trust When it Comes to Sex and Cannabis?

If you're just looking for a legal, psychoactive thrill, THC and other cannabis products could be the ticket to a fun evening of sensual pleasures, whether alone or with a partner. But if you're seeking serious help to address pain, anxiety or a lack of arousal during sex, it's best to book a consultation with a cannabis-friendly MD like Dr. Tishler or a certified medical cannabis expert like Cebara.

“I don’t expect that CBD would help with these issues to begin with, so I would be recommending THC based products,” says Dr. Tishler. “Further, as I mentioned, I don’t find local administration to be very useful. So I would typically advise low dose THC by flower vaporization.”

Dr. Tishler is a fan of vaporized cannabis flower, as oil concentrates and regular smoking produces toxins. He explains that “low dose” refers to around 5-15mg with 10mg being the average. Again, consult an MD with cannabis expertise for the individual dosage advice.

Cebara still recommends cannabis lubricants, as long as they're properly formulated and crafted by honest, knowledgeable companies. She points out that cannabis products for sex should not cause the same side effects as smoking it. Cebara recommends vaginal application for the best results.

“I am an evangelist for topical applications for sex, specifically because they do not, in most cases, cause intoxication,” says Cebara. “The vagina is a mucous membrane and does absorb some cannabinoids into the bloodstream, but typically not enough that the user notices any changes in their mental state. The vagina is not part of the digestive system. The rectum, however, very much is. Anal applications are going to have a much, much higher bioavailability than vaginal ones regardless of which cannabinoids you're using.”

Read: Are Cannabis Products the Key to Embodied Sexuality?

Don't Believe All the Hype

As it turns out, many CBD brands have been misleading consumers. There's very little medical proof that CBD alone can solve the problems it claims to cure.

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“There is some evidence for CBD, but it’s all in rats. Since we’re not rats, I don’t think it’s applicable to us. Rats are a good start but humans have to be tested,” says Dr. Tishler. “So, yes, it’s all marketing hype.”

Like most trends, especially those that promise medical benefits, skepticism is the best route until you've consulted with an expert who's goal isn't to sell you on something.

“This industry is moving with such lightening stupidity that serious scientists are having trouble keeping up. It’s easier to produce something than it is to do so safely,” remarks Dr. Tishler.

Though the pharmaceutical industry doesn't always get the best reputation, Dr. Tishler thinks it could be beneficial for consumers to have access to properly developed and tested products from a big Pharma brand.

“While I’m not a big fan of government, this is where I do believe regulation has its rightful role. Only the government can require and assure that these products are properly manufactured and tested,” he continues. “The interesting thing is that drug companies spend millions because they’re required to prove that their products are safe and truly work. While the cost is high, this is because that’s what it takes to do the necessary research.”

As Dr. Tishler concludes, “Cannabis companies don’t even have to prove safety. We need a better system.”

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Photo for Colleen Godin
Colleen Godin

Colleen Godin is a seasoned pleasure product professional and avid outdoors-woman, though rarely both at the same time.

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