Originally published in the Pittsburgh City Paper.
Melody Kush was on vacation with her husband in Spain the first time she decided to try cannabis-infused lube. “We were out for a night on the town and found a shop that sells weed lube, made with sativa oil!” she said. “We went back to the hotel after a few drinks to have fun, and boy oh boy – not fully understanding the dosage, we got SO HAZY!”
Since then, they have been experimenting with different brands and dosages. “We went on to try two different types of weed lube since then, perfect for weekend morning sex!” She added, “We are currently trying to find that ‘sweet spot’ where we get hazy but don’t overdo it/waste the product.”
Kush and her husband are not the only ones experimenting with and incorporating cannabis products into their sex lives. As marijuana is becoming increasingly legalized and accessible, an entire industry is growing around these products. (In Pennslvania, you can purchase CBD-only oils, but cannabis lubes that include THC are unavailable until recreational marijuana is legalized.)
Since marijuana lube is relatively new, companies are competing to develop the best formulation. Mistress Matisse, a Seattle-based dominatrix and founder of the Velvet Swing, a company that sells cannabis sensual lubes, believes that she has found the ideal profile.
When marijuana was legalized in Washington in 2014, Matisse says these products started to pop up all over, and she was hoping to find something she liked but became frustrated by what was available. She commented, “Most of the lubes were oil based, they smelled bad, and they caused yeast infections.” Moreover, as oil-based lubricants, they were not compatible with condoms.
Along with her friend Chelsea Cebara, they partnered with SōRSE, a company that created a water-soluble cannabis product. With this as their base, Velvet Swing created a water-based lube, one with a custom profile that includes both THC and CBD. This combination enhances their customers’ sexual experience. “THC applied topically will not get you high, instead when rubbed onto the skin it acts as a dilator, it opens up capillaries and draws blood to the area,” said Matisse. This, coupled with CBD, which works to relax the big muscles around the vagina, can enhance the experience. She said, “Our customers have reported that the lube has relaxed them, making sex more enjoyable.”
Stacey Swimme, a self-described cannabis enthusiast who has also worked in the weed industry in California, said that she has had really amazing results with Velvet Swing and other weed lubes, but that the results have been best when she has used it solo. She added, “Self-love is the best love,” and described the orgasms she had with these products as lasting longer and throbbing harder. Both her and Matisse say cannabis lube can also help relieve menstrual cramps when sprayed on tampons.
While she doesn’t deny that you can have enhanced partnered experiences with these products, Swimme does warn against thinking of them as a panacea to fix relationship ills. “Cannabis lube is not going to make up for poor communication, or unresolved pain or trauma,” she says. “When we are talking about something as complex as sex, we have to be willing to look at the full picture, and not limit sex down to our genitals.”
In other words, cannabis lube may enhance your sexual experience and make your orgasm stronger, but it cannot solve all of your sexual issues. “If your sexual challenges are psychological,” she warned, “then you have to be willing to couple the use of cannabis with other ways of treating shame, body issues, and trauma.”