Cannabis: My Aphrodesiac

Dr. Lester Grinspoon, retired Harvard Medical School professor known as the grandfather of modern medicinal cannabis research: “I believe there are three broad categories of usefulness for this remarkably nontoxic drug. Two of them are quite available, namely, recreation and medicine. But there’s a third category, the capacity to enhance a variety of human experiences. There’s one that comes to everybody: the capacity to turn an ordinary dish into an extraordinary culinary experience. And the second is sexual experience.”

Here’s mine:

After eating a cannabis infused edible or ingesting a small amount of an oil concentrate with a dominant percentage of THC—the chemical in cannabis that has psychoactive effects—anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour or an hour and a half later, I begin to feel floaty, relaxed. My whole body gets tingly. My libido turns on, like a light switch. And it works this way for me every time.

 

Tactile sensations become intense. Time slows. Love making carries me on waves of increasing pleasure and euphoria. An hour passes, two hours and more pass. Enveloped in a cocoon of intimacy, I feel totally sensually satiated.

Why does this happen?

“Marijuana has been found to stimulate production of oxytocin, and some experts believe that smoking a little pot can be extremely beneficial to a flagging sex drive, particularly for women.” This sentence was embedded in a write-up about oxytocin on the website, Everything2.

Oxytocin: Oxytocin is a hormone secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland, a pea-sized structure at the base of the brain. It acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain and among other roles, plays a large one in bonding, feelings of love and attachment, and orgasm.

In a research article released by the University of California – Irvine: Role of oxytocin in triggering marijuana-like neurotransmitters uncovered.

Date: October 26, 2015

Source: University of California – Irvine

Summary:

The hormone oxytocin, which has been associated with interpersonal bonding, may enhance the pleasure of social interactions by stimulating production of marijuana-like neurotransmitters in the brain, according to a new study. The research provides the first link between oxytocin — dubbed the ‘love hormone’ — and anandamide, which has been called the ‘bliss molecule’ for its role in activating cannabinoid receptors in brain cells to heighten motivation and happiness.

The research provides the first link between oxytocin — dubbed the “love hormone” — and anandamide, which has been called the “bliss molecule” for its role in activating cannabinoid receptors in brain cells to heighten motivation and happiness. Results appear the week of Oct. 26 in the early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

To investigate the role of anandamide in social contact, UCI’s Daniele Piomelli — the Louise Turner Arnold Chair in the Neurosciences and founding director of the drug discovery & development department at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa, Italy — and his colleagues measured levels of this marijuana-like neurotransmitter in mice that had been either isolated or allowed to interact. Anandamide is among a class of naturally occurring chemicals in the body known as endocannabinoids that attach to the same brain cell receptors as does marijuana’s active ingredient, THC, with similar outcomes.

Cannabis vs. “Female Viagra”

You may be aware of the new FDA approved drug flibanserin for treating acquired, generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women. According to the FDA, HSDD is “characterized by low sexual desire that causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulty and is not due to a co-existing medical or psychiatric condition, problems within the relationship, or the effects of a medication or other drug substance.” While the drug is targeted to treat premenopausal women, there are trials underway for postmenopausal women.

The drug flibanserin, which will be marketed as Addyi, has the media describing it as the “female Viagra.” I’m very concerned about this drug as a solution. You’ll understand why when you read: Female Viagra? Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex Drug Flibanserin But Were Afraid To Ask.

After reading the article, I decided it would be helpful to put together a table comparing Addyi to cannabis sativa as a libido booster.

LIBIDO BOOSTER COMPARISON

After reading the article, I decided it would be helpful to put together a table comparing Addyi to the THC in cannabis as a libido booster.

Questions to Consider

ADDYI

My Experience with the THC in Cannabis

How often must it be taken?

Daily

When great sex is the intention

How long does it take to work?

4 to 8 weeks to see an effect; peak effects* take 8 weeks

Inhaling: an immediate high; ingesting: can take an hour to an hour and a half

Is it natural?

No

Yes

What are the side effects?

Dizziness, Somnolence, Nausea, Fatigue, Insomnia, Dry mouth, Fainting

Dry Mouth**

Can I drink alcohol?

No! Requires total abstinence

Yes***

*According to the drug trials (see Forbes article link above), peak effect equals “not quite one whole additional ‘sexually satisfying event’—potentially without orgasm—than on placebo”.
**Dry mouth can be a common symptom of cannabis use due to binding of cannabinoids to the salivary glands and is a temporary condition. Here’s a recommended cure: http://www.cannahacker.com/the-end-all-cure-for-dry-mouth/.
***Driving drunk under the influence of alcohol is a criminal offense. Cannabis intensifies the negative effects of alcohol. That said: there is growing interest and information about wine and cannabis pairings. I occasionally enjoy a glass of wine with dinner and I’ve had cannabis and nothing untoward so far has happened to me. AND, under no circumstances would I drive.

Learning About Cannabis

I enter cannabis benefits into my search engine and there are about 9,430,000 results. I type in cannabis risks and there are about 973,000 results. If you want to learn about cannabis, you can certainly do it on your own. Despite this, I waded into the mass of data—admittedly from the shallow end—and chose a few specific websites. Disclaiming my ability to control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of the websites’ content, I like them for their watchable videos, readable overviews, up-to-date information repositories, educational aids, and well-written explanations. They also support my experiences and current cannabis mindset.

The Legal Quagmire

Depending upon where you live, you know whether there are laws legalizing some form of cannabis or whether the possession of small amounts has been decriminalized. Both nationally and internationally, there are organizations working for legalization. They’re lobbying to reform laws and help overcome some of the grossly exaggerated negatives about cannabis.

Actions You Can Take

1) Find a health care professional.

If you live in D.C. or a state that has approved medical marijuana: find a health care professional who agrees that hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) qualifies as a condition that cannabis can treat.

2) Start experimenting!

If you in live in D.C. or a state where you can get/buy cannabis for recreational use: start experimenting!

3) Become a cannabis advocate!

If neither of the first two actions are feasible for you: become a cannabis advocate where you live AND consider a visit to a place where you can use cannabis legally. Have fun experimenting!

Disclaimer: I’m a resident of the State of Washington where cannabis is legal for both medical and recreational use, and even if it is similarly legal where you reside, under Federal law cannabis is still a controlled substance and illegal. I cannot be responsible for any harm caused by your reliance on, or any use made of, information that I provide to you on the site about cannabis.