Cannabis Lovers: Cannabis, Stress and Sex Drive

Updated on November 15, 2022
Fay Powell Headshot copy

Who feels like getting frisky when knee-deep in anxiety about a work deadline or overdue bill? Not many, it turns out. Some 77 percent of Americans report high levels of stress – and most are familiar with the effects it has on libido.

And while scores of people turn to cannabis for pain, seizures, muscle spasms and more, most are less unfamiliar with the effect it may have on sex drive, especially as it is connected to stress and anxiety.

Can cannabis’ legendary stress-relieving properties help in the bedroom? Here is a simple breakdown of how it works to soothe the nerves, and the implications that might have on “romantic pursuits.”

Your Nervous System, Explained

The human nervous system is essentially one big command center, and it is divided into two main parts: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for protection from danger. If Joe is being chased by a lion, it will fire up his body with a “fight, flight or freeze” response in the form of increased heart rate, adrenaline and laser focus.

When the lion trots away, as it hopefully does, his parasympathetic nervous system swings into gear by helping his body re-set and return to a state where it recognizes it is safe for rest and digestion, otherwise known as homeostasis.

But if Joe lives in the modern world, often, his stress is simply in response to rush-hour traffic. Unfortunately, the nervous system does not quite recognize that the Honda in front of him is not a lion and responds by kicking the stress response into high gear.

Unfortunately, because most people face some low-level stress all day, every day, the sympathetic nervous system is always on alert, and the parasympathetic nervous system never has the opportunity to bring them back to a state of calm restfulness. If it sounds exhausting, that is because it is! The results of this chronic stress are many and include diminished overall health and sex drive.

This feedback loop also affects one’s hormones. When the sympathetic nervous system is activated for long stretches, the body is flooded with cortisol, otherwise known as “the stress hormone.” When there is an excess of cortisol knocking around the body, testosterone production is also reduced—in men AND women, leading to a reduced sex drive.

Then, of course, there is the social factor. Chronic stress tends to inhibit the ability to connect. Isolation replaces socialization. This can get in the way of an emotional and psychological relationship with a partner, and without an emotional connection, many people lose interest in sex.

How Cannabis Can Potentially Aid 

Enter the endocannabinoid system.

The body’s complex endocannabinoid system modulates other systems in the body including the nervous system and endocrine system and is responsible for regulating a wide range of functions, including sleep, memory, mood and appetite.

The natural compounds found in cannabis, called cannabinoids, interact with the body’s own endocannabinoid system in a range of ways. Interestingly, cannabinoid receptors are located throughout the body and are heavily concentrated in sexual organs.

However, when the body is experiencing stress, the endocannabinoids may not work as efficiently. Amazingly, cannabis may be uniquely suited to help because compounds found in the plant can aid in re-activating cannabinoid receptors and help bring the body back to homeostasis. Which – you guessed it – lowers stress. And as we know, lower stress equals a healthier sex life!

Many cannabis lovers report a reduction of stress and anxiety from their favorite cannabis and cannabis-infused products, and scores report that consuming cannabis can have a direct correlation with increased libido. But it is helpful to keep in mind that everybody has a unique endocannabinoid system and as such, everyone has a unique experience consuming cannabis.

Additional Mindful Considerations 

Here are a few other points to consider: while drinking has long been famous for helping people “loosen up,” too much booze can muddy our judgments and lead to questionable decision-making. Cannabis, however, can potentially ease anxiety and help people “get in the mood,” but seldom leads to the reckless behavior that will make you blush in the morning. Even better, partners who consume cannabis together say that the ritual can help them feel more connected.

While cannabis strains vary in their effects and affect consumers differently, some strains may be  associated with an increase in sex drive, including Dr. Funk, Mixed Berry, Pineapple Cookies, Alien Cookies and more. Leafly is a great resource for finding and educating yourself on strains for specific needs based on fellow subject matter experts and consumer recommendations. 

Products Intentionally Crafted For Sexual Health

  • 1906 Love Drops – An aphrodisiac made from five exotic herbs renowned for their love-enhancing properties increase sensuality, blood flow, boost lubrication, diminish inhibition and improve sexual stamina. This product is formulated with a micro-dose of THC and CBD as well as plant medicines such as Damiana, Ashwagandha, Muira Puama & Catuaba and Theobromine. 
  • Awaken Arousal Oil With CBD – An all-natural arousal oil, made with a unique blend of broad-spectrum CBD and botanicals and designed for females to use solo or with a partner. When applied to the clitoris, inner labia and inside the vagina, this topical oil works with the body to enhance pleasure and sensation and help improve orgasms. 

For those ready and compliantly able to explore more about cannabis, stress and sexual health – there is no shame in asking for help in choosing a potential product that may aid in boosting libido. Unity Rd. has created a safe space in the community for on-going cannabis education for newcomers and cannabis connoisseurs. Chances are that someone working in your local cannabis shop is one of the three out of four Americans also experiencing stress and can share valuable cannabis insights along with strain and product recommendations. 

Fay Powell, Director of Education and Training at Unity Rd. 

Fay Powell is the Director of Education and Training for Unity Rd., the cannabis dispensary franchise from Item 9 Labs Corp., which also cultivates and produces the award-winning Item 9 Labs product brand. Her role ensures that patients and consumers receive extensive product knowledge from franchise partners and their team members, while having the best experience when seeking products that fit their needs. 

Fay transitioned her career from real estate to cannabis to help those living with epilepsy – a decision inspired by her father’s battle with it. The experience gave her a renewed purpose in life to provide patients with confidence in alternative medicine.

With 10 years of industry experience across various roles in and outside a dispensary, she guides franchise partners in their pursuit of owning and operating a successful and compliant dispensary. Ultimately, reaching more patients through the network of Unity Rd. shops nationwide.