When 30-year-old sex educator Ashley Manta got a medical marijuana prescription for her chronic migraines three years ago, she visited a dispensary for the first time. This experience would be life changing, introducing her to the range of options available, and leading Manta to coin the term “cannasexual” to describe her experiences mindfully pairing sex and cannabis. But cannasexuality isn’t just buying weed from a dealer and having sex while high; it is a deliberate practice.
“I found Foria, the THC-infused sex spray, in 2014,” Manta recalls. “I was blown away by the idea that they wanted to use cannabis to make sex better. No one in the sex ed world was really talking about this.” She began experimenting in her own sex life, so she “could use it as a baseline to make broad recommendations to others, with the caveat that everyone’s experience will be different.” From there, she started writing articles online, as well as teaching workshops.
Manta says that the best way to know how a strain of cannabis will affect you sexually is to look at the cannabinoid percentages and terpene profiles (cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, are what provide relief to symptoms like pain, nausea, or inflammation; terpenes are the things in plants that make them smell). “If you have too much THC in a strain, it can cause a negative experience because it can get you in your head and make you anxious,” says Manta. “You want to keep THC percentages under 18 percent and start with a puff or two, using the bare minimum amount of product to get to where you want to be.”
CBD, however, is great for sex because it’s anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and has no psychoactive effects. “If you suffer from chronic pain, a high CBD product can help alleviate that,” Manta says. In addition, if people get anxious about sex or struggle with body image or feelings of insecurity, CBD is great for relieving that anxiety. “It gets you out of your head and into your body,” explains Manta.
With marijuana legalization gaining traction, Manta predicts that more people will begin using cannabis to enhance their sex lives. She recommends using it only with partners you have been sexual with before. And since consent is the most important part of all sexual encounters, Manta has a Golden Rule: “Negotiate before you medicate.”
By Britni de la Cretaz
Illustrated by Manon Bijkerk
This article originally appeared in the April/May 2017 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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