An analysis of the popular 4/20 weed celebration found an increase in auto accidents after 4:20 p.m.
Two things that are exploding on the wellness scene right now – essential oils and cannabis. Whether you drop herbaceous oils in your aromatherapy diffuser to calm down, sip a CBD tea for anxiety, make lemon water for a boosted mood from the citrus oils, or use cannabis to relieve pain and tension, you might be surprised to know that there’s a through-line in all of this – terpenes.
By definition, terpenes are “any of a large group of volatile unsaturated hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants, especially conifers and citrus trees." Different terpenes have different properties, and purportedly can enhance different aspects of your health and deliver specific results.
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POPSUGAR recently visited the Canndescent factory in Desert Hot Springs, CA to learn more about these terpenes, and how they can be applied to your very own wellness regimen, whether you use the whole flower or prefer a CBD extract.
Rick Fisher, Chief Operating Officer Canndescent, led a "Terpenes Tutorial" and broke down the chief ones you can look for in different strains of cannabis (that are also found in common fruits and plants, like mangoes, peppercorns, and pine trees), and how they can help you hone in on your desired results.
"There are several terpenes present in different concentration levels, across many different strains," Fisher told POPSUGAR. "These terpenes have effects associated with them, and can enhance or direct the effects of cannabis, acting in conjunction with the cannabinoids, becoming part of what is referred to in the industry as the ‘entourage effect.’"
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POPSUGAR has spoken with several medical doctors about the entourage effect, and its ability to enhance the medicinal benefits of using the cannabis plant, be it for mental health or even cancer. "The entourage effect is the combination of terpenes and cannabinoids, that when present in the right concentrations, can make for a synergistic effect, enhancing the experience."
And you don’t necessarily have to smoke to get this entourage effect (though using a vaporizer or smoking is typically the simplest way to get it). In fact, if you prefer CBD oil and want to avoid any feelings of intoxication, you can try an isolate that’s bolstered with terpenes (Check out Infinite CBD’s collection to see how it works).
Fisher details the most common and present terpenes: myrcene, caryophyllene, linalool, pinene, and limonene. Here’s where they’re most common, and their potential effects on your body (in his words!).
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Scent Profile: Musky, clove-like, herbal
Where It’s Found: Mangoes, thyme, and bay leaves
Effects: Sedating, relaxing, and can enhance the intoxication feeling of THC. It also has antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
Scent Profile: Floral and lavender-like, slight citrus
Where It’s Found: Lavender, birch, and rosewood
Effects: Relaxing and calming but with more of an anti-anxiety impact. Studies have shown that Linalool can reduce lung inflammation and boost the immune system.
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Scent Profile: Peppery, five-spice, earthy
Where It’s Found: Black peppercorns, cloves, and hops
Effects: Mild physical effects reported; said to help with sleep/insomnia, inflammation, and pain relief. Caryophyllene is the only terpene known to interact with your endocannabinoid system and currently is being researched for its ability to reduce the poisonous effect on the kidneys caused by anti-cancer chemotherapy drugs.
Scent Profile: Citrus, lemon, sweet orange
Where It’s Found: Citrus, juniper, and peppermint
Effects: Elevates your mood while melting stress. This terpene has anti-depression, anti-anxiety qualities.
Scent Profile: Sweet, piney
Where It’s Found: Pine needles, conifers, and sage
Effects: Good for alertness, and energizing qualities that aid memory retention. Pinene is a bronchodilator [which can help your breathing] and is said to lessen the impact of [the intoxication of] THC when consumed through cannabis [read: you won’t get as "high"].
Editor’s note: our terpene class noted that pinene as a bronchodilator can help improve a workout thanks to its ability to improve your oxygen intake and levels.
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"While a handful of studies have been conducted on terpenes, there is much more needed," said Fisher. "At Canndescent we support research and trials to help us all unlock the potential of cannabis and better understand its possible integration points in our lives."
Cannabis: the plant that keeps on giving. Its uses are incredible and can be traced back thousands of years. There are various species of cannabis, and cannabidiol (CBD), is one that has been gaining a ton of popularity.
People are still often cautious of using CBD oils as they sometimes confuse CBD with THC, but there are actually stark differences between the two. While THC is known to get people high or alter their state of mind, CBD does neither. It is not psychoactive and also has more medical use than THC.
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“CBD stands out because it is both nonintoxicating and displays a broad range of medicinal applications, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-anxiety, and analgesic (pain relief) properties," Dr. Blake Pearson, founder of Greenly Medical Consulting and practicing medical doctor in Ontario, Canada, specializing in cannabinoid medicine, told POPSUGAR. However, certain levels of THC (don’t worry – they’re not strong enough to show up in a drug test since they’re used topically) can be present when using CBD products as it can make the beneficial properties of it even more potent.
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People with arthritis, broken bones, sports injuries, overworked muscles from working out, neurological disorders, and those who want to relax or relieve anxiety can benefit from CBD oil treatments. According to Dr. Pearson, there’s also a growing body of evidence supporting claims that CBD has been shown to improve symptoms related to "inflammation, including inflammatory bowel disease (for example Crohn’s and colitis), rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and sports and occupational injuries causing chronic pain, like tendinitis," mood disorders, and more. He’s seen patients in his clinic find great improvements in their pain after starting cannabinoid therapy.
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Because of its many benefits, CBD has been taking the healthcare and beauty industries by storm in recent years. In fact, CBD is being used in special treatments at several spas across the country – and for good reason. The incorporation of CBD into spa treatments has been shown to reduce inflammation, relieve and ease pain, and destress, according to Anna Pamula, owner of Renu Day Spa, who was the first to introduce CBD treatments in Illinois over four years ago. Her salon in Illinois offers an ever-changing menu based on careful research of cannabis-infused massage therapy and other treatments with cannabis oils and products. She is very careful about sourcing the best, organic products without chemicals for her clients as they are the most beneficial.
The use of CBD oils in spas can be "great for musculoskeletal and joint pain relief," Dr. Mark Rosenbloom, MD, MBA, told POPSUGAR, "because it would really get into the tissues." He usually recommends CBD for localized pain and has seen very positive results from it. Dr. Rosenbloom has also seen a decrease in nausea, inflammation, and oxidative stress in patients when using CBD.
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How CBDs Are Used
"What we are doing when using CBD is using the body’s own system and just augmenting it a bit," Dr. Rosenbloom said. Our bodies naturally produce endogenous cannabinoids, which are the same structure of plant cannabinoids. We have two receptors for cannabinoids, but CBD doesn’t act on them directly. Rather, it seems to encourage the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.
The plant cannabinoids last longer in the body because our bodies aren’t used to breaking them down. "Over 1,000 genes in our body are affected by CBD. They are essential to human life. The body would not function well without endogenous cannabinoids," Dr. Rosenbloom added.
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In spas, CBD is used as tinctures, massage oils, and is infused in lotions and creams. The products will not get you high but are applied to the skin during a massage to reduce pain, inflammation, and much more.
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A study conducted by the World Health Organization stated that there is no evidence correlating any public-health-related problems with the use of pure CBD. Dr. Pearson added that CBD "is generally well-tolerated and has a good safety profile," and the study stated that "CBD does not induce physical dependence and is not associated with potential abuse." However, because it is an entirely benign substance and there could be a chance of developing contact dermatitis or an allergic reaction since it’s applied topically, Dr. Pearson recommends consulting with your physician first.
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It’s also very important to do your research before pursuing any treatments involving CBD at spas. Try to find spas that obtain their CBD from organic sources with minimal ingredients. The products the spas use are of utmost importance, so you want to make sure you’re going to a place that really cares about the ingredients it’s putting in and on your body because "what can harm you is if the CBDs are mixed with oils that aren’t good quality or have a lot of chemicals," Pamula stated.
Like many other cooking herbs, cannabis is a food-friendly plant that is full of flavor and nutrition. Learning how to cook with it properly is not only fun, but it also adds a level of complexity that can bring new tastes and therapeutic benefits to your recipes. Before reaching for your nearest trim or shake bag, slow down. There are a few important tips for cooking with cannabis that you should know to create the safest and most enjoyable edible experience at home.
1. Know How to Enjoy Edibles Responsibly
Before stepping foot in your kitchen, knowing how to eat an edible responsibly is essential when indulging in infused foods. Be aware of your metabolism and know what dosage is right for you. If you are brand new to cannabis, remember this golden rule: “go low, start slow." Begin with one to five milligrams and see how you feel. It usually takes about one to two hours for edibles to kick in, so being patient with your body is extremely important. If you don’t feel anything right away, do not keep eating more. If you eat too much at first, you will regret it. If you consume responsibly, you’ll want to eat edibles again in the future.
Also be aware that eating cannabis is much different than smoking it. When eaten, cannabis metabolizes in the liver, which converts THC to 11-hydroxy-THC, a different chemical than the delta-9-THC that is created by heat when smoked or vaped. If you can smoke a lot of weed and not get too high, do not use this logic with edibles. When processed through the liver, psychoactive effects can be 10 times greater than when inhaled through the lungs, so know your limits and pace yourself.
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2. Pick the Right Strain or Product
If you are planning to use dry cannabis flower for your cooking, pick a strain that’s right for you. How do you want to feel? Remember it is not just about indica and sativa. To find the best flower, it is important to understand the strain’s terpene profile and consider the "entourage effect" of THC, CBD, THCA, and other cannabinoids that are present. For example, if you want something that provides energy, look for strains that have higher levels of the terpene limonene. Limonene is the citrus terpene that makes you feel uplifted, energized, and focused. It acts as a mood enhancer and stress reliever and promotes weight loss.
If you want to feel relaxed and sleepy, strains with higher levels of linalool are a good option. Found naturally in cannabis, lavender, and other florals, linalool helps with anxiety, sore muscles, sleep, and depression. It can also help control acne.
If you don’t want to cook your own cannabis oil or butter, there are a lot of infused gourmet products available for you to use in your recipes. For example, Om Edibles makes a delicious low-dose medicated olive oil that you can add to different dishes, which can be purchased through Sava if you live in California. Cured Nutrition produces Chocolate Chip or Nut Butter Dough that is infused with 30 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD), which can be ordered online in all 50 states.
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3. Understand THC Levels Before Cooking
If you are planning to incorporate THC into your recipe, know the percentage that you are cooking with. Understanding THC levels is a critical step when using any cannabis product. Once you pick out the flower that is right for you, be sure to make a note of the THC percentage, which will allow you to dose accurately and responsibly. While it might seem tempting to use a blend of trim or shake that you have left over, don’t do it! When you combine different strains, it is extremely difficult to know the potency you are working with. Stick to one strain per infusion while cooking.
Once you know the THC, a great tool to use to determine potency is Jeff The 420 Chef’s THC and CBD Calculator. This incredible tool is easy to use, and it will tell you precisely how much THC or CBD will be in each serving. This is critical when you are cooking with cannabis. You can consume higher levels of CBD without getting high, but be mindful and pay attention to THC content.
4. Decarboxylate to Activate Cannabis
One of the biggest rookie mistakes made when cooking with cannabis is not decarboxylating your dry flower before infusing it with oil or butter. Decarboxylation is the chemical reaction that releases the carboxylic acids from THC to activate the cannabis. This process turns nonpsychoactive THCA into psychoactive THC. Activation occurs by exposing dry cannabis to heat around 250°F for 30 to 60 minutes. For CBD-dominant strains, activation begins at 295°F, which releases CBD’s therapeutic properties. Decarboxylation methods vary, but we’ve found great success using these temperatures.
5. Infuse Cannabis Into an Oil or Butter
Cannabinoids such as THC and CBD are fat-soluble, meaning they can dissolve in fats such as oils and butter. THC and CBD molecules dissolve easily in these lipids when they’re heated together in a solution. This is why most infused foods are made with butter, olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil. After decarboxylating dry cannabis flower, pick the type of infusion you want to make, and then pick your method. If you have a Crock-Pot at home, you can easily make an infusion with oil or butter. If you have a French press on hand, Jeff the 420 Chef developed a method that produces beautiful infused oils or butter. You can even purchase kitchen devices that will make an infusion for you. Levo’s cutting-edge infusion device creates oils or butter with a click of a button. It is that easy.
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When making a butter or oil, another trick is not to overgrind the cannabis after it decarboxylates. Grinding the flower too much will create an infusion that displays an unattractive green color and intense herbal flavors that won’t taste good in your recipe.
It is also important to remember that cannabis oils and butter are not just for brownies, cookies, and sugar-packed sweet treats. You can incorporate infused products into healthy recipes such as salads, sauces, appetizers, granola, and stir-fry, plus so much more. Your options are endless, so be creative and have fun in your kitchen!
Image Source: Unsplash / Thought Catalog
Since college, I’ve been using cannabis to manage anxiety, stress, depressive symptoms, appetite issues, and debilitating menstrual cramps. In recent years, I’ve leaned heavily on the plant to help me deal with PTSD symptoms as well.
Smoking weed helps me fall asleep at night and affords me fewer nightmares. When I’m feeling low, consuming a nice hybrid – a strain containing a mixture of both sativa and indica genetics – can actually motivate me to clean, exercise, cook, and run errands. When I’m struggling to focus on an article, microdosing cannabis can help me meet writing deadlines as well. Marijuana even helps me relax during sex, which makes it easier for me to orgasm. And sometimes, I just enjoy getting high.
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I won’t pretend my relationship with cannabis has always been perfect, though. The wrong strain or dosage can actually make my anxiety worse, and marijuana isn’t cheap. Even so, weed has met my mental and emotional health needs better than any other antianxiety medication I’ve tried, and I’ve tried several. So when I ran out of my Alpine Vapor live resin cartridge during a recent trip to Missouri, I switched up my cannabis routine. I’d read so many articles praising CBD as “Nature’s Xanax" that I figured it was worth a shot, especially since cannabis is completely illegal in Missouri and CBD isn’t.
Image Source: Elizabeth Enochs
Originally, I’d planned to use only CBD oil for two weeks, but due to some of those debilitating menstrual cramps we were talking about earlier, I bent the rules a little bit. During week number two of my experiment, I used CBD only during the day and allowed myself some THC at night, for extra pain relief. But for the duration of weeks one and three, I cut out THC completely.
I found the Koi Fitt Starter Kit by Envii and decided to give it a whirl. I figured a CBD vape would be the most convenient and discreet option for me, especially since I tend to microdose cannabis throughout the day.
I was right. Not only does the Koi Fitt yield a delicious blue raspberry dragon fruit vapor, but one puff of the stuff gave me immediate relief from some of my worst anxiety symptoms. The anxiety-induced chest pain, tight muscles, and poor appetite I deal with on a daily basis became virtually nonexistent with CBD, which made it easier than ever for me to sit still and focus on my work. I didn’t have any trouble falling asleep at night, either.
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CBD wasn’t quite as effective for relieving my PTSD and depressive symptoms, though. I dreamed way more during my CBD-only weeks, and my dreams are typically nightmares. And although CBD can provide a slight mood lift, THC consistently allows me to cope with trauma and find joy in a way that CBD simply can’t.
Image Source: Elizabeth Enochs
Simply put: CBD and THC improve my life in different ways. In my experience, CBD really does feel like "Nature’s Xanax" – minus the brain fog and inevitable drowsiness. But when it comes to pain relief, I prefer a well-balanced cocktail of both CBD and THC – which makes sense, because each compound has its own unique pain-fighting properties. It also makes sense that I might need more than CBD to stave off nightmares, because smoking weed makes you dream less.
Even so, I’m glad I went without THC for two weeks. Before I became acquainted with CBD, going a day without cannabis just didn’t feel like a realistic option for me. I have more than a dozen ways to deal with anxiety that have nothing to do with marijuana, and I’ve been relying on them for years, but they aren’t always enough.
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My experiment ended nearly two weeks ago, and I’m still using CBD every single day. I still consume THC on a daily basis, too, but now that I have CBD, I don’t feel quite as dependent on weed. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a good wake and bake as much as the next stoner, but using CBD for three weeks made me rethink how I use marijuana. I used to start my day with a dose of cannabis, and now I generally prefer to save weed for evenings and weekends.
CBD relieves my anxiety in ways that THC has never been able to, and it’s brought a renewed sense of balance to both my daily cannabis routine and my life in general. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to learn about the stabilizing effects of consuming CBD, but now that I know what CBD can do for anxiety, I’m telling everyone.
Weed has long held a negative stereotype in popular culture. When someone says the words “smoke weed," it conjures images of stoners doing nothing with their lives, sitting on the couch watching endless hours of television and ordering mountains of Taco Bell. Apart from a shared love of Taco Bell on occasion, I can assure you I am nothing like these stoners you imagine. (Not that there’s anything wrong with stoners!) I’m a college grad working on a master’s degree at the same time as consulting and writing freelance, and guess what? I love smoking weed.
I found that smoking weed not only helped me fall asleep quickly and quiet the anxiety in my mind, but it also gave me a bedtime routine.
I moved to Northern California when I was 18 and was plunged into the world of marijuana. It was all new to me – and I soon realized that I really enjoyed the mellowed-out feeling I got when I smoked. I have dealt with anxiety and OCD for most of my life, and I found it really quelled any stresses I was managing. Despite this, I barely smoked in college. It wasn’t until I started working and managing the stresses of being in my early 20s that I considered it again.
It was actually a friend training to be a therapist who suggested it. In her learnings, she had encountered a lot of studies that had shown weed in moderate amounts was helping people sleep better, reduce anxiety, and even have better sex. I decided to try smoking a bit of weed before bed, and within days, it completely transformed my life.
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Sleep and getting to bed have always been tough for me. I found it difficult to unwind after a long day of work and switch off my mind. Before I started smoking weed, I would sometimes lie in bed until 3 a.m. just going over everything I had to do the next day and not getting any rest. I found that smoking weed not only helped me fall asleep quickly and quiet the anxiety in my mind, but it also gave me a bedtime routine.
My life was suddenly running a lot more smoothly. Because I was sleeping better, I was waking up with a clear head and felt more energized in the mornings. No longer did I need a huge bagel and four cappuccinos just to get in my car. I woke up naturally sometimes even before my alarm. I also felt so much less stressed during the day because I was rested.
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Soon it became my thing. A part of my life and routine that I loved and that enhanced my life. Sometimes my friends will tease me about being a pothead, but they know how important it is for my well-being.
Celebrities are being more vocal about weed use, and there is a plethora of incredible female-run weed companies popping up. It seems like there’s a new benefit to smoking weed being discovered every day. I know my life would definitely not be as amazing if I didn’t have my bedtime routine. I wouldn’t be able to accomplish what I have without it. I’m excited the stigma is fading and that more and more people are experimenting with weed in different ways to enhance their lives. Judgment about weed use is a waste of time – trying it isn’t.
As warmer weather quickly approaches, it’s time to add some healthy items to your shopping list. As you might have heard, using cannabidiol (CBD) in your cooking is a great way to improve your wellness routine. By using CBD as a cooking ingredient, there are a lot of ways you can incorporate this super food into different recipes.
If you are unfamiliar with CBD, it is a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid derived from cannabis or hemp. Unlike THC, CBD won’t get you high. Instead, CBD acts as a powerful medicine that helps with inflammation, depression, anxiety, and stress. CBD is also an excellent source of nutrition, so by using it to your food, you can create gourmet recipes and still receive a broad spectrum of therapeutic benefits.
We’ve rounded up our favorite gourmet CBD products that can be enjoyed either on their own or in a recipe. Keep in mind that some of these products are only available in states where medicinal and recreational use is legal, but there are also products you can order online. Read on to discover some gourmet options for improving your health and wellness.
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Need help sleeping? Maybe you’re extra stressed or battling legitimate anxiety. Or perhaps you’re supersore from a workout, or dealing with chronic pain . . . how does some CBD tea sound?
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I just discovered Buddha Teas’ collection of CBD teas, and I’m pretty damn obsessed – and yes, I already have a favorite. Because I’m now apparently a CBD evangelist, I feel like it’s my duty to share the good news with you all. Here’s the skinny: you can buy Buddha Teas’ CBD teas online. It’s a US brand with headquarters in Carlsbad, CA (my hometown, wuddup!) – and they have an unbelievably extensive (and impressive) catalog of some delicious looking teas of all varieties, not just limited to CBD.
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The new line of calming, inflammation-relieving teas features four varieties, including Mint, Chamomile Blend, Turmeric & Ginger, and Matcha Green. At $20 a box for 18 bags (or $60 if you get the four pack of all the flavors), they’re a little over $1 per cup, making this a more affordable CBD option compared to other offerings on the market currently. Now for the details!
The moment you’ve all been waiting for . . . *drumroll* . . . it tastes like tea! Wow. No, but seriously, a concern with a lot of the CBD edible products I’ve tried is “will it taste ashy" or "will it taste like pot." Many people coming into the CBD space have no experience with marijuana in general, so the taste factor could be an aversion for some. Fortunately with these teas, not only do you not taste the CBD, but the flavor of the tea is actually really delicious.
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My favorite is the chamomile. It honestly tastes like the best chamomile tea I’ve ever had – and if you use chamomile to sleep, kick things up a notch and take your sleepy time chamomile tea to the next level with some snooze-inducing CBD. It gives a new meaning to the term slumber party.
Buddha Teas uses a "water-soluble CBD" – what they say is "crafted using nano-size particles" so you don’t end up with oily tea. Apparently if you use a CBD oil tea, you can’t get the medicine into the hot water. Buddha Teas claims the water solubility allows for bioavailability.
Each tea bag has five milligrams of CBD, which is a pretty low dose, but can be just enough to quell jitters, abate general anxiety, or help you nod off a little easier. This mellow dosage is also ideal for CBD beginners, because as all the doctors say: "start low, and go slow." What’s slower than a hot cup of tea? (Nothing. The answer is nothing.)
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These effects will vary based on your body, your body’s chemistry, your current dose, and your reaction to CBD in general. If you’re new to trying CBD, this will take some testing to figure out what dose your body needs! Also: don’t be surprised if you don’t feel anything at all. Remember this is the nonpsychoactive compound, so it’s not THC! Many people expect to feel sort of high or intoxicated, but that doesn’t happen. The things you’ll feel are almost unnoticeable because CBD helps bring your body back to a healthy normal . . . and we don’t really notice when we feel normal! You might fall asleep more easily, sleep more soundly, feel less stressed or anxious, or have less pain and inflammation.
Some of us may already know from experience that weed and sex go hand in hand, but recent research now supports this theory. A population-based study by Stanford University’s Department of Urology and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (published in Nov. 2017) found a positive link between marijuana use and sexual frequency.
The study included over 50,000 US male and female participants of all economic backgrounds, races, religions, a variety of reproductive ages, and education levels. Results showed that those who used cannabis were also engaging in more sex. Within a four-week period, female users “had significantly higher sexual frequency compared with never users," while men showed that "higher marijuana use was associated with increased coital frequency." Both sexes saw a 15- to 20-percent increase in sexual activity during that trial. And contrary to the negative effects alcohol may have on sexual function (aka "whiskey dick"), marijuana use did not appear to impair function whatsoever.
Results showed that those who used cannabis were also engaging in more sex.
Whether weed enhances or worsens the sexual experience (or any claim about cannabis, really) has been long debated due to the lack of research out there. When you’re talking about cannabis, it’s important to take into account that it’s not a one-size-fits-all plant. There are over 100 known cannabinoids – including THC, CBD, and CBN – all of which react differently in various combinations. So rather than diving into the effects of individual compounds on sex, this Stanford study looked at general cannabis use on sexual behavior. Keep in mind that results were self-reported by participants and there was no placebo group involved.
"That’s always my biggest hold-up with the science in this field," neuroscientist Josh Kaplan, MD told POPSUGAR. "So much of it is survey-based self-report, which has a high degree of bias and no placebo group. Still, it seems to all go in the positive direction, but I think it doesn’t go as far to help convince those who are already skeptical."
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Now, whether marijuana directly affects your libido or if it enhances sex to the point that you want to keep engaging in it is still unclear. But what we do know is that high sex can equal better sex for several reasons. One factor that can improve (or worsen) sex is your mood. Leaving thoughts about work, kids, etc. at the door and being fully focused on your partner can sometimes be difficult, and that’s something cannabis can absolutely help out with. It can help ease anxiety and stress and better your mood – all things that can lead to quality intimacy with your partner. However, it does take some experimenting to find the best combination of cannabinoids for you.
"One of the problems, though, is that cannabidiol (CBD), through this mechanism of reducing anxiety, can also reduce libido, so it’s kind of a double-edged sword," Dr. Kaplan said. "Taking a more balanced approach with CBD and other cannabinoids might be a better option."
For example, we know that THC enhances and heightens our senses. The most well-documented research, according to Dr. Kaplan, comes from THC’s ability to amplify smell. Combine that with CBD’s reduction of stress and anxiety, and you’ve got yourself the ideal bedroom conditions. On top of impacting our physical senses, THC can also improve our mood. Amounts of dopamine, or the pleasure chemical in our brains, increases during foreplay and sex.
"If you have chocolate cake, you’re like, ‘Wow, that was great. I want more of that’ – same thing with sex," Dr. Kaplan said. "You get this enhancement of sexual experience which could underline why people who use cannabis engage or frequent sex. When you can find the right cannabinoid composition and right method of consumption, it could have an arousing effect on mood and on desire and so in that sense, it could be really helpful in the leading up process as well as the physical sensation when you’re engaging in the experience itself."
Dr. Kaplan recommends experimenting with strains and products with a 1:1 (THC to CBD) ratio or 2:1 to find what works best for you. You may experience adverse effects, such as paranoia and anxiety, with high levels of THC, for instance. Each of our bodies are different, so no one will have the exact same reaction to cannabis. As for which methods are best, he says vaping as opposed to eating edibles or smoking flower. Edibles are more difficult to gauge and have a slower onset than puffing on a vape, which hits your bloodstream instantly without irritating the lungs.
"In adults, there are very little health consequences for trying [marijuana], especially with the more balanced THC and CBD compositions," Dr. Kaplan said. "When you have a more balanced composition, I think there’s a lot of benefit if people are struggling in that regard to give it a shot. And even if they’re not, I don’t always see a problem with trying to enhance an experience if you can do it in a relatively safe manner."
Even if you are open-minded about the benefits of cannabis, popular methods like eating edibles, smoking, or vaping can seem intimidating. But how about sipping on a cup of tea? Founded by two women who wanted to create a wellness product that was female-friendly, Kikoko cannabis-infused herbal teas are low-dosed, great-tasting, and completely unassuming.
“We consider ourselves to be part of the destigmatization movement, bringing it out of the drug realm and into the wellness realm," Kikoko co-founder Amanda Jones told POPSUGAR. "We wanted to create something that was already a health ritual."
Each tea contains a blend of organic, herbal ingredients as well as a cannabis active (amounts vary by tea). Kikoko’s founders Jones and Jennifer Chapin worked with a team of scientists and an artisanal tea expert to create delicious blends with precise doses. Kikoko’s formula starts with cannabis oil, but its proprietary drying methods ensure that there is no cloudy film or weed-like aftertaste. After much research on herbal medicine, the Kikoko team selected the best ingredients to specifically address each blend’s purpose. Each tea has a different ratio of cannabinoids (some with more CBD to offset the amount of THC and so forth). Consumers have the option of the following four teas:
Positivi-Tea (For Mood)
This organic, lemongrass mint green tea is the only caffeinated one in the group and it’s also the strongest. We don’t recommend newbies starting out with this one. Each sachet of Positivi-Tea contains 10 milligrams of THC and 5 milligrams of CBD, as well as peppermint, green tea, spearmint, licorice root, lemon myrtle, lemongrass, and safflower petals.
Positivi-Tea was one of the two I tried out firsthand, and I was pleasantly surprised at its potency and great flavor. It took a little under one hour for me to begin feeling the effects, and while I was enjoying a noticeable high, I didn’t feel too stoned. I’m regular cannabis user, I was still able to fully feel the tea’s effects.
Sensuali-Tea (For Libido)
If you’re looking for ways to intensify pleasure, you may want to try Sensuali-Tea, an organic hibiscus cardamom rose blend. Although slightly less potent at seven milligrams of THC, you’ll still feel a moderate high. This caffeine-free tea contains hibiscus, rose petals, orange peel, lavender, cardamom, cloves, and licorice root.
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Sympa-Tea (For Pain and Anxiety)
This organic, ginger orange tea has the highest amount of CBD (20 milligrams of CBD and three milligrams of THC). You won’t feel much of a psychoactive high; instead, you’ll notice the muscles in your body relieved of tension and pain. CBD is also known to combat symptoms of anxiety, making Sympa-tea ideal for relaxation. This blend contains ginger, tumeric, ginger peel, black pepper, star anise, cinnamon, and licorice root.
About 50 minutes after drinking a cup of Sympa-tea, I felt a very subtle high that could’ve easily gone unnoticed if I wasn’t looking for it. I did, however, note full-body relaxation and felt as though a weight was lifted from my chest and shoulders. Although I definitely preferred the flavors of Positivi-Tea to this one, there was still zero taste of cannabis.
Tranquili-Tea (For Sleep)
Wind down with a cup of caffeine-free, chamomile and lemon myrtle tea before bed. If you’re a regular cannabis user, you’ll barely feel the three milligrams of THC (if at all) in Tranquili-Tea. But the blend also contains five milligrams of CBN, which is cannabinoid known to induce sleepiness. Jones herself has completely replaced her night cap with a cup of Tranquili-Tea, especially since it doesn’t cause grogginess or any hangovers the following morning. Each sachet has peppermint, chamomile, valerian root, lemon myrtle, licorice root, rosemary, lemongrass, lavender, and cornflower petals.
Kikoko teas was inspired by a dear friend of Jones and Chapin. When Jan got terminal ovarian cancer, she was using cannabis to alleviate her nausea and pain, help with her appetite, and to better her mood. As someone who didn’t want to smoke cannabis, Jan looked to edibles instead. But this was also three to four years ago when edibles were not regulated and were often high dosed.
"They were really made for the male market and the stoner market, or the habituation market, and they were just knocking her on her ass," Jones told us. "It was her idea really; she was a very sophisticated women, and she said there needs to be a product that is cannabis but it’s reliably dosed for women, and it’s a wellness product, and it’s beautifully packaged or at least tasteworthy."
And then, Kikoko was born. When Jones began her research into the benefits of cannabis, she was both amazed and angry at the information she came across.
"I was frankly really pissed off that this plant had been made illegal in the 1930s because of big industry lobbyists who made cannabis illegal and succeeded in vilifying what is a natural plant medicine that has been used by every major civilization in recorded history."
Jones and Chapin agreed that their product needed to bring the THC levels down, to make it as user friendly as possible.
"We consider ourselves more of a wellness product than a get-high product," she said. "Now, you will get high but you’ll never ride the crazy train."
Steeping the tea bag longer also doesn’t increase its potency. Although Kikoko recommends steeping for three to five minutes for flavor, you won’t have to worry about accidentally leaving it in for too long. Since everyone’s metabolisms differ, onset time can range anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes. But make sure you give yourself some time before adding a second bag to your cup! With some of the more CBD-heavy formulas, you may not even feel a "high."
Kikoko is available throughout the state of California for $5 to $8 per sachet, or $40 to $56 for a can of 10.