Dope Sex: How to Integrate CBD and Cannabis Into Your Sex Life

An analysis of integrating cannabis and CBD into your sexual practice & partnership. Researched and Written by Sexologist and Sex Educator, Avril Louise Clark and in partnership with Sex Academy Barcelona.
Sex and Cannabis have a number of similarities: both are natural, both are considered socially taboo subjects, both are extremely pleasurable. This popular pair have been hand-in-hand for quite some time. While some prefer to grab a cocktail before sex, I highly recommend reaching for the pipe instead. Not only can the ritual of sharing a smoke with your partner(s) be something of an exciting pre-intercourse ritual, but the use of cannabis can also be beneficial for shedding inhibitions and really setting “the mood”, leading to some highly satisfying sexual experiences.   As legalization and regulation become more prevalent in the states, we too have become more aware of the lesser known compounds and beneficial effects of the cannabis plant’s terpenes. Terpenes are fragrant oils that give cannabis its aromatic diversity, taste, and unique color. These oils that are secreted in the cannabis flower’s sticky resin glands are the same ones that produce THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids that cause you to feel high.

Much like cannabinoids that are found in cannabis, terpenes give rise to various effects, including mood.

What are terpenes & how can they change your sex life?

Perhaps you’ve recognized the particular citrus flavor of a plant as you smoked, or whiffed the fruity aroma of the flower - this is due to the particular terpene profile of that strain. Terpenes are by no means unique to cannabis - they can also be found in many other herbs, fruits, and plants. Much like cannabinoids that are found in cannabis, terpenes give rise to various effects, including mood. 

While you might be seeking specific strains based on their CBD or THC levels, it’s also important to consider the terpene profile of the strain. There exists over 100 different terpenes in the cannabis plant with an infinite amount of strains to explore. Much like with essential oils, each specific terpenes found in cannabis strains will give you an effect. While some terpenes promote relaxation and stress-relief, others promote focus and agility, which can be quite useful when it comes down to sex. Depending on the physical and mental response you’re seeking in a sexual experience, choosing a strain based on the terpene profile it contains may be helpful in pointing you in the right direction.  In order to enjoy sex to its fullest, you should always feel complete relaxation, as well as approach it positively. If you or your partner(s) are experiencing anxiety, shame, or sadness, the possibility of a climax decreases, and often can become impossible. If you struggle with performance anxiety, and need assistance entering a relaxed state of mind, choose terpenes that have a calming or euphoric effect. If you’re seeking an extra boost of vitality, choose an energizing strain. Keep in mind that you can become “too high to FUCKtion”. In order to avoid this, choose a strain with a low terpene count. See a guide to choosing the right strains to make your sex life even more “dope.”

Outlined below are the most common cannabis terpenes, matched with suggested strains to look out for  according to the desired sexual effect.


Referred to as the “couch-lock”, Myrcene is known for its highly sedative effects. Unless used to promote (occasional, maybe) restful sleep before sex, Myrcene is a terpene you’ll want to avoid in high concentrations.

Strains to avoid: OG Kush, Grandaddy Purple

Also found in hops.


Common to citrus plants, this terpene is known for its energizing and antidepressant properties. Because citrus greatly increases alertness, visual stimuli is also strongly enhanced, making this a perfect pre-sex ritual to help get the juices flowing and blood pumping between you and your partner(s).

Strains to look for: Super Lemon Haze, Durban Poison

Also found in citrus.


Energetic and therapeutic, this terpene is common in pine needles. If you’ve ever walked through a forest and felt that “lifted” sensation, you’ve experienced this terpenoid! The A-Pinene profile supports sharp thinking and motivation. For those energetic, hair-pulling, “ended up on the floor” sexual experiences, I highly recommend this terpene.

Strains to look for Blue Dream, Pineapple Express

Also found in pine needles.


Linalool, similar to limonene, promotes relaxation & stress relief. It also provides antidepressant benefits. Due to its sedative qualities, I suggest the “less is more” approach.

Strains to look for Amnesia Haze, Master Kush

Also found in lavender.

Cannabis is a personal experience, as is your process in selecting the right one. Terpene profiles provide you with unique insight on what qualities one should look for in a strain when desiring a more pleasurable sexual experience. For many consumers, this level of precision in strain selection is paramount to having an enjoyable time in bed. For others, picking a strain of any variety and getting straight to business is the way to go. The key to finding the right strain, amount, and preferred method of consuming cannabis is through micro-dosing. Start low and go slow! I highly recommend that each partner finds the strain that works the best for them individually, and then apply it to their shared sexual experience. Sexual communication is key to having a positive sexual experience, so stay open-minded, open-hearted, and and enjoy yourselves some Dope Sex!


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