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Which cannabis can boost arousal?

Want to Boost Arousal? Try One of These Cannabis Strains

By Sian Ferguson

Cannabis has been gaining popularity as a health product. This controversial plant is being used to aid sleep, reduce anxiety, and ease pain.

More recently, cannabis’s benefits seem to extend to the bedroom — and it’s become a popular aphrodisiac.

But what strains boost libido? And which cannabis strains can increase arousal for people with penises, specifically? We’ve put together a guide with a few recommendations.

Remember, the goal here is to feel slightly intoxicated — not incapacitated.

While there isn’t any evidence that certain cannabis strains can lead to genital-specific arousal, there are some penis-specific situations that cannabis can help with.

For example, if you often experience anxiety that leads to erectile dysfunction (ED), an anxiety-reducing strain might be a good idea.

Some research, such as this 2017 study, showed a positive link between cannabis use and sexual frequency. In other words, cannabis users have more sex. This might mean that using cannabis could lead to increased libido levels.

But on the other hand, some studies, such as this 2011 literature review, suggest that frequent cannabis use could actually cause erectile dysfunction (ED). Another 2010 study linked daily cannabis use to an inability to achieve orgasm.

Although more scientific evidence is needed before we fully understand how cannabis can affect your sexual health, many people are using it to boost their libido and deal with symptoms that make it difficult to enjoy sex, such as pain or depression.

The strain selection below is based on anecdotal evidence. Bear in mind that different strains can affect different people, well, differently, so no effect can ever be guaranteed.

Also important to note: Avoid swapping out any sort of prescribed medication for cannabis unless it’s under the supervision of a doctor or other healthcare professional.

While we’ll look at strains that help with specific mood-killing symptoms, there are a few go-to cannabis strains for sex in general. According to anecdotal recommendations, these strains are great for upping your libido.


  • Strain type: Sativa-dominant hybrid
  • Cannabidiol (CBD):
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): 22 percent
  • Why it works: Sweeties is known to have an arousing effect, even for those who experience a low sex drive. It can produce a euphoric and relaxed feeling, which is great if your mood’s a bit low. It’s commonly used for stress, anxiety, and low libido.

OG Kush

  • Strain type: Hybrid
  • CBD:
  • THC: 18 percent
  • Why it works: This iconic strain was first created in the early ’90s. Since then, it’s developed a reputation as a happy, uplifting strain — which also happens to make some people feel super aroused. Note: OG Kush might make you a little sleepy, so stick to small doses at first.

Depression can cause a range of erectile conditions, including ED. It can also lead to lethargy and a low sex drive. Increasingly, people are using medical cannabis for depression.


  • Strain type: Hybrid
  • CBD:
  • THC: 16 percent
  • Why it works: Jillybean is said to have euphoric, mood-lifting effects, making it ideal for depression and stress. It’s also said to be a great strain for social occasions and for getting creative. Since it’s an energizing strain, it can also be great if you’re feeling fatigued.

Strawberry Diesel

  • Strain type: Hybrid
  • CBD:
  • THC: 16 percent
  • Why it works: Strawberry Diesel is often used for arousal because it can have a euphoric, uplifting effect. It typically gives a clear-headed high and a relaxed body, making it ideal for sex. Since it’s neither too energizing nor too sleep-inducing, it could be used at any time of the day.


Stress and anxiety are common libido killers. If your mind is on your to-do list, it can be hard to get into the mood.

Similarly, stress can lead to exhaustion, brain fog, and irritability — not a great recipe for sexual pleasure.

Fortunately, cannabis might be able to help with soothing anxiety and reducing stress.


  • Strain type: Hybrid
  • CBD:
  • THC: 18 percent
  • Why it works: Sherbert is known to relieve tension and anxiety. Although it’s calming, it usually produces a clear-headed high. Sherbert is also known for its full-body effects, which can make sensations feel more intense — perfect for some erogenous play.


  • Strain type: Hybrid
  • CBD:
  • THC: 18 percent
  • Why it works: Locktite is a super-relaxing strain, often calming both the mind and the body. It can give a burst of euphoria, and many claim that it’s great for arousal. This makes it ideal for relaxing after a long day and for getting in the mood.

If a busy day has made you feel too exhausted for sex, it could be worth trying an energizing strain. While some strains might make you feel sleepy, others can boost your energy.

Durban Poison

  • Strain type: Sativa
  • CBD:
  • THC: 17 percent
  • Why it works: An energizing and mood-lifting strain, Durban Poison is often used to boost productivity, creativity, and energy. While many people use Durban Poison to boost their concentration at work or their energy in the gym, you can also take that, ahem, productive mood to the bedroom.


  • Strain type: Sativa
  • CBD: 8 percent
  • THC: 5 percent
  • Why it works: Harlequin contains more CBD than THC, which can be great if you want a subtle high. It’s commonly used for stress, anxiety, and pain, and often has an energizing, uplifting effect. Harlequin is ideal for fighting fatigue and boosting overall mood.

It’s difficult to get aroused when you’re in pain, whether you’re dealing with muscle aches from a strenuous hike or a persistent headache.

The good news is that cannabis might be able to help you with this. In fact, chronic pain is the most common reason for medical cannabis use, according to a 2019 study.

Sour Diesel

  • Strain type: Sativa
  • CBD:
  • THC: 18 percent
  • Why it works: Sour Diesel can be great for sex for a number of reasons. Not only is it a deeply relaxing strain that can often soothe pain, but the full-body high can make sensations feel even more pleasant.

Flaming Cookies

  • Strain type: Indica
  • CBD:
  • THC: 15 percent
  • Why it works: Flaming Cookies is commonly used to soothe aches and pains. This strain is more relaxing than energizing, but it tends to leave users clearheaded. Many claim it’s good for focus and productivity. What’s more is that it typically produces a euphoric, calm feeling — perfect for getting in the mood.

The classification between indica, sativa, and hybrid strains is controversial.

Some experts argue that this classification isn’t really useful, partly because most strains are now a hybrid due to decades of breeding.

Another factor to remember is that certain strains may make one person sleepy and the other energetic.

Although strains are bred for their specific effects, there’s no guarantee of what you’d feel when you use them. Personal preference is something to keep in mind.

Edibles are a popular way to consume cannabis. But depending on the form, they can be a little slow to kick in.

If you want something fast-acting, skip the candies and cookies in favor of something sublingual, such as a tincture or oil.

Sublingual methods are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Plus, unlike their pastry counterparts, they can be accurately micro-dosed.

You might consider purchasing , an herbal aphrodisiac that combines infused MCT (fractionated coconut) oil with 210 milligrams (mg) of THC and 90 mg of CBD per bottle.

It also contains passionflower, guarana, ginseng, turmeric, and natural strawberry flavoring.

We believe pleasure is a fundamental aspect of a safe and healthy sex life. That’s why we rely on experienced writers, educators, and other experts to share their suggestions on everything from the technique you use to the sex toy you buy.

We only recommend something that we genuinely love, so if you see a shop link to a specific product or brand, know that it’s been thoroughly researched — if you know what we mean. Wink.

While smoking cannabis is one way to boost libido, there are other cannabis products that you can use to spice up your sex life. These products are great for people who don’t enjoy the feeling of smoking cannabis.

THC or CBD lube

Lube is a bedroom staple — and cannabis lube can take your experience to the next level.

Because cannabis and CBD seem to reduce pain and inflammation, they can be great for those who experience slight sexual discomfort.

Try a high quality lube like and . The latter contains no THC.

THC or CBD anal or vaginal suppositories

At the moment, CBD and cannabis suppositories are quickly gaining popularity. These suppositories can be inserted vaginally or anally.

They’re mostly used to reduce pain and can be used before or after sex. (They can also be used for non-sex-related situations, such as menstrual cramps and rectal pain).

Many people claim that CBD and cannabis suppositories enhance orgasms and increase sexual pleasure.

Interested in using CBD or cannabis suppositories? You could try , which contain CBD and no THC. They can be used vaginally or rectally.

are designed to be inserted vaginally. They contain both CBD and THC.

THC or CBD massage oil

Massage is a vastly underrated tool for intimacy and aftercare.

A CBD-infused massage oil, such as or , can be a great way to get in the mood with your partner.

Safety first!

Remember to only use top-notch CBD and cannabis products. Avoid the dodgy stuff, even if it’s more affordable.

When shopping for CBD products, you want to look for a third-party lab report (also known as a certificate of analysis). This should confirm the amount of CBD in the product.

When shopping for cannabis, look for a cannabis store or seller that you trust.

If you’ve never done it before, try it solo before you do it with a partner

New to sex on cannabis? We recommend engaging in some solo play before you try it with a partner. Yes, we’re talking about masturbation.

Some solo sex will help you figure out whether you’ll enjoy the combination of sex and cannabis. It could also help you figure out whether the strain is effective at lifting your libido and putting you in the right headspace for sex.

Negotiate before you medicate

It’s important to talk about boundaries before you use cannabis for sex.

Are you and your partner comfortable with having sex while high? What sort of sex? Would you be open to trying any new sex acts while high, or would you rather wait until you sober up to try it?

If at any point you feel too high to have sex — or if you think your partner is too high to have sex — stop.

Remember that incapacitated people can’t consent. If it gets to that point, stop and spend the night watching movies and cuddling on the couch.

Start low, go slow

Start with a small dose and take your time before using more. This is especially important if you’re new to using cannabis for sex.

The goal is to feel a gentle, pleasant effect, not to get extremely high.

Keep water and lube on hand

Cannabis can cause dry mouth (also called cotton mouth) and vaginal dryness — neither of which are great during sex.

Keep a big bottle of water and a big bottle of lube on hand in order to keep discomfort at bay.

Cannabis can be a handy tool for those who experience libido or other sex-related difficulties, or for those who want to spice it up in the bedroom.

Sound familiar? You might consider a libido-boosting cannabis strain or some cannabis-infused sex products.

Sian Ferguson is a freelance writer and editor based in Grahamstown, South Africa. Her writing covers issues relating to social justice, cannabis, and health. You can reach out to her on Twitter.

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