THC vs. CBD: How Each Enhances Intimacy

This article written by cannabis expert Ashley Manta, creator of the trademarked term “Cannasexual,” appears in the spring 2018 issue of Intimate magazine. Click here to see the digital edition.

Folks regularly ask about the difference between CBD and THC for sex. I consulted an expert in the science of utilizing cannabis to create specific effects on the body. Andrew Mieure, owner of Top Shelf Budtending, is a certified cannabis sommelier, and was previously a cannabis grading technician at the Trichome Institute, which developed the standard operating procedure for grading cannabis objectively. His business—hosting bud bars at high events and consulting with social use clubs—requires him to be an expert on how to use cannabis to create and enhance experiences.

Ashley Manta: What are some of the differences between CBD and THC in terms of how they would apply to sexual experiences?

Andrew Mieure: The more CBD the less euphoric, so I think CBD would be best utilized as a recovery tool after sex or to lessen anxiety before an encounter. I don’t think CBD provides enough of a “mental shift” to really impact performance negatively or positively. CBD seems more like a pre- or post-game cannabinoid to me.

During an encounter, THC is important because of that mental shift you experience. Whether that be loosening your mental state to be ready for sex or actually making the sex feel better physically, the mental shift is more noticeable with THC, thus the need for the higher THC products.

In my personal experience, I’ve noticed a very clear difference in sensitivity (in a good way) after consuming THC which CBD alone does not provide. However, it’s always a balance game to find the right combination of cannabinoids. Too much THC and I’m a heart-pounding mess. It’s vital to have just the right amount of each. I personally think 1:1’s are the best. A good mixture of euphoria and relaxation without too much knockout power. That leads to less anxiety for newer sexual partners, lessening potential erectile difficulties that can stem from anxiety.

Are there any other plant-related factors that can impact the effects of THC and CBD?

Terpenes play a major role in tailoring the high. The cannabinoid profile is only part of the picture. Skunky/woody/earthy terpenes cause sleepiness. Citrus would greatly increase alertness and would strongly enhance visual stimuli. Lavender and nutty terpenes would relax and calm without making you tired.

We’ve been talking mostly about mostly with flower or oils, but how do edibles fit in?

Micro-dosing with edibles is amazing. 1-3mg of THC evokes just enough of that mental shift. However, it’s important to remember that edibles are wildly different per person due to how they are processed in the body.

I fully agree with Andrew’s parting thoughts on edibles. Micro-dosing is ideal, since employing a heavy dose of edibles can put an unwelcome kink (not the fun kind) in your intimate plans. Always start low and go slow, and remember to wait a full two hours before taking more!

With regard to CBD’s sexual effects, I find high-CBD strains like Cannatonic and Harlequin especially useful for anxiety as well as acute and chronic pain. Since CBD lacks psychoactive effects, it’s great for a quickie when you don’t have time to ride out the high, pun intended.

Because there is so much nuance to cannabis, it’s important to visit a dispensary and chat with a budtender who understands cannabinoids and terpenes and can make recommendations based on the effects you’re seeking. As always, it’s best to sample new strains and products on your own before trying them with a partner so that you can isolate the variables impacting your sexual experience.

This article—written by cannabis expert Ashley Manta, creator of the trademarked term “Cannasexual”—originally appeared on