Stress, fear, insecurities, and pain can often inhibit our sex lives. Well-known aphrodisiacs such as chocolate, oysters, and strawberries can spark desire, but they do very little to increase our capacity for connection or relieve stress. Cannabis, on the other hand, offers much more. Certain cannabis terpenes can help lower inhibitions, increase relaxation, improve mood, reduce pain, and boost energy levels — making sex more pleasurable, fun, and intimate.
Wondering which terpenes are best for sex? You’re not alone. With so many cultivars on the market, it can be difficult to determine which is right for your specific needs. Instead of looking at the strain name, it is often best to consider the strain’s terpene profile.
In this post, we’ll cover:
- What Are Cannabis Terpenes?
- The Best Terpenes for Sex
- Limonene – Best to Increase Sex Drive
- Linalool – Best for Stress Relief
- Caryophyllene & Humulene – Best for Relieving Muscle Tension
- Terpinolene – Best to Boost Energy
- Terpenes to Avoid for Intimacy
What are Cannabis Terpenes?
Cannabis terpenes, the compounds found in each strain, are responsible for their flavor, aroma, and overall effect. Although more research is needed to determine exactly how terpenes work inside the body, they are thought to communicate with certain protein cell receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS exists in both animals and humans and is responsible for creating balance and regulating things like pain, appetite, stress, mood, pain, sleep, etc. Therefore, by introducing certain terpenes to the ECS, we have the potential to create balance where it may be lacking.
Best Terpenes for Sex
Certain terpenes can help increase sex drive and generally make intimacy more enjoyable. Below, we break down the terpenes best for sex and how each one can enhance intimacy.
Best to Increase Sex Drive
Found In: Lemon Rind, Orange Rind, and Juniper
Exhaustion and the strain of everyday life can often weaken our sex drive. Although further research is still needed, one 2017 study shows that using cannabis increased female sex drive.
In particular, strains with a high concentration of limonene — the terpene responsible for the bright citrus flavor in many popular strains — may be effective at increasing our desire for intimacy.
Strains high in limonene, such as Canndescent CONNECT and goodbrands™ Wedding Cake, can offer a light mental euphoria and blissful body warming. The combination of these sensations can make us more open to love, affection, and intimacy.
Best for Stress Relief
Found In: Lavender and Birch Bark
When we crawl into bed after a long day, worries and stress from the day can often bubble up, causing racing thoughts and a spike in cortisol (the stress hormone). When cortisol is high, our heart rate increases and muscles tense up, and it becomes increasingly difficult for us to relax and enjoy sex.
Recent medical studies show that the cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis have stress-relieving properties, meaning they work to calm the central nervous system, ease muscle tension, aid sleep, and quiet the mind.
Although linalool is technically classified as a terpenoid, strains with high levels of this compound have been shown to be particularly effective at reducing stress and alleviating depression-like symptoms. When shopping for strains high in linalool, we suggest a sativa or a sativa-hybrid such as goodbrands™ Peach Ozz.
Wondering about the differences between terpenes and terpenoids? The jargon can get confusing, but they’re essentially the same thing — terpenoids are just modified terpenes. A terpene is called a terpene in its most raw form, but after buds are dried and cannabis is prepared for use, terpenes are chemically modified to elicit different effects and are then referred to as terpenoids.
Caryophyllene + Humulene
Best for Relieving Muscle Tension
Caryophyllene is Found In: Black Pepper, Cloves, and Cinnamon
Humulene is Found In: Hops and Wood
Chronic pain or physical discomfort can put a damper on your sex life. While research is ongoing, early studies show that indica-dominant strains high in caryophyllene (beta-caryophyllene) and humulene can help ease pain and discomfort.
These terpenes help warm the joints and offer a tranquil body high that makes intimacy more pleasurable.
Caryophyllene, which has a spicy, musky flavor, has anti-inflammatory properties due to its ability to activate the CB2 cannabinoid receptor. Many strains high in caryophyllene also contain humulene, the terpene responsible for the woody, earthy flavor found in many popular strains. Like caryophyllene, humulene has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain.
Caryophyllene is found in both sativa and indica-dominant hybrid strains. However, when it comes to intimacy, a balanced hybrid strain such as Baker’s Cereal Milk, which will leave you feeling warm and relaxed without putting you to sleep.
Best to Boost Energy
Found In: Lilacs, Nutmeg, and Cumin
Are you looking to increase your energy levels in the bedroom or experiment with something new? Sativa-dominant strains with high levels of terpinolene can help invigorate the mind and body.
Terpinolene has a herbaceous, sometimes floral and piney flavor. While this terpene is often found in small amounts in cannabis, it is known to have uplifting and energizing effects and can also help sharpen mental focus.
Terpinolene strains, such as Green Crack and goodbrands™ Jack Herer, may be just what you need to spice up your sex life or try something new.
Terpenes to Avoid for Intimacy: Myrcene
Although studies show myrcene to be effective at reducing pain and inflammation, this terpene can often act as a powerful sedative for the mind and body. The deep sense of euphoria and relaxation that comes with a high concentration of myrcene often results in intense drowsiness and “couch-lock” — making movement difficult and slow.
Myrcene is a common terpene and can be found in about 40% of the cannabis strains currently on the market. It may be difficult to avoid this terpene altogether. However, for intimacy, it is best to avoid strains where myrcene is the dominant terpene.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does CBD help sexually?
Research on the effects of CBD is still new. However, avid cannabis users find that balancing a THC-dominant strain with a CBD-dominant strain (around 15% CBD) offers a richer terpene profile that synergistically affects the mind and body thought to improve sex and increase sensitivity.
Which terpene causes arousal?
Limonene, linalool, and caryophyllene can improve mood, relieve stress, and alleviate pain. These effects can help increase sexual desire and make intimacy more enjoyable.
Which is best for intimacy: Sativa, Hybrid, or Indica?
The subspecies classification is not as crucial as the terpene content. While these classifications can help guide you, you should ultimately look at each strain’s terpenes and expected effects to determine how it will make you feel. That said, typically, most people prefer sativa or hybrid strains to improve intimacy.
Find Products That Are Right For You and Your Partner
When it comes to selecting the right cannabis strains for you, it’s often a process of trial and error. The best way to determine which ones you and your partner like is to try them and see how they make you feel. At the end of the day, it will depend on how your body responds to the strain and the desired effect you are after. The good news is that there is no shortage of strains and products to experiment with.
At Canndescent Brands, we have a wide selection of products and strains to choose from. You can have our products delivered right to your door by visiting CanndescentBrands.com or you can find them at your locale dispensary by shopping on weedmaps.com or iheartjane.com. As you shop, be sure to keep our terpene and strain recommendations in mind to ensure you get the best products for intimacy.