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Do Indicas and Sativas Affect Orgasms Differently?

Published on May 2, 2017 · Last updated September 30, 2022

Grape Ape, an indica strain. Clementine, a sativa strain. One reputed to be heavy, relaxing, and body-sensitizing, the other rumored to be creative, buzzy, and heady. The question: how do they impact orgasm, positively or negatively, and are there differences between the two?

Typically I shy away from making strain-specific recommendations, since we know that strains can vary based on geographic location, grower, and phenotype. Additionally, I generally try to focus on pleasure rather than orgasm, since being orgasmically goal oriented can actually make orgasm more elusive. Those caveats aside, I was genuinely curious how each of these two strains would affect me, so I decided to do this experiment. For science.

I prepared my supplies: a pipe, a grinder for each strain, my favorite erotica pulled up on my phone, a bottle of Sliquid Sassy, a water-based lubricant, and my brand new toy, the Womanizer Plus Size. Despite the unfortunate name, this toy is pretty fantastic and quite innovative. I planned to do my experiment with two hours of rest in between so that each strain would have a chance to work without impacting the effects of the other. I decided to begin with Grape Ape.

5 Cannabis Strains for 5 Specific Types of Sex

Indica for Sex

Grape Ape was a birthday present so I don’t have any information on the grower or testing data. What I can tell you is that I’ve never seen such purple buds or smelled a scent that was so clearly grape before trying this strain. When inhaled, the fruity flavor becomes slightly less pronounced, but it still leaves you feeling a bit like you just puffed on hickory smoked grape juice. The effects have a quick onset and the sensation reminds me of having a warm blanket wrapped around my whole body, relaxing it one muscle group at a time.

My perception was decidedly heightened and I ran my fingers gently over my arms and chest and noticed that it felt significantly better than it does normally. I didn’t feel sleepy or couch locked, which I appreciated, but I could definitely see this being a great strain for cuddling. I applied some lube, pulled out my toy, and I kid you not, had an orgasm within twenty seconds. I was shocked. I literally didn’t even have time to pick up my phone to read my erotica. It just … happened. “Perhaps it’s just the novelty of the new toy,” you might say. I thought of that, so I used the toy without cannabis the day before to establish a baseline. It didn’t have the same twenty second window of pleasure.

Sativa for Sex

I picked up a gram of Clementine at the Emerald Exchange in Malibu. This particular flower was grown by Verdant Valley and has a piney, citrusy scent. Clementine is known to be happy, energetic, and uplifted and therefore great for stress. It can feel so awake and energized that it borders on anxiety, so watch out for that. I definitely felt less in my body and more in my head for this one, but I also felt more creative and cerebral, so this time I didn’t need the erotica because I was vividly imagining lived experiences in my mind.

In this case, the orgasm happened after about a minute and fifteen seconds, so still a relatively quick onset but not nearly as fast as with Grape Ape. (I should point out that masturbation is not a time trial, you don’t get points for how fast you orgasm—but it is helpful to know what you’re likely to experience if you only have a small window of time.)

Indica vs. Sativa: Which Is Better?

I noticed I had more mental chatter with the Clementine than I did with the Grape Ape. I wanted to do all the things at once, whereas with the indica I felt relaxed and willing to take my time—to really enrich the experience. I also went back for a second orgasm with the indica, whereas after the sativa-enhanced orgasm I felt more like I wanted to get up and have a snack or interact on social media. For me, Grape Ape was the clear winner.

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Since I know that my experience is not universal, I decided to ask another cannabis aficionado for her perspective. After all, everybody (and every body) is different. Charlo Greene, cannabis activist and host of The Weed Show with Charlo Greene, had this insight:

“Sativa all the way for orgasms. When I climax, it literally takes all of the energy from every part of my body and focuses it on that one moment. A sativa helps to pick me up to keep me going where as an Indica would put me into a sex coma.”

In short: Indicas and sativas do seem to affect orgasms differently, but one isn’t necessarily better than the other—it’s all about what feels best to you. Do you notice a difference in pleasure and orgasm with indica and sativa? Which do you prefer? Tell us about it!

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Ashley Manta
Ashley Manta
Ashley is a writer, feminist, and sexuality educator. She is a contributing writer for Leafly.
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