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How I found the right cannabis strain for sex

September 12, 2019
(Alexandra Bowman for Leafly)

You may have seen the news stories about how cannabis can improve sex and make you more orgasmic—or you may already know that from personal experience.

While this positive news about our favorite plant is great for showing its many different uses, talking about cannabis like it’s one, monolithic thing feels like oversimplifying the matter. But knowing the vast diversity cannabis exhibits, it’s worth asking: Which types of strains lead to the most satisfying sex?

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The different types of cannabis

There’s more to a cannabis strain than its indica/sativa classification (which, in reality, doesn’t always say a ton about a plant’s effects). They can contain dozens of different cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) that affect the experience.

With the complexity comes one amazing benefit: If not all cannabis is created equal, you can explore different types of strains to find your perfect orgasm.

And then there are terpenes, the aromatic compounds that imbue cannabis with its various aromas. We’re also beginning to understand how terpenes may potentially color a strain’s experience through their own unique characteristics and benefits.

To add even more complexity, your experience may vary depending on if you inhale or ingest, the amount you consume, and your mood when using cannabis. And everyone’s different, so something that works wonders for you might be a dud for your partner.

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As you can see, a simple headline like “Cannabis Makes Sex Better” gets muddled with all these different factors. It can quickly make sex and cannabis feel like a multivariate calculus problem.

But with the complexity comes one amazing benefit: If not all cannabis is created equal, you can explore different types of strains to find your perfect orgasm. And I did just that.

Using data to measure cannabis-fueled orgasms

(Alexandra Bowman for Leafly)

Curious to learn more about how different terpenes affect sex, I tried strains with different profiles and compared my orgasms with data using the Lioness Smart Vibrator. It’s a product I helped develop that can show you your own arousal and orgasm through data—and you can use that personal data to learn and improve your sex life. We’ve experimented with cannabis before (with interesting results), so this time I was excited to experiment with different types of terpene-rich strains.

Let’s skip the small talk and jump right into the orgasm data.

My setup:

Me, myself, and I. And my Lioness Smart Vibrator. One session per strain, chosen based on their quality and being known for containing a predominantly large amount of terpenes in each category. It’s not a double-blind scientific study in a lab, but it’s in my bedroom and as close as I’ll get to being consistent in a real-world scenario without making things too unsexy.

Disclaimer 1: How a strain affects me may not reflect how it affects you. We’re all different and that’s what makes this all complicated and beautiful.

Disclaimer 2: Just because I don’t like a particular strain for sex doesn’t mean it’s a bad strain. I found that they all had different benefits, but I preferred some over others for sex specifically.

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The strains I tried:

My process:

With each session, I tried to have everything reasonably consistent by using the same method of consumption, same temperature, same amount of breaths, and similar mood state (neither overly horny or disinterested, but somewhere in the middle).

  • G-pen Elite, heating up at 365° F for each strain.
  • Did one session per strain.
  • Took 10 inhales over an hour.
  • Set the same vibration (35/100) for each session.
  • Be moderately interested—or at least feel similar from session to session.
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How do you ‘measure’ an orgasm?

Arousal and orgasm is measured by the rhythm of pelvic floor contractions that occur during orgasm. (Fun fact, everyone has a rhythm when they orgasm).

The x-axis is time and the y-axis is pelvic floor force. If you’re curious to learn more about that, check out our article on the topic here.

From the app, I can export my data to measure the length of the session, time to orgasm, and length of orgasm:

(Above) Lioness orgasm data for the limonene-dominant Do-Si-Dos session.

(Above) Lioness orgasm data for the myrcene-dominant Granddaddy Purple session.

My winners:

1st: Limonene-dominant Do-Si-Dos

2nd: Terpinolene-dominant Dutch Treat

Tie for 3rd: Myrcene-dominant Granddaddy Purple and caryophyllene-dominant GSC

Try Do-Si-Dos for yourself

What made these experiences different?

Cannabis strains traditionally used for pain relief or sleep negatively affected my experiences. GSC (caryophyllene) seemed like it would be great for pain relief, but it made sensations feel more dull. Granddaddy Purple (myrcene) made me want to fall asleep before having an orgasm.

Strains that had euphoric, tingly effects had a positive impact. Do-Si-Dos (limonene) made my tactile senses go from 480p to HD. Dutch Treat (terpinolene) felt less out-of-this-world, but with it I felt effortlessly aroused.

Was there a difference in the data?

Click to enlarge. (Leafly and Lionness)

Looking at my data, time to orgasm didn’t seem to matter very much for my overall satisfaction. What may have mattered more was the length of the orgasm; the two sessions I liked the most also had slightly longer orgasms.

There are some assumptions that a faster orgasm means a better one. In some cases it can be satisfying, but not always. It’s not the only thing that contributes to a satisfying experience.

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Likewise, the time to orgasm doesn’t seem to be a key indicator. The 5-star session and the 2-star session had about the same length of time transpire before orgasm. Perhaps a very long delay could lead to a less satisfactory experience, but having sessions that go into the 10+ minutes range still be satisfying tells me it could be a bit more complicated than that, too.

Another insight: The longer orgasms were most satisfying. This surprised me the most. That HD, out-of-this-world session from trying the Do-Si-Dos was slightly longer than one of my least favorite sessions, and the same goes for the Dutch Treat that I also overall liked.

The length of time is something I’d need to look at across more sessions to see how consistent this holds true for me, but it’s an interesting observation and one that could make sense. As always, there’s much more we’d need to learn, but it’s an interesting start.

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Want to Try Cannabis with Your Partner? 6 Tips for First-Time Cannabis Couples

Explore what works best for you

In a perfect world, I’d do more sessions, do it in a controlled environment, have more people try the same products, and have it be double-blinded. But there’s only so much time in the day to get high and masturbate, and I have a company to run and employees to support. So here we are, working within the boundaries of the real world.

Based on these experiences and the over 200 sessions I’ve done over the past five years, it does seem cannabis has an effect—and different types of cannabis can have different effects, for better or worse. Whether it’s terpenes, menstrual cycle, fairy dust, or something else, it seems like there’s something going on here that makes experiences different.

At the end of the day, everyone is different, and all cannabis is different, too. When it comes to your own exploration, try new things and find what works for you—it’s a mantra I adopt for sex, business, and life.

Liz Klinger's Bio Image

Liz Klinger

Liz Klinger is co-founder and CEO of Lioness and a co-inventor of the Lioness Smart Vibrator, the first and only vibrator that uses precision sensors to let you literally see and improve your orgasm. Klinger has been featured in The New York Times's Women of the World and has spoken at TEDx, SXSW, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and MIT. When she’s not making vibrators you can find her in the workshop learning how to bend neon or being an average Smash Ultimate player.

View Liz Klinger's articles

  • Fed Up

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    Today we salute you, Ms. Weed Website Author.

    Any author can write an edgy article but it takes a real lady to write an article on getting high then “getting off”.
    I imagine you reclining with your buzz as you work that joy buzzer in the name of science.

    Doubters are thinking: “there’s no way she can measure this” Nah, you got freaking data points, charts and graphs!

    And even though you didn’t invite others to join in the fun (at their own homes, of course!). We’re all hoping to take part in the next “experiment”

    So crack open an ice-cold Bud Light, Ms. Weed Website Author because it’s a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it. So get your buzz-er on!

  • EATitCNN

    Your Lioness? Bahahahahahaha

  • stinkpot Jones

    Please post a video of each session for an in depth review. I will double check all results….

  • C.j.

    Wow, the illustrations on this article. Just wow. Leafly doesn’t want to really show or feature many black women unless it’s perpetuating the stereotype of the “hyper-sexual harlot”. Wow….just wow.

  • Lee Butcher

    Information overload! Note to men: You can skip this one.

  • C.j.

    I guess Leafly doesn’t like being called out for racial bias issues so they hide your comments. Not knowing that you can actually affect their market-share. Bad move and big mistake.

  • Peter Jacksonian

    Come one, come all! See how pseudoscience and lame clickbait combine in this exiting article that is churned out to fill space and keep an unnecessary group of jobs going! Be dazzled by anecdotal information build on sand that masquerades as science! Thrill as your email inbox gets these “updates” of exiting and “necessary” information because you looked up Durban Poison on a whim last month! And of course BUY PRODUCTS that are in no way pushed by a shill organization pretending to be journalism!