Sexual wellness is a subject sweeping the globe that is expected to trend upwards in the years to come.
An April 2019 Arizton Advisory and Intelligence report on the global sexual wellness market projects it will rise to around $39 billion in value by 2024, with a CAGR of over 7%.
Little to no data on the cannabis sexual wellness market has been published at this time. Yet two once-taboo subjects have become more mainstream in recent years, with varying public acceptance.
Now, with consumers and a few lab studies suggesting efficacy exists, the market may be poised for significant growth.
Anecdotal evidence has long suggested there is a benefit to combining cannabis and sex.
Cannabis In The Bedroom
CBD use results in more intense orgasms as well as enhances a couple's satisfaction in the bedroom, according to a survey conducted by Remedy Review.
Daniel Saynt, the founder and "chief conspirator" of NSFW, a cannabis and kink community in New York City, discussed why cannabis may help sex.
"Cannabis is a social lubricant. Smoking the right strain is more effective than alcohol in making you feel comfortable in a sexual situation."
Zachary Zane is a freelance writer who covers subjects including sex and cannabis.
Cannabis helps Zane to not "overthink" in the act, he said.
"Cannabis allows me to be more present in the moment and to really enjoy the experience."
The Research On Cannabis And Sex
In 2009 a research report concluded that endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the human body, including sexual organs.
Dr. Sadie Allison, a sexologist, author and sexual wellness entrepreneur, recently expanded into the CBD space with the launch of GoLove CBD Sensual Lubricant.
The sexologist entered the market after research on the subject produced "very promising results," she said.
Rachel Braun Scherl leads the female sexual health unit at biotech startup Manna Molecular Science in Massachusetts.
Scherl spoke directly to how she said CBD can benefit a woman’s sexual health.
"CBD is a clitoral and vaginal smooth muscle relaxant that, thus, facilitates clitoral engorgement and vaginal lubrication and ultimately orgasm.”
Alison Krongard, a co-founder of the recently launched Her Highness cannabis line, touched on the different applications cannabis has for men and women. Krongard, whos company produces CBD and THC sexual wellness products, said the rise in the number of products targeting females is a reflection of how much women love the plant.
And it's healthier than many alternatives, she said.
"A lot of women finish the day with a glass of wine and a Xanax."
Cannabis Sexual Wellness For Men, Gender Neutral Consumers
For men, NSFW's Saynt said cannabis can desensitize the genitals due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
A potential area of benefit in Saynt's view is cannabis suppositories, for those who enjoy anal stimulation.
"There is some demand, but there's a lack of education and very little is being done to target the gay and bi community with these products," he said.
GoLove's Allison said she has seen an uptick in men purchasing sexual wellness and pleasure products over the past two decades, noting the expanding array of choices as a factor.
"Men are historically the largest buying segment of cannabis and cannabis-related products, [and] I have no doubt that the demand for male-focused cannabis sex products will grow in the same way as the adult products industry.”
Manna’s Scherl highlighted the importance of gender fluidity and gender neutral products.
"Today, we know so much more about the fluidity of gender, but as a society, we still have so much more to learn," said Scherl. "It is no longer sufficient to have solutions focused on people who identify only as male or only female."
On the other hand, Zane said many products like cannabis lubes can already be enjoyed by all genders.
"[Men and gender neutral people] don't necessarily need specific products if it can work for all genders," the writer said. "That said, if there are sexual issues and topics that specifically pertain to men and GNC folks that cannabis can help, let's do it!"
Cannabis Sex Product Development
To ensure product quality and safety, companies often engage in years-long research.
Krongard said Her Highness worked for roughly three years on its product development.
“We went through a couple of different formulators before we found the team that really understood what we were doing.”
Saynt and NSFW are developing a strain of cannabis flower aimed at enhancing sexual wellness.
In collaboration with Cherry Kola Farms, the duo combined three separate strains known for their stimulating properties.
Club members have responded well to test runs, Saynt said.
"We're hoping to create our own line of lubricant with this custom strain, as we feel the type of cannabis you use in your lube is important," he said.
The Challenges Ahead
While cannabis and sex are more widely accepted now, Krongard said it's far from universal.
"I had one meeting with the guy who owns a dispensary who just could not wrap his head around talking to women about a pleasure oil."
Others echoed a need for additional education and acceptance. They also believe a change could come through the marketplace. The interest and investment in the sectors will create a "sea change," said Manna's Scherl.
“We are already seeing consumers, buyers and patients voting for the products and solutions they want, and will pay for in dozens of categories related to both sex and cannabis.”
Photo from Pixabay.
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