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The Unfiltered Truth About Marijuana & Sex Drive

Photo: Unsplash: Alexander Krivitskiy
Is Cannabis An Aphrodisiac? How Smoking Marijuana & Having Sex While High On Weed Affects Libido
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Does weed increase your libido ... or is it all an illusion?

As the year comes to a close, ten states within the U.S. have now legalized cannabis for adults, and 33 allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

According to Forbes, "The tally of states that allow the use of marijuana is poised to jump in a big way again in 2019."

And while the scientific jury is still out on exactly how cannabis — aka "weed" or "pot" — affects drive in men and women, it's long been considered an aphrodisiac, particularly when consumed in the form of products containing CBD but free of THC, the component believed to be responsible for its psychotropic effects.

But smoking weed is an entirely different ball-game than using a CBD-infused lubricant.

If you're considering turning to marijuana to boost your libido, there are some serious side effects to be aware of.

And I know them well from my own decades of experience having while high.

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I remember a time when I was looking around a second-hand bookshop in Pittsburgh, when a book caught my eye: Herbs and Things, a battered old purple book that looked like a reprint of an old witches manual.

Leafing through the pages, I was interested to find the cannabis plant listed for its aphrodisiac properties.

At the time, I was quite partial to the buzz of a joint — the feeling of relaxation and lightness was one of my favorite sensations. The buzzing throughout my body felt warm and tingly ... just like love.

Seeing cannabis described this way wasn't surprising to me. My teenage years were dominated by my love affair with pot. I loved to cuddle under a tree with my lover, inhaling the sweet smoke and feeling the pleasant sensations running through me.

The intimacy and connection I felt doing something forbidden with my boyfriend was exciting. We were in a little bubble together where nothing else mattered, creating our own universe — one that felt pleasant and exciting, a warm bubble world holding us in a place of comfort and warmth.

It was us against the world finding meaning in the taboo.

This romance came to its inevitable end, and I found a new partner who didn't smoke. My smoking radically decreased as I tried to avoid doing it around him. I realized getting high had become a crutch for me, and I knew that avoiding it now was doing me good.

Being with him was the first time I experienced what it was like to have in a sober state.

There was a clarity to our experiences and experimentation. Before, felt good because my body was buzzing. Now, I explored new realms with my partner instead of lying in a mildly anesthetized state, disconnected from my true feelings and sensations.

It was fun and exciting to enter into this new relationship not just with another, but also with myself.

My awareness of my body began to increase and I noticed sensations I'd never realized were there before. My love life was a new adventure opening me up to a fresh understanding of my body and of myself.

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Unsurprisingly, with the decrease in my marijuana use, more exciting things began happening in my life. I started a new job and my career was taking off.

But then that relationship ended, and I found myself with another pot smoker.

I enjoyed the old familiar habit with this new man. But somehow I realized that I didn't want to be dragged back to that place of numbing myself in order to feel good. The availability of the weed was too tempting, and it began interfering with my vision and clarity.

The frustration of battling my willpower, the lure of the smoke and the push of my drive of creativity became a tiring battle.

I knew that smoking pot was taking over my life and if I wanted to be the real me, to creatively manifest and express myself, I would have to get away from it again.

I wanted to feel my own energy.

That relationship couldn't withstand the pressure of my internal conflict. I needed time alone and found that meditation and chi kung practice took me out of the stoned world and back into my reality.

This time I really noticed my body reacting. It took me months to get back to a normal sleep pattern, and a year for my energy levels to balance again.

This time I knew I could never go back.

What had once been a paradise had become a dark and oppressive corridor to nowhere. I could see the pleasant feeling of being stoned revealed as a deception.

Some months later I met a lovely man who told me that he smoked but assured me that it wasn't often and that he would never do it around me, because he understood how I felt.

The next time he came to see me, he had one joint with him to smoke, s a one-off, of course. I don't like telling people what to do, so I tolerated it.

He fell asleep and proceeded to snore the whole night. In the morning, he was so groggy he struggled to get up. I eventually found him in the kitchen making coffee, oblivious to my presence.

This happened again the time time he came over, and the pattern repeated for several weeks, as my normally tolerant self started thinking, "Hang on..."

After about a month I finally raised the subject and reminded him that while he'd told me he wouldn't smoke around me, every time we met, he smoked.

Suddenly, his whole demeanor changed. He went from being sweet and lovely to me (if a little disinterested in and mutual exploration) to being resentful and angry.

He left my house fuming in the middle of the night, telling me that I knew he was a smoker all along so, what did I expect? For him to stick to his word?

I felt guilty and hurt, even though I knew it was his problem not mine.

Talking to a friend, she said, “Come on, if he's a smoker, his first love will always be the weed. You will always be the second priority."

It was a fascinating experience of the old proverbial mirror being help up to myself, a kind of karmic payback.

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I remembered the times I had been boring with my former non-smoking lover, lying there stoned and feeling like I was in heaven, but completely ignoring him. And that strengthened my resolve to never smoke weed again.

Cannabis can be fun, and the sensations it gives can be great to explore with another person. But when I think about it further, is that really exploring "together"?

Looking back at the sensations I felt when I was high, they were real on some level, but at the same time, they were an illusion. Were the illusions my lover was feeling the same?

When it all inevitably melted away, what was left, really? Did we have a real connection, or just a common experience of numbing ourselves in a common space?

My life as a sober-headed lover has brought a dynamite experience of energy.

I now enjoy a heightened awareness of sensations in my interactions with my lover. I don’t fall into a stoned embrace, seeing what will happen, but actively create the experience that I want.

Cannabis makes you feel loved up, that’s for sure. But in love with who?

It also gives you dry mouth, which is not great for kissing. It interferes with women's natural lubrication, and it doesn't exactly help men in the area of performance.

The only saving grace to these otherwise frustrating side effects of marijuana is that neither of you really care.

The fluffy nice feeling that overtakes you corresponds to a lack of awareness of your physical body, as well as of your lovers. It generally masks your true sensations, whether the good or bad.

Many people use cannabis as a way to escape our pain. We all carry pain that comes up for us to deal with again at some point and in some way. This might be pain from lack of love in childhood or previous experience in relationships.

Inevitably, when we become intimate with someone new, these feelings come up, and that can be uncomfortable. Many of us lack the ability to completely process these feelings, so escapism in its various forms is a popular route.

When I look back at my clumsy first attempts at , I realize that I was scared and clueless. I had no idea how to relate to someone intimately or , and smoking pot cannabis covered up the awkwardness.

It became habitual, and at some point in my twenties I realized that I couldn't even remember having without drinking or smoking first in order to help me relax. The pleasant, numb sensation wasn't ecstasy; it was a foggy blanket of illusion.

It can be a fun feeling to explore, just as some people enjoy a fine wine or brandy.

But it can also be a trap that sucks you in and takes over your life, like the dark side of alcohol leading to alcoholism.

When I eventually realized that I wasn't in control and stopped using, the amount of denial I encountering when telling people that cannabis could be problematic amazed me. I provoked anger just by talking about my experience.

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Even when I sought professional help, I was told that one joint a day was pretty normal and not to worry.

I tried, but I knew I was relying on it to sleep, and I didn't like that. I wanted my freedom back.

Yes, cannabis makes you feel chill, as though all of your problems melt away. But what goes up must come down.

Scientifically speaking, cannabis increases the production of melatonin in your brain. But as the artificially elevated melatonin levels wear off, the drop can result in mood swings.

I don’t condemn others who use cannabis, but my experience with it taught me that it’s a perilous substance which should be treated with respect.

Looking back, I can see that the smoky daze covered the pain and awkwardness caused by the lack of love I felt as a child.

It gave me an illusion of the love I missed out on and therefore didn't know how to create in my relationships as an . This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, for a time at least. But it was time for me to outgrow that security blanket.

I won’t deny that I still feel a buzz of excitement when a catch a whiff of someone smoking pot. Although I know I don’t want the feeling of being stoned, the smell still affects my brain and makes me powerfully aware there must be some pleasure association programming being ignited deep within my psyche.

At least I did have some great times having while high ... from what I remember.

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Jade Lotus is a therapist and meditation teacher whose emphasis is on learning to use energy for personal empowerment, as she teaches her clients to understand and activate their energy to heal and empower themselves. For more information, visit her website.

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