The Best Cannabis Strains for 8 Different Types of Sex and Sensation
Set aside the chocolate and oysters, there’s a new aphrodisiac in town that can help take your sexual pleasure to another level. Yep, we’re talking about cannabis.
Though research continues into cannabis and its benefits in and out of the bedroom, 68.5 percent of people in one study said sex while using cannabis was more pleasurable.
Curious? So were we. So we reached out to John Renko, cannabis expert and cofounder of GoLove CBD Naturals and Jordan Tishler, MD, a Harvard physician and medical cannabis therapeutics specialist who runs InhaleMD.
They shared more on choosing the right strain and product for the most mind-blowing sexual experience — no matter what type of mood you’re in.
Experts disagree on the role strains play when it comes to effects. Dr. Tishler believes strains lead to different preferences during sex, but don’t guarantee any outcomes. He advises his patients to ignore strains altogether and focus on dosing and method of delivery.
Renko believes the real magic lies in the terpenes when it comes to defining the effects of each strain.
Terpenes are compounds found in plants that are responsible for the aroma and flavor. If one cannabis plant smells like diesel and another reminds you of lemons — that’s terpenes at work.
Terpenes impact the different effects of cannabis, though how is not clear yet. The research into strains’ individual traits — and how those might affect humans — continues.
To ramp up your sex drive, Renko recommends choosing strains with high levels of the terpene limonene, like Do-Si-Dos and Wedding Cake.
Both are indica-dominant, high-THC hybrids that hit you fast with a body-warming euphoria before melting to blissful relaxation.
Strains containing the terpene linalool — known for a nice calming effect — are the way to go to enhance your solo session, according to Renko.
LA Confidential, an indica, and Amnesia Haze, a sativa, are popular strains that fit the bill when it comes to making self-pleasure a full afternoon activity.
Users report a slow start before an intense euphoria with a gradual come down. Sounds a lot like a good orgasm, no?
This is where cannabis really shines. Along with plenty of convincing anecdotal evidence, current research also shows that cannabis may reduce anxiety.
A small 2018 study analyzed cannabinoids and terpene levels of different strains. Participants rated those most effective at treating their anxiety.
Looks like getting your “Kush” on is the way to go if any self-consciousness is making your adult playtime less enjoyable.
The top strains for anxiety were:
- Bubba Kush, an indica
- Skywalker OG Kush, an indica-dominant hybrid
- Blueberry Lamsbread, a sativa-dominant hybrid
- Kosher Kush, an indica
There’s evidence that cannabis relieves pain and past studies have found that indicas seem to be the preference when it comes to pain relief.
If you’re worried about pain putting a damper on sex, look for strains with terpenes that might ease pain, such as beta-caryophyllene, humulene, myrcene, and caryophyllene, according to Renko. His top pick is the strain Zkittlez.
Zkittelz is an indica-dominant hybrid with a strong beta-caryophyllene and humulene profile.
Other strains to try:
- G13, a potent indica
- Cannatonic, a low-THC, high-CBD hybrid
- Harlequin, a sativa-dominant strain
If you’re looking to break out of your comfort zone when it comes to sex, there’s anecdotal evidence that some strains can help.
Based on online user reviews, these strains lower your inhibitions and boost your confidence:
- Granddaddy Purple, an indica
- Trainwreck, a potent sativa-dominant hybrid
- Atomic Northern Lights, an indica-dominant hybrid
- Blue Dream, a sativa-dominant hybrid
Some strains, especially with the right dosing, can give you the energy to keep up with the most enthusiastic of bedmates.
Based on online user reviews, these are the strains to consider if you’re in the mood for an Energizer Bunny-esque romp:
- Green Crack, a sativa
- Cheese Quake, a hybrid
- Super Lemon Haze, a zesty sativa
Any cannabis stain will make you chill if you use too much, so look for relaxing strains and dose right to ensure the right level of chill for turning up the heat.
Try these relaxing strains:
- Master Kush, an indica
- Mr. Nice, a sativa
- Animal Cookies, a balanced hybrid
Many a seasoned cannabis user will tell you that certain strains increase sensitivity to touch and change tactile sensations for the better.
Everyone’s different, so some strains may enhance touch for you, while your partner’s body may respond to different strains.
If you’ve been enjoying cannabis for a while, Renko recommends balancing out your fave THC-dominant strain with a CBD-dominant strain like ACDC. It gives you a “rich terpene profile coupled with the synergistic effect of CBD and THC.”
ACDC is a sativa-dominant strain with 14 percent CBD and less than 1 percent THC.
Here are some other strains to really ramp up erogenous play and give you the tingles:
- Bubblegum Kush, an indica-dominant strain
- Sour Diesel, a pungent sativa
- Jillybean, an indica-dominant strain
There’s no simple answer to this question, because these classifications are less important than the terpenes in a strain, according to Renko.
“Those actually are just physiological plant classifications made around the physical plant properties and not its flower profile, which is where the focus should be,” he explained.
There’s no right or wrong strain for sex. The best one for that encounter will depend on how your body responds to specific strains and on the type of romp you’re aiming for.
Both Dr. Tishler and Renko agree that edibles aren’t the best way to go for partnered sex because they’re too slow and unpredictable.
Edibles need to pass through your digestive system before they take effect. Your BMI and other factors also affect how quickly they kick in.
Chances are you’ll peak at different times than your partner, have sex long before you feel anything, or end up ingesting a dose that isn’t optimal.
If edibles are your preference, they’re probably better saved for a solo sesh.
Here are a few to tickle your taste buds and nether regions:
- 1906 Love Chocolates. These sexy treats combine five herbal aphrodisiacs with cannabis for a physical and psychological high that peaks at around two hours after ingestion.
- Kikoko Sensuali-Tea. The ingredients in this cannabis tea sound as sexy as it’s supposed to make you feel! Rose petals, hibiscus, and lavender are just a few ingredients that are combined with cannabis to arouse passion in anyone who drinks it.
Loads of things! But since we’re talking about cannabis and sex, here are a few other cannabis products made with sexy time in mind.
THC or CBD lube
THC and CBD-infused lube is a thing — and a damn wonderful thing according to many who’ve tried them.
Makers of these lubes say they offer a number of benefits, from increased arousal to faster, more powerful orgasms. The scientific evidence to back some of the claims may not exist yet, but that doesn’t mean the benefits don’t.
Topical application of CBD can be slow to take effect and research is ongoing into ways to improve delivery for faster results. Still, that doesn’t mean that a cannabis-infused lube can’t give your sex life a little boost.
Sufficient lubrication is key to comfortable and enjoyable penetrative sex. Also, it just feels great.
If you want to give a THC or CBD lube a go, you have a few to choose from, starting with GoLove CBD Intimate Lubricant. John Renko is the cofounder of GoLove CBD Naturals, along with sexologist and bestselling-author Dr. Sadie Allison.
A couple more popular options are:
- Foria Pleasure Lube (contains THC and CBD)
- Kush Queen Ignite CBD Lube (contains hemp-derived CBD)
- Velvet Swing Cannabis Sensual Lubricant (contains THC and CBD)
THC or CBD anal or vaginal suppositories
Clinical research on cannabis suppositories is limited.
There’s no solid evidence that they’re absorbed into the bloodstream via the anus or vagina, so don’t expect to get a high from them. This doesn’t mean they don’t have other effects that can help you below the belt.
Users of CBD and THC suppositories, like Foria Intimacy Suppositories, say they’re great lubricants that also help mitigate pain during and after anal or vaginal sex, as well as enhance sexual pleasure.
THC or CBD massage oil
Who doesn’t love a good, oily rub down? Since topicals don’t enter the bloodstream, this can be a nice way to make your body feel good physically, without the “high.”
Oils and condoms don’t play nice together, so be mindful of your method of protection.
Now that you’re armed with some cannabis strain and product ideas, here’s some advice to help you get the most out of the experience.
If you’ve never used cannabis during sex before, try solo sex first
If it’s your first foray into the world of cannabis or even your first time using it for sexual pleasure, trying it during solo play is a good idea.
This gives you the chance to see how you react to a product and whether or not it rocks your world. It can also help put any of your cannabis worries to rest if you’re concerned about any less-than-sexy effects.
Negotiate before you consume
Communication is key to great sex and it needs to happen before you get high. Cannabis can impair your judgment and cause sedation if you take too much.
Get consent and set clear boundaries before getting started. This is also the time to discuss safer sex and make sure you have barrier protection on hand.
Start low and go slow
Dosing can make or break your experience, so heed the advice of most experts and start low (dosage-wise) and go slow if you choose to consume more.
Dosing varies between the different methods of delivery, as does the time the effects take to kick in.
Inhalation methods and tinctures taken under the tongue are quick-acting methods, which make dosing a bit easier. You can tell within 10 minutes if you need another puff or a few drops, or know to stop if you’ve hit your sweet spot.
Keep water and lube on hand
There’s nothing sexy about cotton mouth or vaginal dryness when you’re trying to get your freak on. Make sure you stay hydrated in every way by keeping water and lube on hand.
There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that cannabis makes sex better. Research even shows that cannabis users have more sex than non-users.
If you want to give it a try, cannabis is usually well-tolerated when used as directed. Be sure to purchase products or flower from a reputable, licensed source — and have fun exploring!
Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board.
Last medically reviewed on February 4, 2020
Sure, you’ve heard it from friends, but the research is also in: Cannabis and sex is a potent and pleasurable combo. Experts told us how to choose the right strain and product for the most mind-blowing sexual experience — no matter what type of mood you’re in.
How to Increase THC When Growing Weed
Table of Contents
Increasing Cannabis Potency During the Growing Process
When it comes to growing cannabis, there are lots of different goals by different growers. Many growers are growing medical marijuana for medical-related purposes. Others are growing for their personal adult use. For many growers, including both medical marijuana and recreational cannabis growers, a common goal is to maximize the amount of THC and other cannabinoids produced when growing cannabis (ie increase the “potency” of your buds).
This cannabis bud was grown to produce the highest levels of THC possible – as a side effect it is dense, sticky and looks great.
Why Increase Maximum THC Levels?
- Greater mental and psychoactive effects from the same amount of bud (your harvest will go further!)
- Many medical marijuana growers desire high THC levels for the relief of nausea, certain types of pain, spasticity, certain symptoms of multiple sclerosis, etc.
- Many of the things you do to increase THC levels will also increase your overall cannabis yields.
However, not every grower wants the highest levels of THC in their bud, and may actually be seeking other cannabinoids found in certain strains. For example, there are many medical marijuana growers who prefer low-THC, high-CBD cannabis, which is non-psychoactive and may be of interest to those looking for possible relief from anxiety or seizures. Learn more about the difference between CBD and other cannabinoids like THC (unfortunately you can’t use grow methods to increase CBD levels, you need to start with a low-THC, high-CBD strain).
Much of the THC and “potency” in your buds is contained in the sparkly trichomes
What increases THC levels and overall potency?
These are the most important factors that will affect your THC levels and overall marijuana potency:
Strain & Individual Plant Genetics
Your plant’s genes are hands-down the most important aspect of cannabis potency when it comes to growing!
Your plant genetics set the “upper limit” of how much THC and other cannabinoids your plant will ever be able to produce. Although you can use grow methods to maximize the THC within that limit, you will never be able to overcome the limits set by your strain and plant genetics.
So as a really rough example, let’s say your strain/plant genetics can only produce 15% THC at most. That means you may get less than 15% THC in your buds if you don’t grow the plant right, but no matter what you do you’ll never be able to increase it above 15%.
In order to get really high levels of potency and THC, it’s essential to start with high-potency, high-THC genes from a respectable breeder. Learn how to research strains so you get the most potent cannabis plant to fulfill your needs. If you’ve never ordered cannabis seeds before, learn how to get seeds delivered to the US and worldwide.
Some strains just don’t have the genetics to make cannabis buds as potent and trichome-covered as the one pictured here! Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to beat genetics so start with good genes!
Many cannabis growers don’t realizing they are actually harvesting their buds too early, dramatically reducing yields and potency!
There is a 2-3 week period during the flowering stage when plants are “mature” and buds are at the highest levels of THC. At this point, the tiny resin glands (trichomes) on the buds have turned milky white, and most of the white hairs (pistils) on the buds have darkened and curled in.
Highest Level of THC When…
Most white pistils have darkened and curled in (bud looks more “solid”)
Most clear trichomes (looks like glass) have turned white (looks like white plastic)
If the plant is allowed to keep maturing, the cannabinoid profile continues to change. Buds harvested on the later side tend to produce more of a relaxed “body” effect, though the psychoactive effects of THC may be somewhat reduced.
If you harvest earlier than this, the plant hasn’t reached its full potential. Sometimes early-harvested buds can produce a “speedy” effects, or give some people headaches (curing will help with this) so avoid harvesting early if you can!
Learn more about when to harvest cannabis (with lots more pics!)
Get the effects you’re looking for!
This cola has several weeks to go before it reaches its highest THC levels – harvesting now will reduce both your yields and your potency!
Plant Health & Care
In order to get your cannabis to produce the most potent buds possible, you need a robust, healthy cannabis plant with lots of bud sites getting direct light during the flowering stage. This means it’s important to avoid common plant health mistakes like overwatering, underwatering, heat stress, root problems, irregular light cycles, and nutrient problems. Check out our 7-step remedy to fix most cannabis plant growing problems. Try to maintain balance and avoid environmental extremes. Basically, treat your cannabis plant like it’s a celebrity – it gets everything it wants!
Although cannabis can grow in relatively low light conditions (it grows like a weed!), it will not produce significant amounts of bud without very bright light in the flowering stage. Cannabis uses light to power the growth of buds, along with the THC and cannabinoids contained inside. Outdoors your plant needs direct sunlight 8+ hours a day to produce to its fullest, and indoors you need strong, bright grow lights (like LEDs or MH/HPS grow lights) to produce the highest levels of THC.
Although there is no evidence that the curing process (jarring up buds after they’ve dried) increases THC levels directly, there is a lot of evidence that it increases the perceived potency of buds.
Though not well understood, this may be because there are chemical changes that happen during the curing phase that “intensify” the effects of THC and other cannabinoids.
The curing process also has other benefits for marijuana growers. For example, newly dried cannabis buds often smell like cut grass or hay, even if they smelled great in the flowering stage. The curing process helps get rid of the unpleasant grassy taste/smell and brings back the natural taste and smell of the cannabis plant.
Lastly, uncured and early-harvested buds can cause “speedy” thoughts or headaches for some people, and curing often reduces these negative effects.
Common Myth: Using CO2 increases THC levels
Although it’s true that using CO2 can increase your overall cannabis yields, there isn’t any evidence that it actually increases the potency of your bud. Learn about other ways to increase yields.
Unknowns: These Growing Methods May Increase THC But Aren’t Well-Tested
These are some of the common ways growers try to increase the THC levels of their cannabis. These techniques and methods are considered “unknowns” because there hasn’t been a whole lot of scientific testing to see what works and what doesn’t work as far as increasing THC.
Supplements to Increase THC and Overall Potency
There are many supplements for growing cannabis, and each one has a different purpose. Some supplements are great, while others are just snake oil.
When it comes to supplements for bud quality, most claim to increase yields or flavor as opposed to potency. However, there are some supplements that either claim or insinuate that they will increase the potency and/or THC levels in your cannabis.
Unfortunately, at this time there aren’t any supplement companies which have conducted systematic tests showing that their supplements will actually increase THC. Because of this, although it seems possible that some of these do work as stated, I can’t recommend any ones in particular.
If you know of any supplement manufacturers who have actually tested their products on real cannabis plants and can demonstrate that their supplements actually increase THC, we’d love to hear from you!
Allow Plant to Remain in Vegetative Stage For 8+ Weeks
I’ve heard this one from different growers over the years, but for now, the jury is still out. The idea is that a cannabis plant needs to remain in the vegetative stage for at least 8 weeks before being switched to the flowering stage in order to reach its maximum THC levels when it starts budding.
Cannabis plants which have been allowed to grow for at least 8 weeks in the vegetative stage tend to be much bigger and more robust than plants switched earlier, and they produce far greater yields. But does that mean that they produce higher levels of THC? It seems like it could be possible, but it might also be related to other factors. For example, big plants are usually grown under powerful grow lights, which affects potency, and are also often grown by more experienced growers. More testing is needed!
My idea for a test (hopefully someday I’ll get to do this when I get more room to grow!)
- Sprout several seeds from a very stable cannabis strain like Northern Light to reduce genetic variation between the plants
- Allow each seedling to grow out to 8 weeks in the vegetative stage, then take a clone off each plant. Although clones are the size of seedlings, they are the same internal “age” as their mother so in a way, these clones would already be 8 weeks old
- Sprout more seeds of the same stable strain and grow them until they’re about 3 weeks old so they’re the same size as the clones. You want to time this so that the seedlings are about 3 weeks old just as the clones are the same size and taking root. Seedlings can’t start flowering before 3-4 weeks old and we’re trying to create as close to the same conditions as we can between the two plants to reduce as many variables as possible.
- Now that you’ve got your 3-week seedlings and your “8-week” clones that are the same size, flower them together in the same conditions.
- After harvest, test the THC levels! If the buds from the clones are more potent than the ones from the seedlings I’d say it’s pretty good evidence that increased age increases potency. If not, well, back to the drawing board to try another test!
Letting plants get older before the switch to the flowering stage definitely results in bigger plants and higher yields, but we don’t know if it increases cannabis potency!
Lack of Pollination (Producing “Sinsemilla”)
Just a few decades ago pretty much all cannabis bud you could find was full of seeds. This is because at the time many growers didn’t realize that male and female cannabis plants need to be separated in the flowering stage to prevent the female plants from getting pollinated and making seeds.
However, once cannabis growers became more aware of growing techniques including how to prevent pollination, there was a rise in “sinsemilla” weed, a word which combines the Spanish word “sin” (without) and “semilla” (seed) to mean cannabis “without seeds.”
Seeds belong in your garden, not in your buds!
The sinsemilla bud that started flooding the market was much higher potency than the seedy, low-quality bud that had been available before. This led to the term sinsemilla being used to describe very high quality and potent cannabis. There’s no doubt that most growers prefer buds without seeds, but the term sinsemilla has led to the idea that cannabis buds without seeds were inherently more potent than seedy bud.
While this may very well be true, there isn’t much evidence that it’s actually the lack of pollination which caused the dramatic increase of potency experienced by cannabis enthusiasts at the time. Right around the time growers started producing non-seedy buds, the cannabis breeding scene was also starting to get established. Publications to assist cannabis growers like the High Times magazine appeared on the scene to help growers learn better growing techniques, and cannabis breeders like Nirvana started shipping cannabis seeds of famous strains to growers all around the world by mail order.
High Times Top Strains of 1977
Growing and breeding techniques were improving simultaneously. It’s possible that the increase in potency experienced by people who switched to seedless buds was actually the result of better genetics/breeding. These days, most people only get sinsemilla and no one really wants to do direct comparisons.
However, keeping buds from producing seeds will dramatically increase the perceived quality of your buds, as well as your yields, so regardless of whether it increases bud potency or not, it’s something every grower wants to do! Don’t let your female plants get pollinated – remove all male plants from your grow room immediately (or start with feminized seeds, which don’t produce any male plants)!
Type of Grow Light & Spectrum – HPS, LED & LEC Grow Lights
Different types of grow light produce different spectrums (colors) of light. There are some growers that believe that growing cannabis under the unique light spectrums of LED grow lights or LEC grow lights may increase resin production and THC levels. Other growers swear that you need powerful HPS grow lights to produce the highest levels of THC.
Special Ways of Flushing
During the flushing process of growing cannabis, a grower generally gives their plants just plain water for the last few weeks before harvest. This is done to encourage the cannabis to “cannibalize” itself and use up all remaining nutrients in the plant.
The idea is to get the plant to use up any nutrients that may have built up in the buds which could possibly affect that taste/smell after harvest
However, there are several additional types of flushes that many growers believe will increase THC levels. Most of these are done in addition to regular flushing, just before harvest. Unfortunately, there aren’t many (if any) tests determining which one of these work, but there are many experienced growers who swear by these methods!
Unfortunately, they don’t all match (for example some growers say to harvest in the morning, while others believe you get more THC if you harvest during the plant’s dark period), but these are the most common flushing techniques that I’ve heard to increase THC levels right before harvest.
These “flushing” methods may (or may not) increase THC:
- keep plant in the dark for 2-3 days before harvest
- harvest cannabis in the morning
- harvest cannabis during the plant’s dark period
- water plants with ice water before harvest
- chop down and hang entire plant upside down for a few days before trimming and drying buds
Air Temperature, Humidity and Overwatering
I wrote this section after reading the results of a 6-year study about industrial hemp. Although hemp is closely related to the cannabis, they’re not the same thing so these finding should definitely be taken with a grain of salt. In the study the researchers found the following environmental factors were associated with higher levels of THC:
- High humidity
- Warm air temperature
- Lower levels of precipitation (rain)
Since the study is based on hemp grown outdoors, it’s hard to know if these factors will influence the THC content of cannabis plants grown indoors, but I do think it’s a good idea to keep things warm (at least above 70°F/20°C which is the minimum recommended temperature for optimum growth) and avoid overwatering!
Common grower knowledge says that lower humidity towards the end of the flowering stage will raise THC levels, but this study makes me want to look into that further since the hemp in the study actually produced higher levels of THC at higher humidities!
Conclusion: Time to Grow More Potent Cannabis!
There are certain techniques that will definitely maximize the THC produced by your cannabis, and there are other methods which may increase potency but their effects are less certain.
If you are serious about increasing the THC levels in your cannabis, make sure to follow the top steps which are known to increase potency! Skipping any of those steps will reduce your potency for certain! Choosing the right strain, giving plenty of bright light, taking great care of your plants while they’re alive, and harvesting/drying/curing properly are the most important steps you can take to increase the THC levels of your buds!
But luckily for cannabis growers, most of the “unknowns” can’t hurt your plants, so there’s no harm in trying them out, too!
There are a few growing techniques known to increase the THC of buds, as well as several "unknowns" which may also have a big effect on potency. Learn what you need to do to get the results you want!