Mile High Club

words by Josh Delzell
photos by Connor Cox

Sex is a wonderful thing, but it is also a frightening thing as well. It puts you in one of the most vulnerable places you’ll ever be. It can bring doubts about your sexual performance, your body image or, for the guys, if you’re well endowed enough. Sex is also a terrifying place for those who have experienced sexual violence, with sexual encounters bringing anxiety attacks or PTSD flashbacks.

For anyone that is affected by these issues: your problems are valid and not altogether uncommon. It can be frustrating to struggle with intimacy issues, which leads many to search for solutions.  According to cannabis sexual educators like Ashley Manta, cannabis could be the fix for your problems.

Ashley Manta, the ‘OG cannasexual,’ preaches the use of cannabis to help further one’s sexuality, and coaches individuals and couples through her website Ashley Manta Cannasexual. “There’s also just anxiety and self-consciousness sometimes,” Manta told HuffPost in an interview detailing the becoming of cannasexual, referencing those struggles that individuals have with sexual intimacy.

“Many people that I work with say that they have the internal monologue of not being enough.” The idea behind being a cannasexual is to use cannabis to get out of your head and into your body — because that’s where all the fun happens, duh. Cannabis use can also help with anxieties that can come from sexual trauma. Manta herself is a sexual assault survivor and used cannabis to help manage the pain and PTSD that came with penetration.

What exactly could cannabis do for your sex life? Let’s look at THC and CBDs cousin, 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (or 2-AG for short). 2-AG is a naturally occuring cannabinoid that resides in the nervous system, and interacts with your body’s cannabinoid receptors. During an orgasm, 2-AG levels are significantly elevated whereas other chemical compound levels, like cortisol, are not altered. This suggests that 2-AG plays a role essentially as a rewarding byproduct during sex. When other cannabinoids are introduced, it gets interesting.

While CBD does not directly interact with our cannabinoid receptors, it does elevate 2-AG, which may indicate that high CBD products can help with our bodies response to 2-AG — and maybe help you improve your orgasms. THC on the other hand plays a stronger role in reducing stress and anxiety. THC does interact with the cannabinoid receptors, which happen to live next to the parts of the brain that play a role in how we respond to anxiety and fear.

THC also has been shown to impair the function of short term memory, which can help one stay in the moment during sexual experiences and properly relax. With this knowledge under our belt, it makes more sense how cannabis can help sexual assault survivors, like Manta.

While cannabis is absolutely something to explore within your sex life (many swear that it helps achieve “mind-blowing” orgasms) there are a couple things to note. There are not studies that have looked thoroughly into dosages prior to intercourse. Dosages are crucial to know if you plan to consume, because too high of a dose can affect men’s sexual performance (sorry fellas).

Along with this, it’s important to remember that cannabis affects all of us differently. For some people, it gives them anxiety or makes them unusually tired, neither of which are desirable sexual descriptors. Symptoms and side effects all depend on the strain, so experimentation is required to find what helps you the best. If smoking isn’t really your thing, there are a variety of sex lubes that are THC or CBD infused, which can be easily picked up at local dispensaries like Eugene OG and Moss Crossing.

The most important part of introducing cannabis into your sex life is that it’s something that you need to be in control of. Go into it with the mindset of pleasure and exploration, and remember that the person that knows what’s best for you, is yourself.

High Recommendations

words by Emma Routley

I couldn’t even guess what wearing a cannabis transdermal patch would feel like. None of my friends or coworkers had tried them either, which sparked my curiosity about why patches didn’t seem to be a popular cannabis product option. My interest peaked, and I decided to give a cannabis transdermal patch a try to see how it affected me. I have gone through a rigorous process of trial and error to figure out how to use cannabis to help my anxiety.  I found that the 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC blends work best for me, and I found a patch that fit the bill. I am always looking for solutions that make my anxiety more manageable so I can get through everyday life without feelings of panic or nervousness.

As it turns out, there are many different options for cannabis transdermal patches. These patches are adhesive like a band aid, but are infused with THC.  Activated by body heat, the patch releases THC into your bloodstream over the course of several hours. My current favorite dispensary is River Valley Remedies, and I found Mary’s Medicinals Transdermal Patches on their online menu. I wanted to find a patch to try with a more affordable price point, because patches are single use and buying them for everyday use is not financially feasible. Mary’s Medicinals Transdermal Patches are $12 for recreational marijuana users and come in six different options.

I tried their 1:1 patch, a combo of CBD and THC, with minimal tolerance to cannabis products, as it had been three months of not using any CBD or THC products during my job search with due concern of being drug tested. I was not certain if the amount of THC would have a stronger effect on me because of my gap in cannabis usage, but if anything the way the 1:1 patch performed made me believe that it might be a great option for those who are just starting out in the cannabis world as well.

The patch took about thirty minutes to noticeably start working. The general anxiety I experience on an everyday basis had gone away, and a wave of calm washed over me. Once the patch had been on for about an hour and I was certain my mood change was a result of the product and not my brain chemistry righting itself for a brief moment, I began to have a great, stable day. The patch claims to last for up to twelve hours and should be worn non stop throughout the day on a venous part of the body. I placed the patch on the inside of my left wrist and went through my daily routine of school, interning, homework and whatever else my to-do list typically has on it. When I’m having a particularly anxious day, the list of things I have to do becomes a jumbled mess of thoughts and I am quickly overwhelmed by the necessity of being productive without the motivation to accomplish anything. With the help of the 1:1 patch, I felt mellow and was completely productive without being at war with myself on any issue that might have triggered my anxiety throughout the day. I was in a great mood too, feeling incredibly lighthearted.

The only downside to cannabis transdermal patches is that they don’t seem financially friendly for everyone, but as an emergency backup cannabis product I believe they are great to have around just in case of anxiety overload. There are many different options for different kinds of patches if you know what works best for your body, so you can tailor the patch to the type of cannabis you like the most.  All in all, I think that these patches are a great solution for a really bad day, and I highly recommend them!