Weed makes me horny. I used to think it was because I've dated so many stoners that I've just trained myself to associate the skunky smell with sex, but it turns out there might be some science behind it. The right strain can help you feel more relaxed, sensual, and connected to your partner, which is great for an anxious nutcase like me. So, when I spoke with Dr. Julie Holland, author of the must-read Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You're Taking, the Sleep You're Missing, the Sex You're Not Having and What's Really Making You Crazy, I was shocked and saddened to learn that a side effect of smoking marijuana can be a dry vagina.
Sorry, stoner chicks. It's a phenomenon that's been brought to light on internet forums and dubbed "cotton vagina" on Urban Dictionary. Because marijuana is still a Class 1 drug, limited research has been done on the subject, but just as allergy medicines can dry up your vag thanks to your mucus membranes, pot can do the same. To hear more on this discovery, I followed up with Dr. Holland to talk about using coconut oil as lube, THC to CBD ratios, and why weed can leave your vagina parched.
VICE: Hi, Dr. Holland. Thanks for the article you sent me about dry vaginas.
Dr. Julie Holland: There aren't that many articles. Think about what drives research. Drug companies pay for research so they can develop new drugs, and the government pays for research if something is dangerous. This is a situation where no one is going to do research on this. There's no need, and there's no money in it.
I do think it's important to say it's variable, and it's personal. Each person responds differently to pot and each strain acts differently. You're not going to have a lot of consistency. I've had patients tell me that [smoking weed] makes it harder for them to climax or take longer, but I also have patients who feel it's pro-sexual. It may be that the higher CBD strains are more pro-sexual than the higher THC strains.
Is vaginal dryness a marijuana side effect just like dry mouth?
Exactly like dry mouth. It's the same thing. It's the drying of the mucus membranes. Now not all pot is going to give you dry mouth, but if you have had a strain that is giving you dry mouth, it will also make you more dry [down there]. In general the thing that makes women dry is the pill. Because there's all this different mucus that happens throughout your cervical cycle. As Mother Nature designs it, when you're fertile, you're wet. But if you're on the pill, you don't ovulate; you don't get that mid-cycle wetness.
RELATED: The Real Nancy Botwin?
So if I'm on the pill and smoke weed, I'm like a desert?
Well, what would be nice if we had more non-hormonal contraception options.
Speaking of weed and vaginal dryness, have you heard of that cannabis lube?
Foria? I've heard of it. I haven't tried it and don't have any data, but here's what I will say that's very important: I believe it's in a base of coconut oil and I think that coconut oil is excellent for lubrication. I've had patients tell me, I've had friends tell me, it is better than any other lube they've tried. I talk about coconut oil in Moody Bitches. I am a big proponent of coconut oil as a lubricant. I think the coconut oil base may be part of Foria's charm.
And coconut oil smells so nice.
In Ayurveda medicine, they say not to put anything on your skin that you wouldn't put in your mouth. I'm a big fan of coconut oil!
I'm going to try it tonight! Is there anything else a stoner should know about the effects of marijuana on our sex lives?
There's the whole head versus body issue. The critical mind needs to be put on pause to really enjoy yourself and get in your body, to not worry about how long it's taking or what you look like. There are some strains of cannabis that help you get in your body and more aware of your body, but there are some strains that make you more in your head, more critical. You really need to experiment a bit to find what works for you.
Follow Sophie St. Thomas on Twitter.