Last year, there were a series of articles reporting that cannabis causes vaginal dryness, like a genital version of cotton mouth. Although The Daily Dot debunked that claim, some people still anecdotally insist that they feel less naturally lubricated after consuming cannabis. (Keep in mind that this may have more to do with feeling dehydrated in general than from it being caused by cannabis, so make sure to stay hydrated while consuming by drinking water.)
Regardless of the reason, remember that vaginal lubrication and arousal are not always positively correlated. One of the most damaging myths I’ve heard from my sex ed workshop attendees is, “You don’t need lube if you’re turned on enough.” Dr. Emily Nagoski addresses this myth in her blog, saying, “For women, genital response is not a measure of desire. Just because she’s wet and/or swollen doesn’t mean she’s interested, it just means her body has prepared itself for a potential sexual situation.” Likewise, just because someone experiences vaginal dryness, that does not imply that she’s not interested or aroused. (Additionally, the rectum is not a self-lubricating orifice, so lube is an absolute must for anal penetration.)
If you do find yourself a bit parched down south while consuming cannabis and wish to counteract that prior to your next cannabis-fueled sex session, here’s a brief overview of the different types of lubricants, their pros and cons, and my personal recommendations.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to purchase cannabis-infused oils like Foria Pleasure. Calling Foria a lube is technically a misnomer, as Pleasure is a pre-lube that requires 25 minutes for the THC to absorb into the mucosal membranes. Foria Pleasure can be used to combat vaginal dryness by increasing blood flow to the area and helping to bring the nerves online.
As the name implies, this type of lube has a water base combined with slippery making ingredients.
Pro: It’s safe to use with any barrier or sex toy material.
Con: It can dry out more quickly than other types of lube, which means frequent reapplication. Also, make sure you read the ingredients because a lot of the lubes you’ll find in the drug store contain irritants that make vaginas unhappy (see below). Fewer ingredients is better, which is why I love the brand Sliquid. All of their lube formulations are body safe, vegan, free of irritating chemicals, and pH balanced.
Fun Trick: Water-based lube can be rewetted with water or spit if it starts to dry out. (However, spit on its own is NOT LUBE! Buy the real stuff!)
Silicone lube is something that everyone should keep around the house.
Pro: It’s not water soluble so it’s great for sex in water, and it’s not readily absorbed into the body so it lasts much longer than water based lube. It’s also safe to use with all barriers.
Con: It can stain fabric, so make sure you’re using old sheets or put a towel down before getting frisky. Also, in some cases, silicone lube can ruin silicone sex toys, so do a spot test on the base of the toy before you coat the entire thing in lube. (Or use a condom.)
Fun Trick: Silicone lube is multi-purpose! My favorite additional uses include applying it on the inner thighs to prevent chafing, smoothing away hair frizz and flyaways, removing makeup, and lubricating squeaky hinges.
Hybrid lube is a combination of silicone and water-based lube.
Pro: It has little enough silicone in it (usually around 12%) that it won’t bother silicone toys.
Con: The silicone gives it a creamier texture and more staying power than pure water-based lube, but it still won’t last as long as pure silicone lube. Hybrid lubes are great for people who get frustrated with the rapid drying of water based lubes but don’t want to deal with the post-coital scrubbing that follows silicone lube use.
Derived from plant oils (like coconut oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, etc.), this is the thickest and longest lasting type of lube.
Pro: It’s compatible with any non-porous sex toy (silicone, metal, wood, ABS plastic).
Con: Oil degrades latex, so latex barriers (condoms, gloves, dental dams) cannot be used with oil. Instead, use nitrile or polyurethane barriers, like the FC2 Internal Condom or Trojan Supra. I would not recommend using synthetic oils like mineral oil or petroleum jelly anywhere near a vulva.
What to Avoid
Per Dangerous Lilly, here are some ingredients to avoid:
“Glycerin(e), Propylene Glycol, Nonoxynol 9, Chlorhexedine Gluconate, Petroleum Oils, Polyquaternium-15, Benzocaine, Sugars & Sugar Alcohols, Ureas.”
See her full post for a detailed explanation of why these ingredients are problematic.
I don’t recommend most drug store lubes because they often contain one or more of the ingredients listed above. If you’re particularly sensitive, definitely check for these ingredients and buy different lube accordingly. Trust me, investing in your sexual health and pleasure is worth it.
What are your favorite types or brands of lube?
For even more information on lube, check out this helpful guide from the Smitten Kitten.
Do you have a sex, relationships, or intimacy dating question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and I may address your request in a future article! (Don’t worry, we’ll keep your queries anonymous.)