Can You Add CBD Oil To Lube

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Right now, CBD- and THC-infused lube are all the rage, but is it worth it? We spoke to a few different sex experts to get more information on both. Cannabis lube can provide relief to people who experience pain during sex. It increases blood flow through the presence of THC and sensation during sex

Sexperts Weigh In on THC- and CBD-Infused Lube (Exclusive)

With the destigmatization of using THC and CBD for both medicinal and recreational purposes, more and more sexually active folks are beginning to incorporate it into their sex lives. Sex stores are now advertising THC- and CBD-infused lube to augment your overall experience and even to potentially induce or improve orgasms. So, we investigated these types of product by speaking with a few sex experts.

We did email Q&As with Erotic Educator and Founder of Organic Loven, Taylor Sparks, as well as the co-founders of pleasure-tech company Emojibator, Kristin Fretz and Joe Vela, to answer all of your ~hottest~ questions.

GREEN MATTERS: Why might someone want to incorporate CBD or THC infused lube into their sex life?

Taylor Sparks: Both CBD and THC act as a vasodilator, meaning it opens up the blood vessels bringing more blood to the clitoris (erectile tissue) making your orgasms more intense and the vagina more lubricated. Cannabis interacts directly with an endocannabinoid system giving us the feel good emotion or putting us in the mood.

Kristin Fretz: The traditional ways of consuming THC or CBD (food, pills, flower, etc.) can be intimidating or non-starters for many people. We made our Phuksaus CBD-infused lube as a friendly and exciting way to experiment in an intimate setting such as masturbation or sex. CBD infused lube lets a mainstream audience experience CBD without needing access to a legal marijuana or hemp store, which sometimes can be price prohibitive.

GM: What does it mean if there is CBD or THC in lube, and how is it infused?

TS: The CBD/THC is added during the making of the lubricant along with other ingredients. They may use a CBD isolate which is the purest CBD compound removing all other compounds. This is usually extracted from hemp because it does not have the THC compound. Some companies use full spectrum which will include other compounds of the plant such as terpenes, essential oils and cannabinoids. Broad spectrum is a combination of full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate.

Joe Vela: This means that CBD or THC has been absorbed by a carrier molecule, most likely oil, and made into a cream, salve, tincture, lotion, or in this case personal lubricant. One key reason for using carrier oil is that it improves the bioavailability of the CBD, which means it helps your body absorb the CBD oil. CBD is fat-soluble, which means that it dissolves in oil rather than water, although new methods are being developed that do not require carrier oil. Fat-soluble substances are better absorbed when digested along with fat, even in small amounts. We use sweet almond oil in Phukaus CBD which is full of vitamin E and high in fat.

GM: How should you determine what you want?

TS: The labels will/should tell you whether there is full or broad spectrum CBD and the milligrams. The higher the milligram the more CBD within the product. Both CBD/THC are dosed in milligrams. The cannabinoids in both CBD/THC are delivered directly to the receptors in the skin, without entering the bloodstream so you will not have any psychoactive effects from the THC in the lubricant. THC lubricant is only available in states where it is legal, whereas CBD lubricant is legal in all 50 states under the farm bill that passed in 2018.

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JV: After much personal experimentation, we decided that a minimum effective topical dose was somewhere around 1mg/ml. Our lubricant has a concentration of 1.25 milligrams of weed per milliliters of lube (or 75 milligrams of CBD per 60-milliliter bottle). It’s not required that manufacturers provide this information, so keep an eye out for products that are transparent and provide a complete ingredients list.

GM: What is the difference between the effects of THC-infused lube and CBD-infused lube in terms of effects? Why might one choose one over the other?

TS: THC lubricants tend to have more physiological effects such as more blood flow and more sensitivity in the vaginal/clitoral area.

KF: CBD products have less than 0.3 percent THC, meaning you won’t feel those psychoactive effects of THC. I highly recommend starting with CBD infused products to ease yourself into what an enhanced pleasure experience feels like for your body and mind.

GM: Would either show up in a drug test?

TS: The THC lubricant may show up if swallowed and it will get you high. Something to consider when using it and then indulging in oral sex.

JV: It really depends on the drug test. I’ve never heard of anyone test for CBD on a drug test, so that would not appear. It’s very unlikely to find topical THC findings in a blood or urine sample.

GM: Do they have any psychoactive effects or just physical?

TS: For CBD it is only physical, but as mentioned, the THC will have a psychoactive effect if swallowed.

JV: While there is not enough research on the effects of CBD, users report increased blood flow, pelvic relaxation, and decreased inflammation and pain. With CBD, there are very minimal psychoactive effects, but in my experiences with topical THC, and because I think the body and mind are so closely linked, I’ve noticed both a physical and a psychoactive effect, similar to eating a low-dose edible.

GM: Does either product affect people with different genitalia differently? If so, why?

TS: CBD/THC as a lubricant is most effective on women because the vagina is covered in a mucus membrane and 100 percent of what you put on it is absorbed into the body. For men, oil based CBD lubricant can be used to lubricate the penis after sex, especially if there has been friction. CBD also helps to reduce pain and swelling and can be used on/in the vulva/vagina after sex to reduce any inflammation.

JV: That’s a great question! Shape, size, lifestyle, and physical health can play a part in how high a dosage you need for desired effects, so I imagine there are some gender differences. Women may be more likely to use CBD for pain or anxiety, and men for relaxation or wellness, so the motivation for trying these products may produce different effects.

How to make your own cannabis lube

When sex educator and author Ashley Manta needed relief from pain during penetration, she called a friend, who had experience making DIY cannabis topicals. Manta quickly became a fan of her friend’s two-ingredient cannabis oil recipe with its endless uses, including as a sexual lubricant.

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“It made a huge difference with my pleasure and comfort,” recalls Manta. “And it was simple, from the ingredients to the preparation time.”

Both science and decades of anecdotal evidence state that cannabis and sex complement each other and cannabinaoids stimulate our Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which contributes to the regulation of sexual function.

Cannabis-based lube is no different.

According to Laurel (Lo) Friesen, founder and chief extractor of Heylo, many people prefer cannabis-infused lube to amplify pleasure and arousal during sex. “Cannabis lube also provides relief to people who experience pain during sex. It increases blood flow through the presence of THC and increases sensation during sex,” says Friesen, who has a degree in environmental chemistry. “Both THC and CBD lube moisturize, act as anti-inflammatory agents, muscle relaxers and increase pleasure.”

Friesen goes on to mention that the genitals have thin membranes, so it’s possible that THC can enter the bloodstream when used in this way. “So, CBD is a safer option for anyone avoiding THC.” In that same vein, and unlike typical topicals applied to the skin, be aware that using a THC-containing lube could result in a positive Drug Screen.

Also be aware that condoms, contraceptive diaphragms, dental dams, latex gloves, and indeed all latex products can spring holes and be degraded by oil based lubricants, including those based on the recipes below. (Water-based and silicone-based lubricants do not degrade latex products.)

THC lube recipe

Yields: approximately 6mg of THC per 1mL of oil

Manta’s two-ingredient lube includes THC and she notes that to ensure optimal effect, keep dosage in mind when making and using the lube. Don’t overdo it.

One particularly undesirable side effect of too much THC is erectile dysfunction (ED) but on a lighter note, too much will more likely make you sleepy…and put you right out of the mood. 1

Ingredients

  • 8oz fractionated (liquid) coconut oil or MCT oil
  • ¼ oz of high quality flower (third-party tested and free of pesticides, molds, etc.)

Supplies

  • two 4oz mason jars
  • food scale
  • grinder or food processor
  • slow cooker with a warm setting
  • unbleached cheesecloth
  • large funnel
  • smaller funnel
  • tincture bottle with a 1 mL calibrated pipette
  • boiling water (enough to cover the mason jars in the slow cooker)

Note: This recipe’s potency is based on cannabis that is approximately 10-15% THC. Potency can vary significantly based on the THC content of the buds you choose.

Directions

  1. Gather supplies.
  2. Grind up cannabis using a food processor (preferable) or a grinder.
  3. Activate (decarboxylate) your THC with this standard method: spread the ground cannabis evenly on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 220-245 degrees Fahrenheit (105-120 Celsius) for one hour on the middle rack. Stir the herb after 30 minutes.
  4. Once the cannabis is decarboxylated, divide evenly into each 4oz mason jar.
  5. In even proportions, add the oil to each jar over top of the ground flower.
  6. Close jars — Make sure the lid of the mason jar is as tight as possible.
  7. Place mason jars in the slow cooker and fill with water so that the jars are fully submerged.
  8. Set a slow cooker to “warm” setting for four to five hours.
  9. Every 60 minutes, using a jar clamp or heavy oven mitts, pull out the jars and give them a good shake. Be careful not to burn yourself as the glass and metal will both be hot!
  10. After 4-5 hours, remove jars from water and place them on a cloth until they’re cool (don’t put it on a cold/hard surface as the glass could crack).
  11. Line a funnel with 4 layers of cheesecloth and place over a large glass measuring cup with a pour spout.
  12. Slowly pour the cooled liquid through the cheesecloth. Use the cheesecloth to squeeze out the plant matter that remains. Your strained oil will be slightly green.
  13. Using a smaller funnel, pour the oil into a tincture bottle with a 1 mL graduated pipette.
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CBD lube recipe

William Johnson, the formulation chemist at Bardo Labs, a boutique extraction and manufacturing lab in upstate New York, has created a CBD lubricant formulation with a mix of other natural ingredients that have moisturizing, protective and nourishing properties.

For example, the castor oil aids in thickening the product but also has soothing properties and pomegranate seed oil has a specific fatty acid called punicic acid that acts as a free radical scavenger and supports tissue healing and repair. 2

“In this recipe,” says Johnson, “all you need to do is heat the combination of ingredients at 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees F), mixing until homogeneous. Then, take off the heat and pour it into your packaging of choice.

However, an advanced user may want a different percentage of CBD in the finished product so they may need to adjust all other ingredients accordingly. CBD-only products require much higher doses to be as effective as THC + CBD or THC products.”

Common name INCI Concentration %
Sunflower Seed Oil Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil 61
Castor Seed Oil Ricinus Communis Seed Oil 15
Coconut Oil Cocos Nucifera Oil 10
Shea Butter Butyrospermum Parkii 5
Sweet Almond Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil 5
Vitamin E, Mixed Tocopherols Tocopherol 1.5
CBD Cannabidiol 1.5
Pomegranate Seed Oil Punica Granatum Seed Oil 1

Packaging and storage

“The problem with products packaged in jars,” says Johnson, “is that people tend to stick their fingers into the pot and the microbes from the fingers (even after washing) contaminate the product.” The solution? Use a small spatula instead of a finger. Another issue with jar packaging is that it is easier for oxidation (or rancidity). “The jar encourages faster oxidation because it exposes the formula to air and light with every use.” Knowing this, keep in mind that active ingredients might lose their potency when continuously exposed to air. Also remember, a significant benefit from DIY lube and using a jar is that the packaging is recyclable. Protect from heat and light. If stored in the fridge, warm to room temperature before use.

Importance of decarboxylation

It’s quite simple: decarboxylation by heating activates cannabinoids (i.e., THC-A becomes delta 9 THC). This process is essential to introduce the most active cannabis compounds into topicals like lubrication, says Johnson, “because THC is a powerhouse vasodilator, and allows more oxygenated blood to flow to the area on which it’s applied, and enhances sensation and helps relax the muscles and tissue.”

Friesen agrees and adds: “This conversion is also necessary to feel the intoxicating effects of cannabis and without this conversion, raw cannabis doesn’t result in intoxication.” However, the process can also be quite complicated as each cannabinoid and terpene has a different decarboxylation temperature and vulnerability of being destroyed when exposed to high heat.

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