Can CBD Lube Really Make Sex Better—and Tighten Your Vagina? We Asked an Ob-Gyn
Dean McDermott raved about the “amazing” CBD lube he and Tori Spelling use during sex. Here’s what experts say.
Dean McDermott just got super candid about his sex life with his wife, Tori Spelling. McDermott opened up on the latest episode of his podcast, Daddy Issues, after he, his cohosts, and guest Denise Richards started talking about how often they have sex with their partners.
McDermott said that he and Spelling have sex “every day,” and he said that they use an “awesome” CBD-infused lube in the bedroom. (In case you’re not familiar with it, CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant.) McDermott’s cohost Adam Hunter said he uses a lube infused with THC, the compound in cannabis that produces a high. “You just put it on, and the vagina gets tighter, and then you last longer,” Hunter said.
For his part, McDermott said the lube that he and Spelling uses is “amazing” and “fantastic.” He added, “The one we used doesn’t have THC in it. It’s just like a CBD kind of thing.” McDermott also saidt hat Spelling “totally” likes using the lube as much as he does.
Is CBD-infused lube safe for sex?
Backing up a moment: There are a lot of claims out there about what CBD can do. Despite that, the US National Library of Medicine points out that “insufficient evidence” supports many of those claims. CBD is “likely effective” for treating seizure disorders, the US National Library of Medicine states, but there’s not great evidence to support its use for a slew of other conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, and multiple sclerosis.
Unfortunately, there’s really no good research on the effect of CBD as a personal lubricant. “Anything you hear about it is anecdotal,” Lauren Streicher, MD, a professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, tells Health.
What benefits can CBD lube have for sex?
While many experts don’t know about CBD lube, Dr. Streicher notes that CBD is a vasodilator, meaning it helps open up your blood vessels. “If someone had an increased vascular supply from a vasodilator like CBD, it would theoretically increase lubrication,” she says. Still, given that this hasn’t been well researched, it’s difficult to say whether CBD itself is a good lubrication enhancer, or whether the lube it’s mixed with is helpful, Dr. Streicher adds.
Everything else about CBD lube is mostly anecdotal. “People report a better sexual experience, increased relaxation, a more intense orgasm, and even report sleeping better after sex,” Jamie Alan, PhD, an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University, tells Health. “Of course, some people report that they don’t feel any different.”
Are there any risks of using CBD lube?
If you use it here and there, you’re probably okay, Dr. Streicher says. But CBD products as a whole aren’t regulated and, as a result, “they’re not completely risk-free,” she warns. There’s also a chance that CBD lube, like anything you put in your vagina, could alter your vaginal pH and open you up for a risk of infection, Alan says.
That said, CBD lube is “likely safe,” Alan explains, adding that “there aren’t many recorded adverse effects of CBD.”
If you want to try a CBD lube and it doesn’t cause irritation or any other issues, it should be okay to continue to use it, Dr. Streicher says. (If you do start to experience problems, though, stop using it ASAP.)
As for the claims that any type of lube (THC, CBD, or otherwise) can make your vagina “tighter,” Dr. Streicher says that’s not a good thing. “The only thing that would make a vagina ‘tighter’ is if it caused the tissues to swell because it was an irritant,” she says. “You don’t want to irritate your vagina on purpose.”
Overall, Dr. Streicher says she doesn’t discourage the use of CBD lube by her patients, but she doesn’t go out of her way to encourage it, either. “If someone comes to me and says they’d like to give it a try, I’ll say fine—but it’s not on my list of recommended lubricants,” she says.
To get our top sexual health stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Health Hookup newsletter
Dean McDermott said he and wife Tori Spelling use an "amazing" CBD-infused lube during sex. Find out what an ob-gyn thinks about CBD lube and if it can affect sex.
Using CBD As a Sex Lube… Should You Try It?
The CBD industry continues to boom as it enjoys a greater level of legality than marijuana. It is, of course, a product of the Mary Jane plant, but since it is non-intoxicating, it is legal in dozens of American states. CBD is primarily used for medicinal purposes and comes in oil, edible, balm, and capsule form among other things.
One thing you may not know is that CBD is also becoming popular as a sex lube! Kim Koehler, the founder of Privy Peach, was the talk of Denver’s Indo Expo in January 2018 when she launched a unique line of CBD-infused products. She once faced pain and anxiety during sex, a fate she knows she shares with millions of women. Koehler experienced the benefits of CBD when used as a lubricant, and believes it will help women who suffer from pain during sex.
How Can CBD Lube Help?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, as many as 75% of women experience pain during sex at some stage; with penetration pain the main issue. Using CBD to create lube makes sense; it is anti-inflammatory and can prevent irritation as long as it is made with a natural coconut-oil base.
CBD’s ability to tackle inflammation and pain is well-known, but it has a wide range of benefits. As it is a ‘smart’ molecule, it acts dynamically to help the body and mind, depending on the situation and the location of the issue. CBD also acts to promote whole-body homeostasis, which is a fancy term for saying it helps bring a sense of ‘balance.’ In a 2009 study by Nagarkatti et al., the research team found that CBD had up to 50 mechanisms in action. While analgesics only target pain, CBD can tackle a range of problems simultaneously.
This is one of the main reasons why it is superior to traditional lubricant, which only has one function. CBD lube fulfills that function and much, much more! It regenerates and moisturizes delicate skin, alleviates inflammation and pain, and reduces anxiety. In simple terms, it is a Godsend for women in Koehler’s situation – not only do they benefit from reduced pain, but they are also able to relax and enjoy the sexual experience more. And unsurprisingly, CBD lube can also lead to better orgasms. Not because it has some magical ingredient – it just makes you ‘feel’ better!
How to Use CBD Lube
The best CBD lubes will be free from irritating chemicals and should have a ‘gel-like’ texture. That means it will be more viscous than traditional lube which can be too runny at times. A common issue with a lot of CBD lubes on the market is that they don’t last long enough. Reapplication during sex is a real buzzkill so make sure you get a CBD lube capable of lasting long enough for at least one person to be satisfied!
To apply, simply rub it in and around your clitoris and pay attention to the inner and outer labia. Most women who use CBD lube recommend working it inside the vagina as it usually leads to a heightened sexual experience. Again, beware of lubes that dry up too fast, as they will result in a very uncomfortable ‘chafing’ experience. In general, you should not experience any pain that comes with penetration.
The big issue is the length of time it takes to notice the effect of CBD lube. Even with the most powerful products, it can take up to 20 minutes so you should indulge in foreplay until you finally experience a localized sensation. As CBD is non-intoxicating, you may experience a pleasant feeling, but you won’t get high.
Things to Consider When Using CBD Lube
- Beware of Latex Condoms: As CBD lube is oil-based, it is not latex friendly which means you run the risk of breaking a condom — and we think you know what that means! Although some brands are marketed as ‘latex-friendly,’ they can’t guarantee that their product won’t degrade latex, so it is better to be safe than sorry. If you’re converned, consider other barrier materials such as polyurethane.
- Extra Moisture Downstairs: Most women who have tested high-quality CBD lube admit that it makes them even wetter than normal ‘down there,’ which is always a bonus.
- Scented Lube: In most cases, CBD lube has no discernible smell… and of course, your vagina will NOT become high. However, some brands add ingredients to ensure their lube gives off a certain scent – it is up to each user to determine if they want their CBD lube to have any scent whatsoever.
- Relaxation: Don’t expect to apply the CBD lube and immediately have the best sex of your life! One of its primary benefits is relieving the pain of penetration, but it can also help to relax you. However, this only happens if you allow yourself to relax. When you apply the lube, try to calm down and permit yourself to enjoy what happens next – after all, it takes a while for the CBD to get to work.
- Reputable Brands: Do your research when purchasing CBD lube. As the CBD industry is not standardized or regulated in any discernible way, there’s a danger that you’ll purchase a low-grade product laden with harmful chemicals. We don’t have to spell out what can happen in that instance.
Final Thoughts on CBD Lube
At this moment in time, CBD lube is somewhat controversial because there’s a belief that women are simply putting drugs into their vagina! In reality, though, CBD is 100% non-intoxicating – it not only helps relieve the pain that many women feel during sexual intercourse, but it is also capable of reducing anxiety and enabling women to relax and enjoy sex.
And lastly, Kim Koehler hopes that her range of CBD products provides comfort to women in an industry that predominantly caters to men, so she plans to donate a percentage of her revenue to a different NPO every quarter, paying special attention to charities that help women who suffer domestic violence.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, roughly 75% of women feel pain during sex at some stage. Could CBD lube help…