What is CBD? | What Can it do for Sex and Anxiety?
I was first introduced to Foria Awaken lube by Camille Chacra, of Allume. She gifted me a bottle and I fell absolutely in love with its texture and ability to really heighten sensation. Since adding it to the shop, we've received a ton of questions about what it is and how it works, so we thought we’d put all that good info all in one place. With CBD popping up in everything from lattes to bath bombs to dog treats, it may seem like a modern day snake oil. So what exactly is it? Where did it suddenly come from? And what can it do for you and your sex life? Let's get into it!
- xo Amy, Nox co-founder
What is CBD?
While CBD and THC are both cannabinoids derived from cannabis sativa they do extremely different things. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is identified as the main cause of the psychoactive effects of cannabis (aka, it’s what makes you ‘high’), while CBD has no psychoactive effects (aka it does not get you ‘high’) and is being studied for its potential clinical effects on anxiety disorders, movement disorders, neuropathic pain, epilepsy, and cancers as well as anti-inflammatory effects. The easiest way to think of it is, THC is responsible for the high feelings and potential anxiety-inducing ‘tripping out’ of cannabis whereas CBD is responsible for the relaxed, sleepy, chill feelings. While cannabis may be sold as Sativa, Indica or Hybrid, in reality, they’re pretty much all hybrids of the two, and the strains are simply identified by the effect you will feel. So, cannabis with a higher CBD level (aka a chill high) will typically be referred to as an Indica.
Where does CBD come from?
Isolated CBD is derived largely from hemp, which is a cannabis sativa plant with a THC level of 0.3% or less. The beneficial properties of CBD were first studied in the 1940s but the stigmatization and racism that lead to the prohibition of cannabis (more on that here) had largely halted these studies until more recently. This is what has lead to much confusion and grey-zone ideas about the legality of CBD. While both Cannabis and Hemp are members of the Cannabis Sativa family of plants, the levels of THC and CBD they can produce as well as their appearance are quite distinct. Hemp has long been grown as a crop for making clothing, rope, paper and much more, but is now increasingly grown as a source of pure CBD for products with little to no THC (like Awaken). All of the chill, none of the anxiety.
What does CBD feel like? Is it safe?
Anyone who hasn’t yet tried CBD wants to know “Sounds good, but how will it make me feel?” First off, CBD won’t make you feel ‘high’ unless you’re taking it in combination with THC (always check the packaging on oils, edibles, creams, and smokables). And secondly, the answer actually has to more to do with what you won’t feel. While CBD won’t make you overjoyed if you’re sad or anxious, it can help reduce and/or eliminate feelings of anxiety (if anxiety is a serious concern for you, please try to speak to a medical professional if one is available to you). If you are experiencing aches and pains, it won’t make you feel invincible but will help to ease those pains. If you can’t sleep, CBD may help ease insomnia but won’t knock you out. Get it? If you’re feeling great, no stress, no anxiety, no pain, CBD may do virtually nothing for you. It’s not something that adds, it’s something that eases. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also released a formal study stating that the use of CBD is safe and poses no health risks to humans (it’s right here if you like to read studies as much as we do).
What can CBD oil do for my sex life?
The question you all came here for is “What’s the deal with CBD lube and is it worth the hype?”. Lubricants containing hemp derived CBD have been widely touted as a ‘miracle’ but will they work for you? Well, honestly, we can’t say for sure. The reexamination of CBD is so new that, while WHO has classified it as not dangerous, there haven’t been enough studies for the FDA to make a stand on what it can or can’t do medically.
So essentially, you can know that it’s medically safe, do your research, and decide if you want to try it. The overall positive user feedback on products like Foria (including our own) are fairly overwhelming though. Pour through the reviews on their own site and the absolute worst review you’re likely to find under all the ravings of it changing people’s sex lives might say “I didn’t really feel much.” or "I didn't like the smell." (It has a natural cocoa mint scent from its ingredients, that we love but isn't for everyone.) And that’s totally fair, each body and every sexual experience is unique and there is no one product loved by all.
By and large, the feedback by CBD lube evangelists has to do with overall heightened comfort and sensation. Many people can feel their body relax in a way it wasn’t able to previously, especially people who have experienced sexual pain due to endometriosis, cysts and more. The kava and CBD in the formula are all interacting with the endocannabinoid system, along with the central nervous system, and the erectile tissue network — to decrease any stress or tension in the body. This can result in localized feelings described by you, the Nox community, as ‘melty’ ‘dreamy’ and ‘cozy’.
As a last note, it’s important to remember that with any oil-based lubes (CBD needs to be extracted into oil), we recommend massaging them mostly into the more external parts of the vulva (you know what works for you, everyone’s pH and flora is different), using them for foreplay, for penis masturbation and for anal and they can not be mixed with latex condoms. CBD lube has made a huge impression on the many people who’ve already tried it. Does it sound enticing to you?