[Canniseur: Gee, I didn’t know getting high made me more aroused too. Yes. I. Did. I love cannabis for this. And this is a good explanation of which strains seem to be the best.]
It’s no secret that a dash of weed will spice things up in the bedroom. In recent years, the legal market’s been awash with topicals, suppositories, and tinctures aimed at doing just that. But while these products are great — and work very, very well — puffing on a pre-roll or taking a bong hit of some spicy flower can be just as effective when it’s time to get down.
However booming the canna-sexual market may be, it seems to be devoid of any smokable sex aids. While something is working with smoking pot before (or even during) a sexual experience, there is little data on what kind of flower lends itself best to enhance sexual pleasure.
When it comes to sex and using flower, are there strains that specifically heighten arousal? Or, when it comes to sex, is all weed created equal? Is there such a thing as a “viagra strain” to kickstart your sex life?
So many strains claiming to enhance female arousal and male arousal with names like Atomic Northern Lights and/or high-THC content that claim to be “sure things” can be intimidating, confusing, and just downright mood-killing when they don’t work. Or, worse, make you get in your own head.
This kind of journey is personal, intimate, and determined by how the plant’s chemical makeup of terpenes and cannabinoids react with your individual endocannabinoid system, as well as how you react with your surroundings, so we spoke to some of the experts behind the canna-sexual uprising that’s rocking the weed world and bedrooms alike.
While there’s no single strain that’s guaranteed to get your engines going, here are a few of their favorites.
“There is no such thing as the perfect strain for all…yet,” explains cannabis expert Jaron Gladstone, co-founder of CBCeuticals. “Think of shopping for condoms or toys. Often, you will find a variety of shapes and sizes to appease everyone’s interests. This tends to be — in part — due to the nature of our bodies each being psychologically and mentally unique. Answering the question of what cannabis strain is best is relative to what you like, what you need, and what the situation calls for.”
While Gladstone’s personal go-tos are Tangie, Original Glue, and Bruce Banner, his favorite is Mimosa, a cross between Purple Punch and Clementine with high levels of the terpene limonene, known for its bright and uplifting effects, and myrcene, known for promoting calm and relaxation.
“Mimosa is the crown jewel, if you can find it,” he raved. “Think of the Mimosa as doing spin art during Sunday brunch. It throws in a little energy, a little pep in your step, and takes all worries away, leaving you happy-go-lucky, euphoric, and free from anxiety.”
For Joe Vela, co-founder and CEO of Emojibator, a shame-free, accessible pleasure-tech brand debuting a CBD pleasure activator later this year, it’s all about Strawberry Cough.
“I keep a steady supply of sativas and sativa-hybrids,” said Vela. “My go-to strain for arousal is Strawberry Cough. In addition to the sensual smell and taste of berry, this strain gives me creative energy and full-body relaxation.”
Strawberry Cough is a sweet, potent strain known for its heady high and hard, cough-provoking smoke. With a terpene profile high in caryophyllene and limonene with a dash of linalool, it produces a shimmering, euphoric high that is at once uplifting, relaxing, and perfect for getting freaky.
High in euphoria-inducing myrcene, uplifting pinene, and sedating terpinolene, Trainwreck is a fabulous strain for foreplay and beyond, according to our sex experts. While it hit its peak popularity about a decade ago, that doesn’t stop Laura Eisman and Allison Krongard, CEOs and co-founders of Her Highness, a brand of glamourous cannabis accessories, from enjoying Trainwreck’s hard-hitting cerebral high, surging euphoria, and creativity.
“My absolute favorite strain for sex is Trainwreck,” said Eisman. “I love it in any form. Nothing is sexier than slowly smoking a Trainwreck preroll. It makes me feel completely euphoric. I get lost in the experience and every sensation is intensified.”
Krongard adds, “Personally, the best pre-sex strain for me is whichever one I have available. Getting high before sex makes it better for me, and all strains deliver. However, if I had to pick just one or two notable pre-sex standouts, they would be Trainwreck and Red Congolese.”
“I think, more than focusing on strains, something to think about, ask about, and look into is terpenes and cannabinoids,” said Anne Louise Burdett, co-Founder & CEO of TOCA, an organic CBD line of intimacy lubricants. “Different strains have different terpene and cannabinoid profiles which is what makes them unique, and if you know what you’re looking for, you can try out all kinds of different combinations.”
She continued, “When it comes to terpenes, for example, if you want to be clear and focused, look to pinene. If you are wanting something more relaxed and sedating, myrcene or linalool, with limonene being more euphoric, creative. As far as cannabinoids, CBN is a major chemical that makes people feel kind of sleepy and dull, so likely best to avoid. THC is fantastic for pain relief and heightened sensation, and THCV is more stimulating. So overall, it’s a pretty idiosyncratic choice, depending on what you need to get aroused and how you like to feel.”
That said, her recent go-to has been Granddaddy Purple (or GDP), an indica-growing cross between Purple Urkle and Big Bud that is high in relaxing myrcene, anxiety-curbing caryophyllene, and uplifting pinene. “Grandaddy Purple is currently the strain I use the most because I have very full days … a pretty regular obstacle to sex is the task of slowing down my brain and getting present and relaxed in my body at the end of the day. Grandaddy Purple is perfect for a longer, more languid experience. A sensual, relaxed time.”
Sour Diesel, one of the most popular strains in existence, is a sativa-growing plant that took over in the 90s. This cross between ChemDog 91 and Super Skunk was cultivated by grower AJ Sour Diesel and launched a ton of beef between growers in the weed world at the time due to its diesel-y aroma and general prowess as the ultimate 90s dank. High in uplifting limonene, peppery caryophyllene, and fruity, relaxing myrcene, Sour Diesel made two of our expert’s lists, including Anne Louise Burdett above.
Daniel Saynt, Founder & Chief Conspirator of The New Society for Wellness (NSFW), a private members club for the adventurous, agreed. “My choice strains for great sex are Sour Diesel, Afgan Goo, Blue Cheese, and Voodoo.”
Saynt continued, “Just think about the experience you’re about to have and try to match the strain that best fits. If you’re looking for a Barry Manalo style, long and romantic sex experience consider going with an indica-based weed like Bubblegum Kush. Try other indica strains if you want to stretch out your sexual experience with more touch and massage, as these strains make that action feel amazing. If you’re looking for wild and crazy sex making, go for a sativa or hybrid-based strain like Sour Diesel or Jillybean. Both are great for getting the juices going and raising arousal.”
“It’s not about getting insanely high when you’re mixing weed and sex. It’s about enhancing the experience, not overpowering it … much like great sex, it’s better to start slow and build up.”
Canniseur: I’m not a fan of vape cartridges because I don’t know what they actually contain. I am a HUGE fan of vaped flower though. For a while, vaping flower meant having something huge on your table. No more. There are lots of new bands in the market that make whole flower vaping a pocket-sized affair. This isn’t exactly pocketable, but it is a more compact form of vaping than a Volcano.]
Vaporizing has never been more popular than it is today. Between technological advancements in the field and a pandemic that’s made everyone think a little more about their lungs, the market for devices that vaporize flower, concentrate, or both, is booming
While there are a ton of e-rigs, vape pens, portable vapes, and table top set-ups that vaporize concentrate or flower, essentially the same technology and form is used over and over again. Most of the time, you’re better lighting up a bong.
The FlowerPot Vaporizer from New Vape is exciting because it delivers that top notch bong hit experience without combustion, giving the sensation of smoking without compromising your lungs.
In an industry awash with products that use flashy marketing to cover shoddy manufacturing, quality is as rare as innovation. Not only is the FlowerPot the most well-manufactured vaporizer I’ve ever used, it offers a totally unique and clean approach to consuming cannabis.
What is the FlowerPot Vaporizer?
The FlowerPot is a vaporizing system by New Vape that’s sold in a variety of bundles, all designed to be fully customizable, compatible with glass, and to deliver a vaporized bong hit heavy enough to rival a real one.
New Vape is a Florida brand known for the innovative and high-quality vaporizer systems they manufacture at their factory in-house. Having evolved from a medical machine shop in 2005, they applied their knowledge of creating stuff like titanium bone screws towards the cannabis hardware industry.
While the conceptual goal of the FlowerPot is to deliver a perfect bong hit without combustion, our set-up kicks it up a notch. For this guide, we’ll be referring to the Vrod Head, the most popular model, where you can take a vaporized flower bong rip and a concentrate dab at the same time.
How do you use the FlowerPot Vaporizer?
The FlowerPot is a highly mechanized device with many customizable set-ups and added accessories. How you want to design the device around the basic heating mechanism is up to you. Here is how to assemble the basic heating element and electronic system of the FlowerPot.
Assembling the FlowerPot Vaporizer
While assembling the FlowerPot may seem difficult due to its many small parts and long list of instructions, it’s actually pretty easy. To make this process as simple as possible, we’ve broken it into three parts: head assembly, bowl assembly, PID controller.
VROD FlowerPot Parts
Fasten the dish onto Head and secure with the dish nut.
Screw the diffuser onto the Head while holding it against the coil.
Insert screen into bowl until it snaps into place.
Insert post into glass rig, then place the bowl on the post.
Screw shovelhead body handle to tighten onto bowl.
The Flowerpot offers two options for PID controllers and coils:
NV PID Controller
Auber RDK300A PID Controller
20mm Coil for NV PID
20mm Coil for Auber PID
Plug then screw the coil cord into the PID controller.
Plug one end of the generic power cord into the PID controller, and the other end into the wall.
Using the PID Controller:
Make sure the FlowerPot is safely mounted on the safety stand.
Hit the red switch on the back of the PID.
The display will read the current temperature of the cord, an ambient 80 degrees F.
Use the up or down arrows to set your desired temperature. A good starting temperature is 650 degrees F.
When ready, push the front power button. This will power the coil and begin to heat.
Using the FlowerPot Vaporizer
When using the FlowerPot, there are a few tricks to keep in mind for getting the fattest clouds, and the best non-combustion bong rip the vape world has to offer.
Grind the weed, a lot. The finer the grind the better the hit.
Allow 3-5 minutes for the FlowerPot to get to temperature, and five minutes at first to let the heat soak the device fully. (Device can be left on all day as long as it’s safely docked on the stand.)
Go slow. The faster the air goes through the ground flower, the less hot it will be when it hits it, so it’s best to try for a slow to medium draw, vaporizing to the edge of combustion without coughing.
Think of the FlowerPot as a big lighter: only add heat to the bowl when you’re drawing in. Be sure to always place it back on its safety stand between draws.
What’s the appeal?
The FlowerPot Vaporizing System is very much an at-home set-up, perfect for someone who’s a hobby cannabis enthusiast. The kind of stoner with deep pockets, lots of time, and a fiery passion for pot.
Taking a dab and a bong hit of vaporized weed is obviously very next level, but it comes at a price. The most basic FlowePot Bundle will set you back $370, and the Premium package comes in at a whopping $805. While I love my FlowerPot and use it almost daily, it’s still a little steep.
That said, the FlowerPot is not meant for the casual user, but it fills the definite void when creating a walkable bridge from smoking flower to vaporizing. I’ve entertained the idea of laying off smokables for a while, but hadn’t seen it as feasible in that most vaporizers suck. This is the only vaping platform that has ever gotten me as high as smoking has, making me feel like it might be possible to make the switch … someday.
[Canniseur: Indica sometimes get short shrift and used only for getting a good night’s sleep. Turns out we need to give Indica a bit more love. This story will tell you why and which strains to give a toke in mid-day.]
The hardest thing about being a cannabis journalist is balancing productivity with all the weed I consume. While writing about weed for a living is a dream gig, I’ve lost countless days to overconsumption. Spiraling into the lazy vortex of bong rips and bad TV means deadlines begin to pile up like the emails in my inbox. The only thing I manage to answer on those days is a shameful “Yes” when Netflix asks if I’m still watching.
Before quarantine, I had been a sativa-only stoner for over a decade. Like many, I viewed indicas as a productivity-inhibiting treat reserved for after work or before bed, a desert but never a meal. Though I was aware of the controversy surrounding the incorrect labeling of flower as indica or sativa, the market doesn’t reflect the weed world’s relatively new aversion to this kind of distinction, and I didn’t realize just how incorrect I was. As someone who has adhered to that method of categorizing intoxication since high school, it was branded into my brain, an inherent bias I had yet to eradicate.
Then, quarantine hit. Things slowed way down. In trying to navigate the overabundance of free-time, I found my sativa-dominant lifestyle was no longer cutting it. The same strain that used to fill me with energy to run errands and finish my articles was turning me into a ball of anxiety with nowhere to go and no one to interact with outside of my own negative thoughts.
I began incorporating indica strains into my daily routine, realizing that the type of strains I’d written off due to their categorization as indicas held the key to balancing my productivity all along. Exploring this relationship in these months of isolation has forever changed the way I look at flower.
The mislabeling of indica and sativa
“Labeling strains as indica or sativa ultimately is a disservice to patients and consumers because it sets up false expectations around experience,” said Emma Chasen, a cannabis educator and industry consultant with a degree from Brown University in Medicinal Plant Research.
“Indica and Sativa are species designations for cannabis plants. Species are defined by their genetics, the physical manifestation of the organism, not how an organism might make a person feel when consumed.”
While most consumers associate sativa with an energized high and indicas with a sleepy “in-da-couch” vibe, the indica/sativa distinction is actually based on the physical characteristics of the plant. Sativa-dominant plants tend to have thinner, sharper leaves with seven or more leaf blades per leaf and take longer to flower. Indicas tend to be squatter with five broadleaf blades per leaf and experience a shorter flowering time.
“The chemical compounds, or chemotype, of the plant is what has influence on the experience. Those compounds are subject to environmental factors just as much as they are coded for by the plant’s genetics,” Chasen said. “Therefore, there is no guarantee that something labeled as an Indica will make someone feel sleepy and something labeled as a sativa will make someone feel energized.”
Chemotypes, terpenes, and cannabinoids
The chemical compounds, or chemotypes, that Chasen is referring to describe the terpene profiles and cannabinoid ratios in the flower. For those of you who are unfamiliar with these terms, terpenes are the organic compounds responsible for the plant’s flavors and aromas. They influence the experiences cannabis will produce, as well as potential medicinal benefits. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds like THC and CBD. Each strain has a unique cannabinoid makeup with accompanying effects.
When it comes to determining how a strain will affect you, every plant is unique and there are numerous factors at play. While it depends on the chemical makeup of the plant itself, it also depends on how those cannabinoids and terpenes react with your endocannabinoid receptors, as well as how you react with your surroundings. While cannabinoids like THC or CBD put you on a specific roller coaster, terpenes determine what kind of ride you’re going to have.
“Effects differ from plant to plant,” said Justin Heady Monster, a legendary grower responsible for the genetics behind some of the most iconic strains in existence, my personal favorite being Pink Starburst. “In the past decade or so, we have found that the terpenes present play a larger role in determining the high than the growing characteristics.”
Because traditional indicas tend to contain terpenes like myrcene and terpineol, they are associated with couch-lock. If you’re like me and associate that spicy, piney smell with a sativa high, it’s because pinene (pine smell) and limonene (citrus smell) both have energizing effects. These characteristic highs have nothing to do with the plants being sativa or indica, as any of those terpenes could just as easily be found in a plant with the physical characteristics of either one.
“Pink Starburst is a great example of this situation,” Monster noted. “It grows identical to your stereotypical ‘indica’ plant, however, the dominant terpene limonene gives the high something that is euphoric, creative, and what would be described by most as more of a sativa effect. Then you have some hazes, (hazes are categorized as sativas), that start out racy and intense before becoming a crashing, sleepy high due to the amounts of myrcene present.”
How to pick the right indica for you
Throughout these months spent quarantined with a large variety of “indica” strains, I’ve gained a far deeper understanding of the cannabis plant. Never have I had so much control over the way I utilize the plant medicinally and recreationally. Instead of falling victim to taking a huge bong hit of a “sativa” that happens to be high in myrcene early in the morning — and spending the day bleary-eyed and slow, bumbling around the kitchen — I can now tell by smell alone how a flower will make me feel.
When shopping for flower with specific effects, there are a few different methods you can employ. One is to pick a strain you like and look up its lab results. Take note of the dominant terpenes and cannabinoid ratios, then find strains with a similar chemotype. Another much cooler way is to take the time to learn your terpenes and train your nose. The smell of a strain’s dominant terpenes will provide you with a much more accurate depiction of the high than labeling ever could.
The beaches are closing, Americans can’t go to Europe, and no one wants to order a cute seasonal salad next to a two-gallon jug of hand sanitizer. This summer is clearly shot. We all have a ton of free time coming up, so use this time to educate yourself as a consumer. To get you on your way, here are some “indica” strains with terpene profiles that produce a broad spectrum of effects, and which helped me handle the ups and downs, closings, openings, and then re-closings.
Here is a perfect example of two indicas with drastically different effects.
Caliva’s Alien OG has a pungent, sour pine smell, meaning it has high levels of pinene which is a terpene that increases alertness and focus. The high reflects that, as there’s an energized overtone to its euphoric, mellow effects.
What it’s best for: sex, editing articles, hanging out on Zoom.
Caliva’s Durban Poison falls at the spectrum with its fruity berry smell, berry chocolate flavor, and dark purple buds. As intoxicating as it looks, this flower produces a lackadaisical high that is comfortable and chill.
What it’s best for: menstrual pain, bedtime, dealing with boredom.
The name Strawberry Banana says it all. Fruity and flirty, Lowell Farms’ “indica” tastes exactly like strawberries and bananas. Euphoric and silly, the high is exciting, making everything and everyone around you feel more fun.
What it’s best for: socially distanced socializing, playing with pets, daydreaming.
This spicy, herbal strain has a decadent and complex flavor, with an air of black cherries or chocolate. The high is focused and clear but also very intoxicating and heady, like an astronaut flying weightless in outer space.
What it’s best for: after work, after sex, after hours.
This floral, fruity strain from vape god STIIIZY’s new line of flower is more of an upper than a downer. When it comes to Rosay, the high is light enough that it doesn’t interfere with my productivity, but heavy enough to take the edge off the monotony of existence.
[Canniseur: You’ve got to keep your stash someplace. These are some great stash boxes…and if you’re worried about the skunky smell, some smell-proof bags.]
Between growing cultural acceptance and the political shifts that followed, lax laws and legal weed have transformed what it means to be a cannabis user.
And there’s never been a better time to be a stoner than now. Suddenly, weed is wellness, a viable alternative to alcohol, prescription pills and a slew of other coping mechanisms that are objectively terrible for us.
While cannabis is more acceptable than ever, discretion remains a key concern for most users. From the soccer mom hiding tinctures in her makeup bag to an otherwise unapologetic stoner who doesn’t want to smell like weed at the family function, the necessity for discretion exists on different levels. Regardless of where you fall on the sliding scale of a secret stoner to unabashed “weed kween,” discreet products are great tools when you want to keep it on the low.
Here is our guide to stash boxes and smell-proof bags, with a couple of ingenious products blurring the line between the two. Until cannabis becomes federally legal, it’s wise to err on the side of caution. Especially when the err, or in this case, air, doesn’t have to smell at all.
The Apothecarry Classic Stash Box
The Apothecarry Classic Stash Box exists at the apex of the high end. Four glass jars, four dab containers, humidity control, joint holders, a rolling tray… the list of super stoner accouterment goes on. If you’re a baller who takes their weed seriously enough to have a head stash worth preserving, this one-of-a-kind box is for you.
If you’re part of the 99% who can’t swing over $200 for a stash box, LiTT’s Stash Box is a great alternative. Simple, highly functional, and aesthetically cool, it has everything you need and nothing you don’t. Plus, the top of the box doubles as a rolling tray.
With the Diversion Hair Brush, the name says it all. Though obviously not a box, it’s a great place to hide your stash when no one can know you have weed on you. If you live in a legal state, this doesn’t happen much. If you don’t, it happens all the time. Either way, we’ve all been there, and all would have been way less panicked if this brush had been there too.
The Gypsy by Erbanna is one of those products that blur the line between stash box and smell-proof bag. A portable stash box, if you will. This quilted case is chic enough to conjure visions of Chanel bags, yet functional enough to come with two glass jars, plenty of room for whatever else, and a combination lock to boot. Just because it’s technically a stash box, doesn’t mean it has to stay in one place. The modern stoner is on the go. Now, so is their weed.
Another box/bag hybrid, Stashlogix’s Silverton is not for the casual stoner. With adjustable dividers, lockable zippered bags, rubber gaskets, and odor absorbent packs, it’s best suited for those who constantly deal in multiple strains at a time, most likely professionally.
The Mini Quilted Smell Proof Pack by Cookies is, in a word, perfect. It’s discreet, cute, and coming in at $29, it’s cheap enough for almost any budget. Whether you’re on a camping trip, out around the city or just in your car, people who don’t like weed will never know you have it — or suspect how stoned you are.
Equal parts eco-friendly and user-friendly, The Classic by Stashlogix is great for nomads. Aside from an integrated lock and adjustable dividers, it features Odorpax, replaceable odor absorption packets made with activated bamboo charcoal in a hemp/nylon pouch. Each pack lasts up to three years, so you’re good to go for the foreseeable future. And, to top it all off, it charges your phone.
Part of Level 1620’s collaboration with Polish artist Anna Grochowska, the Northern Lights Clutch brings a touch of boho sophistication to the smell-proof bag. “The Northern Lights take us to nature,” she said of the design. “We sit out there at night and look up at the natural colored tie-dye lights in the sky. It’s a sacred moment of connection with the universe.” Sacred moments, tie-dye lights, and connecting to the universe? This bag is a physical manifestation of what getting high is all about.
Escape Luggage by Skunk takes the smell-proof bag to a whole new level with their rollable smell-proof luggage. With carbon lining, a TSA zipper lock, telescope handle, and a slew of other travel-friendly approaches to discretion, this bag changes the game when it comes to traveling with THC.
A smell-proof home for your bong or pipe can be just as important as the one for your stash. The Cloudten Glass Case is great for traveling, with an order resistant design and a solid rubber seal liner. Foam interior will form to whatever you have to throw in there, and the padlock ensures safekeeping. No matter where you go — or what you do — bring your bong in a smell-proof gun case.