Vagina Pipes & Wetness
Yes, there are several pipes and bongs that are designed to look like female genitalia. There's not much more to say about that subject, so this article is really about something else:
Last year, some controversy started to brew on social media with the appearance of a bunch of articles claiming that cannabis could cause vaginal dryness.
The idea was that cannabis can trigger vaginal dryness in women in the exact same manner that it affects the mouth.
Of course, it didn’t take long for the women of the collective cannabis communities of the world to pipe up and state in no uncertain terms that they had never experienced that problem.
However, in the interest of science, we felt it would be only right to assess the salient facts and let you all know whether or not there is any basis to the claim.
Jordan Tishler MD, of Inhale MD Health & Wellness, a medical cannabis specialist trained at Harvard Medical School and currently practicing in Massachusetts, helped set the record straight:
Cannabis-induced dry mouth or cottonmouth is definitely a thing.
Cottonmouth occurs because, as research shows, THC inhibits saliva production when it binds with the cannabinoid receptors in your salivary glands.
Vaginal lubrication, on the other hand, does not involve any salivary glands. It is primarily produced due to an increased rush of blood to the genital regions – the female human body’s response to arousal.
In fact, vaginal lubrication is entirely a feature of the blood system, and salivation is an entirely different and unique mechanism. The one has nothing to do with the other.
“The assumption that vaginal secretions would be controlled the same way as oral is just not valid. These are fundamentally under different control,” Dr. Tishler says.
“Most people don’t literally salivate when they are sexually aroused, nor do most people become sexually aroused when they think about lunch. The control mechanisms are just different.”
Cannabis can actually increase lubrication
Thanks to the remarkable complexity of the endocannabinoid system, there may actually be numerous ways in which cannabis use can lead to greater levels of arousal and wetness in women!
There are anecdotal reports on internet forums of women who state that cannabis use heightens their arousal and subjective experience of pleasure – and increase vaginal wetness dramatically.
And we also have scientific evidence to support these anecdotal claims in a 2012 study on cannabinoids and arousal in women.
“This study, which also measured female lubrication in response to sexual stimulation – with and without cannabis – showed dramatically increased lubrication with cannabis use when presented with the same stimulation,” Dr. Tishler says.
In other words, the endocannabinoid system appears to have a direct correlation with sexual health.
Cannabis can heighten all phases of sexuality
An informal reader survey conducted by Psychology Today found that 67% of respondents reported that cannabis heightened the sexual experience, compared to 12% who reported that it made the experience worse.
A further, rather-more-discerning 20% said that the effect could be positive or negative, depending on strain, physical health, mood, and so on.
“It’s very clear from both scientific study and women’s reports that cannabis can have positive effects in all phases of sexuality, for both women and men,” Tishler says. “These phases – as we currently understand them – include desire, arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction.”
In men, however, the benefits are more dose-dependent than for women. This means that for women nearly any amount will help as long as it is consistent with her level of enjoyment of cannabis, Tishler explains.
“In men, however, getting very high is clearly detrimental, so small doses are key to better sexual experience.”
Of course, much of cannabis’s effect on female sexuality may be down to its proven ability to reduce anxiety, lower inhibitions, and increase creative expression and social bonding. Certainly, the combination of these factors is commonly described by women who state that cannabis increases their arousal levels.
Why this myth continues to circulate
Do some women experience dryness after consuming cannabis? Sure.
But it’s actually quite rare.
Myths like this propagate when doctors – as with other ailments or illnesses – are quick to blame any cannabis use reported by the patient. “Oh, cannabis? Well there’s your problem!”
It should make all of us uncomfortable when physicians jump to conclusions without fully weighing all the factors.
Luckily, this kind of prohibitionist thinking is on its way out. We just have to keep asking questions and talking about this special plant.
And as we continue to learn how this plant interacts with our body, it’s important to remember just how complex a system we’re dealing with.
Effects can vary between individuals and may even be completely reversed from one person to the next, depending on things like: tolerance, dosage levels, individual genetics, state of health, immediate environment, and various other factors.
But in regards to cannabis and sexual health, we do have a 2009 study where health researchers found that the women who reported vaginal dryness were not numerous enough for there to be any statistically significant link.
Overall, it was found that cannabis did not cause sexual problems in women.
If you are experiencing dryness…
If cannabis is causing unwanted dryness, here are a few tips that might help you:
#1) Consider switching to a different delivery method. If you’re smoking the herb, try edibles, tinctures or vaping.
#2) Dosing could also be an issue. Are you ingesting too much cannabis? Not enough?
#3) Also consider trying a different strain. The effects of different strains can vary wildly, so hopefully you have access to a variety of options.