My first time having sex using CBD arousal oil was far from what I anticipated. Then again, it was my first time using CBD anything, so I guess I didn’t exactly know what to expect. Like just about all CBD products on the market, the brand I used, coupled with customer reviews, boasted about its supposed effects. Among them were heightened orgasms, lessened pain, a “decrease in muscular tension,” and “enhanced blood flow.”
But what I really was interested in — as I’m sure were most clients — was the chance that I might experience mind-blowing orgasms using CBD, because who doesn’t want that?
I’ll admit, I was skeptical. Most products I’ve tried — to enhance sex or other — rarely offered claimed or desired results. So, why would this particular product be any different? It was. I orgasmed almost immediately. Desired goal achieved? I’d say so. But then, something else happened. My period.
Most times I’ve had period sex were to help reduce cramps, a recommendation from an article I read a few years back. According to Margaret E. Long, M.D., a gynecologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, orgasms are suspected to improve blood flow, encourage a change in uterine contractions, and produce endorphin release: the opposite of which all are believed to occur during menstruation. Orgasm or not, period sex isn’t always the most comfortable.
This instance was different. I can’t say I remember experiencing cramps beforehand, but discomfort during intercourse, as well as throughout the following day, wasn’t apparent. In fact, it was nonexistent — a rarity for me. Could I credit my symptom-free period to this mystical cannabinoid I’ve read so much about?
“I can’t tell you that it doesn’t do anything, but I also can’t tell you it works really well,” says Matthew Mintz, M.D., F.A.C.P, a board-certified internal medicine physician and CBD specialist in Bethesda, Maryland. Reason being? Research regarding topical CBD and CBD in general is limited. Although there are studies that report a decrease in participants’ pain when using cannabinoid topicals, CBD has yet to be evaluated by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA); therefore, guidelines have not yet been established to determine what CBD effectively treats, its proper dosage, its interaction with other drugs and foods, and whether it could potentially cause dangerous side effects or safety concerns.
Knowing your products
Does this mean I should never again use CBD arousal oil to help make period sex more enjoyable? Not exactly. While Mintz doesn’t regard CBD topicals as harmful, he does recommend a few guidelines to consider when making a purchase, to ensure you’re receiving a safe and high-performing product.
“You want to know that you’re getting a high-quality product that actually has CBD in it,” he says. “The only way you can know that is if the product is verified by an independent third party — that is, it’s sent to a lab to confirm it contains CBD.”
To know whether or not your product is third-party verified, review the brand’s website or packaging for wording that suggests it, such as “independently lab tested for purity,” or for a “purity tested” label. It’s also important to ensure the brand states its products are free of pesticides, additives, and other chemicals that are or could be potentially toxic, and that your product is full- or broad-spectrum (THC-free and CBD-rich), as higher concentrations equal lower dosages.
That said, it’s about damn time you enjoyed yourself during your monthly visit.
A version of this story was published August 2019.