Ask Cannabis Nurse Barbara – Marijuana and Sex

Meet Barbara Blaser, RN, Magnolia Wellness Cannabis Nurse

I learned everything I needed to know about cannabis after I was 68, and I am learning  something new almost every day. This is often because someone has called or emailed a question that I want to research before responding. After all, none of this was taught at nursing school back in the 1960s, and it’s rarely taught even now.

For context, I am working at Magnolia Wellness dispensary today, and have a new android phone. Now age 74, I’m dealing with a new phone and a new MacBook Air computer. For those of you savvier than I, you surely feel my pain: two different operating systems. This was not a good idea. Trust me.

I tell you this because when I graduated from nurses training, way back in the 1900s, I saved all of my text books. We had to use two different sets of encyclopedias to research information. And, I had friends I would call to could answer questions like, “ my patient is not responding to his meds. Should I call their doctor?“

This morning, as I tried to learn to use my phone, I held down the little circled on the bottom of the phone. A friendly voice said, “hi Barbara. How can I help you?“ I was a little slow, so a list of suggestions like tell me a riddle, play soothing sounds, and make a call popped up on the screen. The voice then told me it was raining, and that that temperature outside is 55 degrees.

I was impressed, so I asked my new Google Assistant, “tell me about cannabis,“ and she was off and running. Here is what I learned:

1. Her information is not necessarily current, and

2. she could learn a lot more before answering.

However, this maybe hard, as available cannabis information is changing quickly, maybe even quicker than technology. New findings are being published regularly thanks to research projects happening both nationally and internationally. And, while no one I know has all the answers, this blog, “Ask Cannabis Nurse Barbara” will respond to the many questions that come routinely into Magnolia Wellness for me to research and respond.

So readers know who I am, until 2013, I was cannabis naive. I had recently retired from the position of Director of Clinical Services at a local hospice, and I didn’t know anything about cannabis .And, not only did I not want to know anything about cannabis, I didn’t feel I needed to know anything about it. Cannabis was not my issue even though several family members were deeply involved in the cannabis culture.

Then in 2013, like many of the people I now see for one on one assessments, it wasn’t until I got seriously and was afraid to take opiates, that cannabis became my issue. Before trying cannabis, and to learn a lot more, I attended classes at Oaksterdam University in Oakland. I also joined the Cannabis Nurses Network, and attended their annual conference, where I met clinical experts who could answer my many questions. Now, as we move into 2020, I am ready, willing , and able to answer yours.

Today was a fun day at Magnolia Oakland. I taught a class called “Using Cannabis to Enhance your Sexual Experience”. I have taught this class before, for 200 people in a 55+ community, and find the questions are often the same in small or large groups. Is there a cannabis product to help with my vaginal dryness? If am too tired for sex, can a cannabis product perk me up? I have pain during intercourse, and wonder if cannabis can help? And, the most popular question, can cannabis help me reach orgasm?

Thanks for asking, and let’s look at these questions. The short answer is, for sure, anecdotally people report success. There are research studies that indicate improved satisfaction, when cannabis is introduced to the sexual experience. A study done by two doctors from Stanford University, reported in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in September 2018, states “Marijuana use is independently associated with increased sexual frequency, and does not appear to impair sexual function”.

But, how does this work, and what might you need to know? Let’s look at some real life tips for anyone who is cannabis naive. Cannabis Nurse Barbara Blaser to the rescue!

Infused topicals are available to use locally to improve secretions and prevent pain from dryness during penetration. Some topicals and sprays may take 15 to 20 minutes to work. Don’t rush. Since everyone responds differently, you may want to do a test run to see how long it takes and what you might look forward to experiencing. As with most cannabis products, start low and go slow. If you are using a spray and 1 squirt doesn’t help, try two. Relax. Enjoy.

By the way, my Google Assistant just helped find a cannabis matchmaking site called Highly Devoted. Who knew, right?

As for cannabis tinctures, CBD tinctures can allow you to relax and be open to pleasure. They relax your muscles, relieve existing pain, and reduce performance anxiety. These are taken under the tongue, in doses that vary based on your tolerance level. Simply hold the tincture under your tongue for a minute or two, and wait five to ten minutes for it to work. For some people, the results last up to two or three hours, so keep that in mind when deciding when to take the product. Adding a little THC may enhance the experience. Don’t knock it until you try it.

Many people swear by edibles, but they can take 2 hours to work, and the effects can last up to 8 Hours. Think carefully about your dose; if you are new to cannabis, stick to 2.5 – 5 mgs of THC to start.. For sure, don’t let this time be the first time you try an edible, as intimacy can be tricky regardless, and first time consumers often need to calibrate their dose over a few experimental uses. There are infused beverages that taste great, too, and can help relax you. Check out Magnolia’s menu to see a variety of edibles and drinks.

Smoking and vaping are fast acting methods to ingest cannabis. You inhale what you want to get the intended results; the effect kicks in within just a few minutes. Men report consumption reduces erectile dysfunction, because they are less stressed and worried about performance. Be careful though, smoking can be a buzz kill for some. Again, try it for the first time in a more casual setting, where the focus is fun and not sexual performance.

Here’s my takeaway for you; yes, this is advice from a trained and professional nurse. Make a plan to use marijuana for sexual enhancement, and try the product at least once before you add a partner. Start with a low dose, and go slow when increasing use or changing to a new method of ingesting it. Set the mood. There is a lot to be said for soft music and candles. Consider starting with a bath using a marijuana infused product. Make this a low pressure event. No one will throw a penalty flag if you are ready in 15 minutes. Most importantly, have fun.

If you have a question, please send it to Barbara Blaser, RN, at barbarab.magnolia@gmail.com. You can also request a personal appointment with Barbara here, and she is available to do community training events and presentations. Let us know what you are interested in!