Article written by
Ruth LemonVP of Operations
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
THC lube is a cannabis product that contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other ingredients, such as coconut oil and tea tree oil.
The purpose of THC lube is to lubricate the genital area and increase sex drive, sensation, sexual pleasure, and climax during sex.
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What is THC Lube?
THC lube is a cannabis-infused lubricant primarily designed to improve sexual activity. It can affect how a person’s body feels during sex and impact their sexual pleasure and sex drive.
It is made up of cannabis oil that contains THC from the cannabis plant, but it also typically has other ingredients that act as a base, help enhance the effects of the lube, and help with the absorption of THC. Coconut oil, tea tree oil, olive oil, and cocoa butter are popular choices. The THC level in cannabis lube is generally lower than in other products you may smoke or eat.
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Does It Feel Different Than Normal Lube?
Some differences exist between normal and THC lube.
Normal lubes generally have a gel-like consistency.
Some THC lubes also have this consistency, whereas others have a more oily texture. THC lube can also come in the form of a spray bottle.
Onset of Effects
With traditional lubes, the effects are typically felt immediately, as the main effect is lubrication.
With THC lube, aside from lubrication, which is typically felt immediately as well, the effects of the THC take time. This is because the THC needs to be absorbed through the membranes underneath the skin.
Typically, the purpose of normal lube is just to lubricate the genital area before sex to reduce friction. While THC lube does this, too, it also helps to enhance the overall experience during sex.
THC Lube vs. CBD Lube
There are two main types of cannabis-induced lubes, CBD and THC. These differ in the main cannabinoid present, and some cannabis lubes may have a mixture of THC and CBD. CBD lube is made similarly to THC lube. However, instead of THC oil, it contains cannabinoid (CBD) oil.
The Legality of CBD and THC Lubes
THC lube is only available in states where THC is legal.
However, CBD lube is available in all 50 states. This is because of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized derivatives of cannabis with extremely low concentrations of THC (less than 0.3%).
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Effects on the Body
You’ll probably already know that a key difference between THC and CBD in other cannabis products is that THC has psychoactive, intoxicating effects that can make you “high.”
You won’t experience these intoxicating effects when you use THC lube because the THC isn’t absorbed into the bloodstream. However, THC lube may have more intense sexual effects than CBD lube, which could induce greater blood flow or sensitivity in the genital area.
How Does It Work?
Research and anecdotal evidence have found that the endocannabinoid system and sexual functioning and behavior in women are linked. Based on this, it is believed that cannabis use may help to increase sexual desire, sexual arousal, orgasms, sexual satisfaction, and pleasure.
THC lube is designed for people with vaginas because the genitalia has more mucus membranes where THC lube can work. For example, THC lube can be applied to the vulva, on the inside of the vagina, or the anus.
People with penises can also use THC lube, although they’re recommended to apply it to their rectum rather than their penis to ensure enough THC is absorbed.
The THC acts on the cannabinoid receptors and interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. However, the effect is only local since the THC isn’t absorbed into the bloodstream. Instead, the THC in lube is only absorbed through the skin and mucosal membranes.
THC can act as a vasodilator when this happens, and it widens the blood vessels so more blood can flow to the genital area.
THC lube generally works 15-30 minutes after absorption through the skin. How long it takes depends on a person’s tolerance to cannabis and age and weight.
Potential Benefits and Uses
THC lube can potentially improve someone’s sex life in several ways.
However, it should be noted that THC lube is not a medical product. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not evaluated THC lube, and there have been very studies on its use.
The intensity of the effects may depend on the strain of cannabis from which the THC is derived. Some cannabis strains have higher concentrations of THC, which means that the lube’s impact on the body may be more significant.
Potential effects of THC lube, due to the vasodilator action and impact on the endocannabinoid system, include:
- Having stronger or prolonged arousal
- Improved sensations
- Increased tactile sensitivity of the genital area due to increased blood flow
- Pain relief during sexual activity and more comfort during sex
- Pain relief for soreness some people experience after sex
- Reducing vaginal dryness and increasing moisture to help with penetration during sex
- Contributing to longer, stronger, and more frequent orgasms
- Use as a massage oil for sore muscles in other areas of the body
- Assisting with relaxation
Potential Risks and Side Effects
Most people can use THC lube without experiencing adverse effects.
However, like any cannabis product, there are some risks to be aware of, such as:
- Reactions to Ingredients: If you have sensitive skin, you may experience side effects from other ingredients in the lube. Read the label and be especially careful if you react to coconut oil, tea tree oil, or other carrier oils or essential oils.
- Risk of Latex Condoms: Unlike regular sex lubes, oil-based THC lubes should not be used with silicone sex toys and latex condoms. This is because the oils in the lube may cause the latex to weaken and break down, making it ineffective for protection and increasing the risk of pregnancy or contracting a sexually transmitted illness (STI).
Frequently Asked Questions
Does THC lube get you high?
THC lube can only get you high if you swallow it.
When you apply THC lube topically, it doesn’t get into your bloodstream. Because of this, THC lube probably won’t give you the traditional high associated with cannabis, although it can invoke local feelings of pleasure and relaxation around the genital area. Your partner may experience psychoactive effects if they ingest some THC lube during oral sex — it’s generally edible.
Where can you buy it?
Before buying any cannabis product, read up on your state or country’s laws for recreational cannabis use. This is because THC is still illegal in many areas in the United States.
If you can’t use THC lube, consider CBD lube. CBD lube is derived from hemp and is available in all 50 states. THC lube needs to be purchased in person.