CBD has been all the rage for a few years now — and it’s especially relevant during this stressful year. Although the strongest scientific evidence of CBD benefits is in treating childhood epilepsy, people are using over the counter CBD to address a variety of ailments such as anxiety and insomnia. Some have even turned to CBD as a seuxal enhancer or to help address issues with painful or otherwise unpleasurable sex.
If that last one perked your ears up (you are reading this, so I’d assume there’s some curiosity!) there are also common questions when researching and using CBD lube for the first time — questions such as whether it’ll make you high, how do you use it, how does it feel, which ones should I get, and where do I get it from?
There’s a lot of questions and I’ve thought about a lot of these over the years as part of my work. As someone who's worked in the Sextech industry for nearly a decade building a smart, data-driven vibrator, we've investigated the effects of both THC and CBD on sex and orgasms at length, even conducting additional user research to see how different amounts and types of THC and CBD affects people.
I’ll walk you through everything I know so you’ll be armed with knowledge when you press the “buy” button and get your CBD lube at your door or in a store.
Table of Contents
- How does CBD lube feel? How is it different from THC lube?
- How does CBD lube work?
- Will CBD lube make me high?
- Can CBD lube work on a penis?
- What’s the best CBD lube?
- Where do I get CBD lube?
- Can I get CBD lube on Amazon?
- What are the benefits of CBD lube?
- What are the risks of CBD lube?
- Is CBD lube latex safe?
- Can I use CBD lube with sex toys?
How does CBD lube feel? How is it different from THC lube?
As my Lioness Co-founder Anna described in her review of Foria’s CBD lube, “if THC lube is smooth jazz, CBD lube is pop rock.”
Compared to cannabis-infused lubes, which have CBD as a primary ingredient that can cause a psychoactive high when ingested orally or through vapor, CBD lube does not have this ingredient. Based on some of the user research we’ve conducted so far and self-reported experiences (such as Anna’s review of Foria’s THC lube and my review of Quim’s THC lube), THC-infused lubricants can have a more enhanced effect on people than CBD lubricants.
Although CBD lube effectively* does not have THC, the ingredient that causes the high that many people experience with cannabis, people have experienced feelings of relaxation from using CBD lube. Some folks have also reported using CBD lube to help mitigate certain types of painful sex.
* At least in the United States, by law CBD products are required to have less than 0.3% of THC. It’s a small enough proportion of the ingredient that it effectively doesn’t do anything, and won’t show up in drug tests unless you consume unreasonably huge amounts of it somehow.
In some ways, the benefits of CBD aren’t necessarily the CBD itself. Just the mere process of trying something new can be beneficial to exploring and heightening your pleasure. CBD lube requires waiting a little bit for effects to kick in i.e. built in time for foreplay (even if it’s by yourself!), and then engaging in a sexual activity. It’s a conscious decision to focus on your pleasure, and it becomes almost ritualistic because you are spending more time using the product, waiting for any effects to set, and THEN engaging in sexual activity that the mere process of it can be arousing by itself. After all, how many of us have tried to rush to get a session in? Sometimes slow, intentional, and mindful is the way to go.
If you do decide to try a CBD lube, you’ll want to learn more about how they work, which ones to use depending on your situation and needs, where to get them, and what to avoid.
How do I use CBD lube and how does it work?
Although it’s called CBD lube, some companies call their products a “pre-lube” because it takes a bit of time (15-20 minutes or more, depending on the individual) for your body to absorb and start feeling the effects of the ingredients. Keep that in mind when you’re using it so you don’t expect an instant effect. This is not a fast food meal experience — think of it as a 5 course meal at a 5-star restaurant, where you’re taking the time to care for and nourish your body.
How you use it: You apply the lubricant to the vulva, the inside of the vagina, and/or anus, and then wait for the ingredients to activate. We recommend reading a sexy story, putting some clothes back on, and generally chillaxing for a bit until some time has passed and you start feeling some effects (or are generally ready to go to town, so to speak).
Nope, you won't be getting high off of CBD like this.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Will CBD lube make me high?
No. CBD lube (and all hemp-based CBD products sold in stores or online) do not have delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or have negligible traces of THC (below 0.3%) — that’s the ingredient in cannabis that makes you feel high.
Can CBD lube work on a penis?
Unfortunately CBD lubes don’t have as much effect on the penis versus a vagina or vulva because the skin tissue is different and is far less absorbent. However, if you are not opposed to using the product anally, the anus is made of tissue that can readily absorb ingredients like CBD. The easiest way to use CBD lube is to actually use it in the form of a suppository — Foria makes CBD suppositories that can
What’s the best CBD lube?
Condom/latex safe? Yes (water-based)
Amount of CBD: 50mg in 30ml (1.67mg/ml)
CBD type: Hemp CBD (Full Spectrum Hemp Flower Oil)
Condom/latex safe? Yes (water-based)
Amount of CBD: 30mg in 30ml (1mg/ml)
CBD type: Hemp extract using Amplifi™ nanotechnology, "a process that creates CBD molecules as small as 25nm in size, which is 2,000 times smaller than pores" for deeper skin penetration
Condom/latex safe? No (oil-based)
Amount of CBD: 33mg in 30ml (~1.1mg/ml)
CBD type: Broad-spectrum CBD from hemp
Condom/latex safe? No (oil-based)
Amount of CBD: 110mg CBD per suppository, 8 suppositories per pack
CBD type: Broad-spectrum CBD from hemp
Where do I get (good) CBD lube?
The best places to get CBD lube are either from the brand’s website itself (after doing some research on good brands that create products that suit your needs) or from a specialized retailer online or offline who sells cannabis, CBD, and/or sex products where they highly curate the product selection and focus on educating both their staff and customers (i.e. it’s not just another SKU on a webpage or shelf that’s making them money, they actually want to teach people about products and how to use them).
For buying CBD lubes we generally do not recommend buying from big box retailers or Amazon, especially if you’re getting a new brand you haven’t tried yet. Although those are trusted retailers that many people go to to buy most things, in this case, certain brands can be pretty unreliable in terms of the ingredients and amounts that are claimed on the product label.
Unfortunately, some of these products are carried by retailers who may not be aware of the issues with the quality of a product or may not act on removing products that are unreliable. Since there is a lack of oversight over CBD-only products right now, it’s especially important for customers to be aware of what they are getting and to do their research beforehand.
Can I get CBD lube on Amazon?
A number of companies and manufacturers have gotten on the CBD lube bandwagon and list products on Amazon. Like when shopping for sex toys on Amazon, we suggest being careful what you purchase on the platform.
We go into more detail in the “risks of CBD lube” section of this article, but basically there are a number of companies that create products that either don’t have the ingredients they claim, have significantly more/less CBD than claimed, or include other ingredients that may not be necessarily safe to use over time. Some of these products are on Amazon.
There are also a number of lotions and creams that come up when searching for CBD lube that, depending on the ingredients and how you’re using them, may not be safe (or pleasurable) for internal body use. Have you tried fragrance lotion in your vagina or butt? Don’t — unless you want to have a bad time.
To get the best CBD lubes, we suggest buying from the brand itself — that way you can learn more about the brand, get more information on the ingredients they use, and you can also ask them questions directly. We go over some of our top picks in this section.
Can I use hemp-based CBD oil, lotion, or other topicals as lube?
We go into this in depth in our article about anal lubes (check it out, it’s pretty relevant for this question!). Basically, it depends on the type of product.
We do not suggest using lotions as lubes. Although they’re slick and tempting to dual use as lube, they may have ingredients that may irritate the vulva, vagina, and/or anus. It also weakens condoms and other barrier protection if you’re using it. Sometimes it’s just a bad time so we don’t recommend it.
With CBD oil, it can be used on the vulva, vaginally, or anally depending, again, on the ingredients. Although it is oil it won’t really function like a lubricant, since lubes are designed to be more slick, less sticky, and last longer. Like with lotion, we do NOT suggest it if you’re using latex or barrier protection as it could weaken or break the barrier. You’ll want to check the ingredients to make sure it doesn’t have ingredients that may increase the likelihood of getting a yeast infection (e.g. anything with added flavors or sugars).
Because lubricant is specifically designed to be specifically used for sexual activity, we recommend getting something designed as a lubricant as the best and safest way to go.
What are the risks of CBD lube?
1. Product quality and reliability
One of the bigger risks of CBD products is not necessarily the CBD itself — it’s the reliability and the purity of the products sold and the companies overseeing product quality.
Mislabeling has unfortunately been pretty common with CBD products. In one study from the University of Pennsylvania, researchers found that nearly 70 percent of all CBD products sold online were mislabeled: “42 percent of products were under-labeled, meaning that the product contained a higher concentration of CBD than indicated. Another 26 percent of products purchased were over-labeled, meaning the product contained a lower concentration of CBD than indicated.”
Leafly, a popular resource for learning about cannabis and CBD, did their own assessment a few years later and found that about half of the products they tested delivered within 20% of advertised CBD, though “a few sketchy operators have added synthetics like K2 or spice to CBD products, while others don’t bother to screen out pesticides or heavy metals.” As a consumer, you want to make sure you do your research to find a brand that’s safe to use with your body. As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat” … here, it’s not much different: “you are what you use as lube.” Keep that in mind when you do your research.
2. We don’t know that much about CBD
Certain CBD products became legal to buy and sell in United States in 2018. Because of previous restrictions, research has been extremely limited. Now that the products are out there and it is not so restricted to propose and conduct research on the topic, more research will be published in the coming years on CBD, but there are still a lot of “unknown unknowns” about the actual benefits versus what is a placebo effect.
Is CBD lube latex safe?
It depends on the type of lube! Stay away from oil-based lubricants — the oil can actually weaken condoms and other barrier protection, increasing the chances of them breaking and putting you or a partner at risk for an STI and/or pregnancy. Look out for water-based or (if they exist!) silicone-based CBD lubes as those are safe to use — we recommend Quim or Kush Queen.
Can I use CBD lube with sex toys?
Similar to whether you can use CBD lube with condoms, you should generally avoid directly using oil-based lubes on silicone and other rubber-like sex toys (glass and stainless steel toys are safe though!). Water-based lubes are the safest bet here — we recommend Quim or Kush Queen as safe to use directly with sex toys. If for some reason you only have an oil-based lubricant, we recommend especially being vigilant about following their instructions — apply the product on yourself and wait 15-20+ minutes. Before you start using your sex toy, wipe any potential excess oil so the two do not interact directly with each other.
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