So, you're keen to read up on the benefits of using CBD lube? You're not alone - search is slowly but surely rising as the products become more mainstream, with 8% more people Googling it in the last year. No longer just a product stocked on Goop, Ann Summers launched their own nine-product strong CBD range in October last year.
Indeed, if you search the Internet for CBD lubes now, you're faced with over 191,000 Google results - which is why it can be overwhelming knowing which ones (if any) are genuinely worth your money.
Before we get into it, a fun fact for you. Many sexual wellness experts reckon CBD lubes are the next big trend in the world of wellness. Sure, we're already pretty obsessed with CBD drinks, supplements and so on, but lube-infused products are reportedly where it's at for 2023.
Why? Well, largely because of its relaxing and soothing properties. Not too sure you're clued up on what CBD actually is? Simply put, cannabidiol is the non-psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. Science has proven that CBD benefits are far-reaching, with users experiencing everything from reduced stress and pain to improved mental health symptoms.
So, how does that work when it comes to lube? Good question, which is why we've asked three qualified sex experts for their take. Here, Megwyn White, a certified clinical sexologist and director of education at Satisfyer, Gautam Rammpal, founder of organic CBD company Simha and Lucy Anderson, founder of sexual wellness brand WooWoo answer all your questions, plus confirm whether there's scientific evidence backing CBD products or not.
CBD lube: your expert-led guide
What are the CBD lube benefits?
As with the products in our expert-led guide to the best lubes, CBD lubes are designed to stop pain and discomfort and enhance pleasure by reducing friction.
CBD lube does the same, but with added relaxing benefits, according to White. Think about it - CBD balm helps your muscles to relax, so a CBD-infused lube will do the same around your genital area. Neat.
Not only that but it's thought to improve inflammation, boost blood flow and increase sensitivity (tick, tick, tick). As Rammpal explains, CBD helps the body and mind relax, which helps a more positive mood and less anxiety.
"Studies have found that women have more CBD receptors in the vagina than anywhere else in the body," he explains.
Anderson expands on this, adding: "Cannabinoid receptors are all over the female reproductive tract from the uterus all the way through to your clitoris. By applying it topically to the area, the CBD will take effect on those receptors and dilate your vessels so that blood can circulate more easily."
She mainly rates the lube for its relaxation properties, adding: "The majority of CBD products designed for sexual use come in oil form so can double up as a massage oil. When used as a lube, it can help increase arousal and receptivity to touch, My advice is to use it before sex as part of foreplay to get the body ready for intercourse."
This, in turn, can help to increase arousal through positive sensitivity and stimulation, she continues. Plus, fun fact - it's not just restricted to women. "Men who struggle with erectile dysfunction can equally benefit from the increased blood flow and nerve sensitivity induced by CBD," she adds.
Rammpal expands that the use of CBD in your lube can allow for a more sensual experience, enhancing sensations and promoting fuller orgasms while decreasing discomfort and dryness.
As a result, several experts recommend CBD lube for women who experience frequent pain during sex or have conditions such as endometriosis or PCOS which can mean that sex isn't always enjoyable.
Anderson agrees, highlighting its ability to alleviate pain thanks to its anti-inflammation properties. "It can be a really helpful aid in the bedroom for women who experience pain during intercourse," she concludes.
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White agrees, further explaining that it promises to boost your health in the same way exercise and healthy eating can. "We all have an endocannabinoid system, which you can think of as a messenger board that allows communication between all other networks in the body," she explains. "It’s an incredibly important system that we can tonify through exercise, yoga, meditation, eating healthy foods, sexual exploration and orgasm, as well as herbs and supplements like CBD."
Sure, you've likely only seen CBD in the popular form of CBD oil, but the expert goes on to add that topical CBD is just as good a way to use it. Why? Well, because "it can help to dilate blood vessels and increase the flow of oxygenated blood to tissues where it is placed, making skin and tissues more sensitive to touch, all while increasing the bodies’ natural lubricants," she shares. "That's why it's such a great addition to lube, and it has been seen to help in the reduction of pain from penetration, as well as helping reduce inflammation."
There aren't any great studies on using CBD on the vulva, vagina or anus (although we do know it's safe). Instead, research supports general topical use, like this study by the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia last year which found that CBD applied to joints could reduce arthritis-related pain and disability.
While a relatively new subject area, some studies dating back to 2004 found "topical cannabis [to have] anti-inflammatory, anti-itching, analgesics, wound healing and anti-proliferative effects on the skin."
Bottom line: while CBD lube isn't better than your average bottle of lubricant, it does offer different pros, like increased relaxation and reduced pain. Sound up your street? The below three products were our expert's pick of the best, and don't miss our guide to how to use lube, while you're here.
Are there any downsides to using CBD lubes?
So, you know exactly how it could benefit you - but are there any risks or negatives of using a CBD-boosted lube? “Though there is research that points to the many positive health benefits, as with most things related to female sexual wellbeing, there has been little research, so a lot of what is known is anecdotal," Anderson admits.
Know this: many CBD sexual products are oil-based which is a no-go for use with condoms as it can break down the latex. Similarly, oil-based lubricants shouldn't be used with sex toys. Her advice? "I would always recommend doing due diligence and checking the product usage recommendations before using with condoms or your toys," she recommends.
Last thing - don’t make assumptions that any old CBD oil can be used as a lubricant, she warns. "Not all oils are designed with intimate skin in mind and might contain ingredients that could cause irritation. I would strongly urge anyone to look for oils and lubricants that are designed especially for intimate use to avoid irritation and disrupting your natural pH balance.”
5 CBD lubes to buy, according to sex experts
Best for: A water based lube infused with organically grown hemp and prebiotics, too.
Best for: An all-natural oil that promises to increase blood flow and only requires one to two drops per use.
Best for: An organic and plant based lube sans added chemicals, preservatives or anything synthetic. Plus, it’s PH-neutral, key to helping to maintain your body’s natural balance.
Best for: A botanical formula made from natural essential oils to increase both clitoral sensation and natural lubrication.