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Oysters. Chocolate-covered strawberries. Champagne. A little bit of Marvin Gaye, some Luther Vandross. And… CBD?
That’s right: CBD is quickly becoming the latest pleasure-enhancing supplement on the market. Whether you’re looking to relax a little bit before hitting the sheets, or you want to make sex less painful so you can enjoy the moment, the general benefits of CBD may pull double-duty to make your sex life more pleasurable.
We talked to the experts at Equilibria, a premium CBD company for women with personalized dosage support, about the overall benefits of CBD and how they apply to women’s hormonal and sexual health specifically.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is being talked about everywhere right now, but let’s take a second for a quick refresher: CBD is a cannabis compound and a natural ingredient found within industrial hemp flowers. It’s safe, legal, and no, it doesn’t get you high. Industrial hemp is grown specifically to have less than 0.3 percent of THC in it; for comparison, it takes about 5 percent THC to become psychoactive or intoxicating.
Why is CBD so great, anyway?
Users have found many physical and mental benefits to taking CBD consistently, including reducing stress and anxiety; reducing pain and inflammation; falling asleep more quickly and staying asleep longer; and maybe even improving your skin.
And for women specifically, says Equilibria co-founder Coco Meers, CBD helps promote balance across all of the body’s systems.
“Women’s bodies need balance, and CBD provides that balance,” she explains.
Adds Head of Member Success Maia Reed, “In general, [the benefits of CBD] come down to the endocannabinoid system—getting it to operate the way it was built in the first place.”
Endo-canna-what? I’d never heard that combination of syllables in my life, but Reed explained that the Endocannabinoid System (or ECS) is a master system in your body designed to maintain balance across all your body’s other systems—like hormone regulation, fertility, mood, sleep, inflammation, and more.
“This system,” Reed shares, “is made up of a series of receptors that’s located all over your entire body- your brain, your gut, your uterus, your vagina, and more. Your body naturally creates compounds, called endocannabinoids, that interact with these receptors to constantly turn them on and off; maintaining balance.
Stress can have a negative effect on these endocannabinoids.
“Unfortunately, our bodies aren’t built for the type of stress we encounter on a daily basis,” Reed says. “They’re built for more short-term bursts of stress like running from a tiger. When we experience stress, our bodies are creating a stress enzyme that depletes our endocannabinoids, resulting in that system not functioning the way it was supposed to function.”
Taking CBD, then, is a way to modulate the ECS and restore your body systems so they function the way they’re supposed to.
CBD and women’s health
Women’s bodies are cyclical, so CBD’s regulating properties are especially beneficial to women, Meers and Reed tell me. And it makes sense: from menstrual cycles to childbirth to breastfeeding to menopause, women’s bodies operate in rhythms that need to be regulated for optimal health. And as we get older, hormone regulation becomes even more important.
“Because CBD does work so effectively within the ECS, it has mental health as well as physical benefits,” shares Meers. “Yes, it helps to balance out hormones when we need it (like those PMS days or in menopause or peri-menopause). You get the base mental health benefits of CBD, plus the hormonal benefits of CBD, plus anti-inflammation for cramping and bloating.”
In fact, Equilibria’s employees joke about curing PMS symptoms with their softgels, oils, and topicals—or maybe they’re only half-joking.
CBD and S-E-X
For optimal sexual health, you need to address physical and mental health, argue Reed and Meers. After all, for women especially, being relaxed and anxiety-free in your sex life is just as key to getting in the mood as physical arousal.
“The key is anxiety,” Reed shares. “A lot of people in the bedroom feel that sense of struggle with intimacy, so CBD can help let that guard down to forge a connection.”
And on the physical side, anti-inflammation is also a major selling point.
“Sex can be very painful for a lot of people, so something that can reduce some of that inflammation and allow it to be less painful for them is huge” for an improved sex life, says Reed. “Additionally, CBD applied topically can act as a vasodilator to dilate the blood vessels and allow fresh oxygenated blood to flow a little bit easier, so you’re getting more stimulation and arousal. “
Adds Meers, “Many of our members want CBD for general relaxation as well as increased arousal,” going on to describe how vaginal dryness has an especially significant impact on women after menopause. CBD, then, can address some of the hormonal balances that prevent women from having the most fulfilling sex life possible.
How to use CBD to enhance your sex life
First, say the Equilibria experts, don’t be afraid to experiment with your daily routine with the help of an Equilibria dosage expert.
“CBD’s not a miracle, it is science!” exclaims Meers. “Dosage and delivery are very important and huge for Equilibria. You’ve got to tweak dosage and delivery, be consistent, and take it daily. It requires patience and commitment, like any fitness or wellness routine, to get it right and stick with it.” Plus, everyone’s bodies and needs are different, she continues; what works for one woman won’t work for every woman.
But it’s worth it, she concludes. After all, benefitting the ECS trickles down to achieving benefits for many more of your body’s systems, including hormonal regulation.
Product-wise, Reed recommends women start with both CBD oil and a CBD softgel.
“Everybody’s body chemistry is a little bit different, so people respond differently—so try out both!” she encourages. “So much of this process is about experimentation and seeing what works best for you.”
No matter what, Reed and Meers say, remember that your CBD routine should be just that—for you.
“Whether you’re using CBD to achieve more hormonal balance or sexual appetite and relaxation, or general health, anxiety, and relaxation, it’s very important to know that CBD routines are highly personal,” says Meers. “What works for you isn’t going to work for me. The personalization aspect of this category is very, very important—so people need to know to be patient.”
Feeling adventurous? Stay tuned—Equilibria is currently working on a CBD vaginal suppository system, divulges Meers.
“With a suppository as your daily dose, you get the highest absorption rate because it’s bypassing your digestion system entirely, including your liver, which makes it safer to take with other medications — as well as topical relief needed for women with PCOS, endometriosis, or vaginal dryness.”
And yes, they know what you’re thinking, and they’re ready to turn your “ewws” into “ooohs.”
“What goes up must come down, it’s true!” explains co-founder Marcy Capron Vermillion. “Our goal with making suppositories a mainstream delivery method means they cannot function like someone’s Monistat nightmare. Our system keeps the CBD suspension where it needs to be, until you’re ready for it to exit your body, as typical suppositories melt and drip almost immediately.”
What should women know before bringing CBD into the bedroom?
Just like any other product you invest is, quality is crucial to effectiveness, says Reed.
“There’s a huge difference among products. It’s like wine—yes, there’s Two Buck Chuck, or there’s the vintage Cabernet.”
To confirm the quality of your CBD product, Reed recommends that you always look for products that have undergone third party lab tests. Also, she continues, try to make sure that your CBD is all coming from one place; lots of companies combine products from multiple farms, which cuts down on consistency.
“Single source, organic farm, full spectrum CBD is optimal,” Reed believes. “Invest in yourself and invest in high quality product.”
Meers adds that “Because CBD is unregulated, there is stuff out there that, best case, is totally neutral and won’t work for you. Ask for lab reports and be that conscious consumer! Worst case, the product might contain heavy metals and pesticides.”
Curious about how CBD might help you achieve your health goals, whatever they might be? Chat with an Equilibria dosage specialist today and use code “ASWEATLIFE” to get 20% off your first order from Equilibria!