Is masturbation similar to getting high — or does it just feel that way? Many of us have asked that question before, especially when we’ve been extra-good to ourselves.
It turns out that the answer might be “yes”, thanks to a recently-discovered but critically important element of our bodies’ infrastructure: the endocannabinoid system.
Our homegrown happy-juice
Humans are chock-full of neurotransmitters, and their corresponding receptors, that were only isolated after scientists began doing research on the effects of cannabis. Cannabinoids are a family of chemicals found in people (and all other animals except insects) and plants. Human tissues produce endocannabinoids (“endo” means “originating within the body”), and plants, especially cannabis, produce phytocannabinoids (“phyto” just means “it’s a veggie thang”).
The biological network that makes up the endocannabinoid system is integral to all kinds of essential processes, including the stress response, pain management, appetite regulation, and motivation/reward.
And phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant are very similar to the ones produced by our own tissues. They act on the same receptors, so cannabis compounds like THC and CBD can invoke related responses in the brain and body — a strange, but very real, connection between us and the plant kingdom.
Wait, can my own body get me high?
Yes. Sort of. The effects won’t be as dramatic as if you’d downed a special brownie, but the human body regularly juices itself up with native cannabinoids. Anandamide, named for ananda, the Sanskrit word for “bliss,” is closely related to THC and binds to the same receptors. It’s associated with pleasurable neurological responses of all kinds, including the heady rush known as “runner’s high.” And a recent study appears to show that 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), another friendly endocannabinoid, spikes when we masturbate.
The study concluded that "the exact role of endocannabinoid release as part of the sexual response cycle and the biological significance of the finding should be studied further."
This absolutely should be studied further, and there’s nothing stopping you from conducting your own informal studies… again, and again, and again.
The CBD Connection
Let’s say you’re having some, uh, structured private time. Your body is happily aswim in its native endocannabinoids and you’re feeling pretty great on your own…
...but is there anything you can do to boost those pleasurable effects? Perhaps with the help of a friendly, funky plant?
Putting the wisdom of plants to work for you may enhance the many physical & psychological benefits of regular orgasms — and help make those orgasms more delicious, frequent, & easy to achieve.
Researchers theorized that 2-AG is involved in “the rewarding consequences of sexual arousal and orgasm." Who are we to argue with masturbation scientists?
It turns out that CBD (the second-best-known phytocannabinoid after the legendary THC) helps to increase your 2-AG levels by limiting the breakdown of your naturally-occuring 2-AG — and all with no psychoactive effects.
If you’re planning on supplementing your sex life with cannabinoids, make sure they’re from a trusted brand with impeccable purity standards — whichever orifice you’re putting them in. A daily dose of CBD oil can do wonders for rebalancing your endocannabinoid system, while a CBD vape pen can rapidly soothe stress & lift your mood (vital preludes to arousal). And if you want to get really anatomically direct, you can use a CBD lube (or a THC lube if you live in CA or CO.)
A Note of Gratitude
When contemplating the nitty-gritty of getting high and getting off, we suggest taking a moment to appreciate how magical it is that our brains produce remarkable chemicals that are so closely related to the remarkable chemicals found in plants.
That is so weird and wonderful. We’re all interconnected on this big messy space-rock, and the happy-hazy feeling we get after a really good self-pleasure sesh can serve to remind us that as strange as it sounds, we all have key commonalities — via brains and genitals — with a fragrant, leafy green shrub.