How Humans Have Combined Weed & Sex for Millennia
In the modern era, brands like Foria sell cannabis-based products designed to improve the sexual experience. Its ‘Intimacy Collection’ features items such as ‘arousal oil’ and lubricant infused with cannabinoids. Recent research suggests that marijuana could heighten sexual pleasure.
A study by Lynn et al., published in Sexual Medicine in June 2019, explored the relationship between weed use before sex, and sexual function in women. There were over 370 volunteers for the study, 34% of whom used cannabis before sexual activity. These females had a 113% greater chance of reporting a ‘satisfactory’ orgasm.
It is an exciting discovery, but one that shouldn’t surprise us. After all, a wide variety of cultures have combined marijuana and sex for thousands of years. Perhaps they used the herb due to heightened aphrodisiac qualities. Indeed, these cultures engaged in ceremonial rituals involving cannabis that led to sex. Let’s take a closer look at how the ancients ‘did it’ with weed, and also track its use throughout history.
Erotic Herb Use in Ancient Cultures
The ancient Mesopotamians probably understood the positive effects of weed on female sexual behavior. The Sumerians and Akkadians (such as the Babylonians and Assyrians) dominated Mesopotamia from 3,100 BC, for over 2,500 years, until Babylon’s fall in 539 BC.
The Sumerians, and other nomadic tribes, used various plants to feel different effects. For example, they used poisonous belladonna in tiny doses. It apparently induced states of erotic fantasies and frenzied activity to treat demon-inflicted illnesses. Also, in the Mesopotamian region, Zoroastrians introduced haoma, a hallucinogenic drink.
The process of Aryan fire worship (also practiced in Mesopotamia) involved an unusual ritual. Revelers wore masks and consumed cannabis and ephedra-spiked drinks. A quick look at plaques from the period where the region was divided into Assyria and Babylonia, reveals something interesting. They depict men entering women from the rear while the female drinks a substance from a straw. Was this the cannabis drink?
There is evidence that ancient Egyptian women used weed mixed with honey to relieve cramps and childbirth pain. They rubbed the cannabis concoction into the vagina. It is also at this time that there are written records of a relationship between weed and sex drive. In Egypt, they also wrote about how hemp seeds could make men more fertile.
As the Romans Did
There is debate as to whether the ancient Romans (and indeed the Greeks) believed cannabis helped or hindered sexual intercourse. There is evidence of both! On the one hand, many Romans strongly believed in the Greek god of the erect penis, Priapus. In this religion, men were ‘purified’ by consuming Satyricon. This was a mixture of cannabis, alcohol, ivy, and snake venom. The goal was to ensure the men underwent a hallucinogenic haze.
The men had their hands and feet bound by the priest, who then inserted a dildo covered with Satyricon rectally. The volunteers enjoyed a highly intoxicating high and an erection. The priests recited oracles while using the dildo to bring the young men to climax.
However, there is also research to suggest the Romans used weed to suppress sexual desire. One of Emperor Nero’s doctors, Dioscorides, said that cannabis seeds “when eaten in excess, diminish sexual potency.” In the same era (first century AD), Pliny the Elder wrote that seeds of the cannabis plant made the genitals impotent!
In the second century AD, Galen followed up on this line of thinking. The physician noted that marijuana “sends a warm and toxic vapor to the head” when cooked and consumed after dinner. However, he also said the plant “dehydrates [the user] to such a degree that if eaten in excess, it quenches sexual potency.”
Cannabis-Induced Tantric Sex in India
Initially, when marijuana came to India, it was mainly the preserve of holy men and Brahmin priests. They believed it provided them with a greater sense of enlightenment and took them closer to the gods. Men who lay on sharpened sticks or walked on hot coals often consumed marijuana first. The general public was only allowed to use the herb at religious festivals. Hemp seeds, in particular, were a favorite of Buddhists.
The Tantric religious movement, which affected Hinduism and Buddhism, was probably co-developed by the two religions in the first century AD. Tantrism involved chanting mantras and spells while the participants burned marijuana. The idea was to ward off devils and demons.
Those who practiced Tantrism didn’t use weed as an aphrodisiac. Instead, they used marijuana to lift themselves to a different plane of consciousness. This process enhanced sexual physicality and increased a sense of sexual union between partners. In essence, Tantrism was all about creating oneness in spirit and body, and it seems as if cannabis helped!
By the eighth century AD, those who practiced Tantrism used cannabis in sex and yoga practices associated with the goddess Kali. Those involved achieved a ‘spiritual awakening’ by combining sex, yoga, and marijuana. The process involved consuming a drink called bhang. It consists of mashed-up weed leaves, and flowers rolled into a ball. It also includes pepper, cardamom, and almonds (to make Vijaya) and remains popular in India to this day.
They drank the Vijaya approximately 90 minutes before lovemaking to give the herb a chance to affect. Apparently, users believed that cannabis enabled them to remain aroused for a more extended period. Some manuscripts outline sexual rituals lasting for eight hours!
Marijuana & the Viking Age
There is a prevailing stereotype that continues to surround the Vikings. The suggestion is that these Norse warriors were bloodthirsty savages intent on pillaging and rape only. While they were undoubtedly violent when necessary, they were a lot more civilized than many give them credit for.
There is strong evidence that the Vikings used cannabis. The discovery of a Viking ship at Oseberg Farm remains one of the most remarkable developments relating to these warriors. Located in 1903, archaeologists found a vast array of useful items, including cannabis seeds found in a leather purse. They discovered the seeds in the graves of two women who probably died in the ninth or tenth century AD.
Many archaeologists now believe that one of the women was a priestess of Freya, the Norse love goddess. The suggestion is that the woman used cannabis seeds during rituals worshipping Freya. It seems as if the Vikings held erotic ceremonies in honor of the goddess. The Vikings possibly thought cannabis had love-generating powers.
Villagers would hold these rituals in hemp fields. According to some sources, the festivities included unmarried girls rolling naked in the field. Next, they would weave leaves from the hemp plant into wreaths, which they threw at the closest tree. The number of times the wreath fell to the floor was the length of time (in years) that the girl would remain without a husband.
It is also highly likely that the village’s young men knew all about these ceremonies. They would attend, and many of them probably found a mate.
Cannabis & Erectile Dysfunction in Uganda
According to some modern research, there is a connection between weed and decreased sex drive. However, they do things a little differently in Uganda. A study by Kamatenesi-Mugisha and Oryem-Origa looked at this phenomenon in depth. They published the study in African Health Studies in March 2005. They found that Ugandans have used cannabis as a remedy for erectile dysfunction for centuries.
Ugandan men use the herb to maintain sexual health, even though the crop remains illegal. In general, they smoke the product to achieve the most significant effects. Despite the plant’s prohibition, the Ugandan government has no problems exporting it overseas! In 2019, Uganda secured a huge contract to export MMJ products to German and Canadian markets.
Did Marijuana Make Medieval Europeans Horny?
Peasants in Medieval Europe believed that they needed to sow hemp seeds on the days of tall saints to encourage growth! People of that era had many uses for cannabis. It was predominantly used as a medicine to treat illnesses such as jaundice or coughing. However, physicians of the age also believed that excessive consumption led to sterility.
Oddly enough, however, many herbalists sold it to those seeking a cure for low libido. This remained the case until Pope Innocent VIII banned weed in 1484. He labeled it as “an unholy sacrament of the satanic mass.” The Pope issued his papal ban on cannabis medicines, an act that led to countless deaths. Tomas de Torquemada became the Grand Inquisitor of the infamous Spanish Inquisition. As part of his sadistic duties, he tortured thousands of users of forbidden plants such as marijuana.
Those at high risk included people who flocked to these satanic masses. These events took place at night and involved having sex while high on marijuana, hemlock, opium, and belladonna. Apparently, this dangerous combination of drugs drove users to an “ecstatic frenzy.” It acted as an aphrodisiac to aid in their orgies. Female participants inserted broomsticks coated with an ointment made from hemp seed oil into their vaginas.
Final Thoughts on the Erotic History of Marijuana
Various cultures continued to use cannabis to enhance sexual experience. In Serbia, for example, they fervently believe that the herb is an aphrodisiac. The nation’s men often wear hemp in the belief it boosts their sexual prowess. There is also evidence that Eastern Europeans cooked a ‘happy porridge.’ It consisted of hashish, almond butter, sugar, honey, and nutmeg, among other ingredients.
In the middle of the 19th century, an American quack named Frederick C. Hollick made money off the assertion that weed could help with sex. It was an era where any two-bit huckster could defraud the public with half-decent marketing. Hollick wrote a book that outlined the sexual process for novices. He conned readers into writing in and paying for his ‘signature’ aphrodisiac. It was a mixture containing hashish that was widely available in pharmacies!
In the Soviet Union, brides often used a unique mixture of Nasha and lamb’s fat. ‘Nasha’ is a central Asian word for hemp. These women used it to combat the pain of their first sexual encounters on their wedding night. Researchers found that it remained popular in Uzbekistan just before World War II. Some women also created a mixture of boiled marijuana with sugar and spices.
There is ample research that shows how ancient cultures used cannabis for sexual purposes. However, it was primarily as a means of attaining an intoxicating high, rather than the plant’s properties improving sex. Nonetheless, there are brands today who believe that weed does, in fact, make sex better.
The research to date says that women derive most of the benefits. In contrast, there is a chance that excessive cannabis use could cause sexual dysfunction in men. Whether you’ re male or female, it is best to use a little, rather than a lot, before sexual intercourse!