Sex-negative perceptions about cannabis have existed since Depression-era disinformation, as seen in the 1936 propaganda movie Reefer Madness. In the middle of the film, a man sexually assaults a woman shortly after consuming cannabis. The man is punched in the face and tackled the ground by another man, but the woman is shot dead in the midst of their fighting and arguing.

The patriarchal message it sends to the audience is that not only is cannabis dangerous, but it is linked to sexual violence — in a way that blames the victim, similar to the way rape culture has wrongfully blamed survivors, who were drunk during their assaults, for their own assaults.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can reverse this narrative as a cannabis community. Cannabis has the potential and healing power to make sex better and more enjoyable. It would be inaccurate to compare the plant to alcohol, which has been proven to suppress a person’s ability to orgasm. According to findings published by the likes of peer-review journal Frontiers in Endocrinology, consuming cannabis leads to a burst of sex hormones (before later lowering them down to lower than usual once the high dies down).

Meanwhile, recent cannabis ventures, such as Foria’s cannabis lube and suppositories, validate the plant’s ability to improve your sex life, regardless of what gender you are. For instance, if you have difficulty reaching orgasm, using cannabis externally in your genital and anal areas may help.

Sex expert Dr. Jennifer Berman appeared on Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show to speak about just how powerful cannabis, applied externally, can be when it comes to sex positivity for those with vaginas: “[Foria’s spray is made with] coconut oil to enhance clitoral blood flow, vaginal blood flow, arousal and pleasure. And by the way it does not cause mental status changes and no psychoactive effects,” Berman explained. Check out the clip below:

However, don’t dismiss traditional consumption methods like smoking and edibles, or even vaping. You don’t have to have cannabis lube to reap the benefits of an improved, beneficial sexual experience — with your partner(s) or even just by yourself. Specific strains — like Blueberry for relaxation, Voodoo for sexual passion, or Skunk #1 for energy — that arouse consumers can especially help spice up the mood.

Other sex therapists have also latched onto this trend by suggesting patients consume cannabis when engaging in sexual activities. By consuming together, it can increase the intimacy and bond during foreplay leading up to intercourse, oral sex, and other types of sex.

Another way to consume is through external topical lotions, particularly to be used for massaging your partner. This is a more passive way to consume, since you won’t be applying the substance to your genital area or consuming orally, but it does help implement a new factor to simple, intimate touches.

Also, you don’t have to feel spaced out in order to reap the benefits. Microdosing with edibles, vaping or smoking can also improve the sexual experience, especially if you have personal experiences with sexual dysfunction.

However, keep in mind that everyone responds to cannabis differently. What works for one person may not work for you specifically.

So, the verdict overall? A trial-and-error approach to cannabis is worth a try to enhance your intimacy and sex life.