The Best Dispensaries in Vail

Whether you’re in Vail for the slopes, the beautiful golf courses or you are one of the lucky to call the Vail Valley home, you may be wondering where you can find the best cannabis in town. The good news is that there are a few options for you throughout the entire valley, with shops in Avon, Edwards, Vail, Eagle-Vail and Eagle. Some of these dispensaries in Vail offer the added benefits of online ordering systems for easy pick up of your favorite cannabis products. Unfortunately, delivery of cannabis is not yet operational in the Vail Valley, but that is sure to change in the near future!

Here’s our round up of the best dispensaries near you in the Vail Valley:

  1. Roots RX Edwards and Eagle Vail 

Ranking in spot #1 is RootsRX. RootsRX is one of the main operators in the western mountain regions of Colorado. We love their stores in Edwards and Eagle Vail for their amazing product selection. Another kudo to RootsRX is the active role that they play in the community around Vail. They regularly partner with different organizations to help make the Vail Valley a better place for all. RootsRX dispensaries strictly offer recreational sales.

  1. Native Roots – Eagle Vail

One of the most respected dispensary brands in the state of Colorado, Native Roots is one of our favorite shops for picking up very high quality cannabis flower. They have a good range of options that are higher in CBD than you would find in most dispensaries. Their dispensary in Eagle Vail has a great vibe and offers both recreational and medical sales. 

  1. Sweet Leaf Pioneers – Eagle

After more than 10 years in the industry, Sweet Leaf has made a name for itself in the Vail Valley. This woman owned dispensary is a great stop if you are on the western side of the valley. Sweet Leaf also does a lot of their own growing. This makes their staff extremely knowledgeable about cannabis flower and the complex profiles of the different strains that they carry. They offer both medical and recreational sales. 

You can find Lucid Mood at RootsRX in Edwards and Eagle-Vail.

Budtenders are Essential

Budtenders Are Essential Front-Line Cannabis Workers

With Cannabis Dispensaries Categorized as Essential, Budtenders are More Important than Ever

Since legalization began, budtenders have played a key role in the cannabis industry’s education, outreach, and community. But with much of the nation on lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, budtenders are now even more of a crucial link between millions of Americans and a much-needed therapeutic plant. They’re working on the frontlines in the middle of a crisis. 

And those frontlines are busy: Though it’s unclear whether this uptick in weed sales is panic purchasing (similar to the rush on toilet paper) or people seeking out products to help pass the time and ease the stress of social distancing, consumers are buying and consuming more cannabis right now. 

Budtenders are largely responsible for maintaining safe practices that enable dispensaries to keep operating while protecting the health and safety of their customers and employees. These practices include handling money and credit cards properly, wearing gloves and masks, doing curbside pickup transactions with buyers, disinfecting high-use surfaces, maintaining and enforcing six feet of social distance whenever possible, and more. Budtenders in some states have even transitioned to delivery, driving orders directly to customers’ homes. 

Got Cannabis Questions? Call First.

Some states are allowing curbside pickup during the COVID-19 crisis. But for newer cannabis customers who aren’t sure what they need, dispensaries still recommend calling to speak live with a budtender who can walk you through your options (and provide some tech support if you need it with the actual online ordering process).

Budtenders are providing valuable education around best pot practices during an epidemic—namely, urging consumers to stop sharing joints and bongs. “Puff, puff, pass” is officially on hiatus until further notice. Sanitize any shared implements (like LucidMood vaporizers) if you must share, but right now budtenders are recommending you have access to your own stash.

They’re also providing guidance on the best formulations for the stress and sleeplessness that’s accompanied this crisis for so many of us.

How to Keep Cannabis Transactions Safe—for You and Your Budtender

Like grocery store clerks, pharmacists and post office workers, many budtenders have been deemed essential by their state officials. Just as you would at Trader Joe’s or Costco, take care of the dispensary staff so they can take care of you.

If you’re calling a dispensary for a consult, help your ‘tender out by making a list of your questions before you dial, or before you make an in-person order. Unlike many of us who are stuck at home right now, budtenders are actually super busy! The crisis only added additional safety steps to their days, so be considerate of their time by being as prepared as possible. 

If you’re doing a curbside pickup, abide by all the safety directives. Wear gloves and a mask, and maintain a safe distance. Again, arrive as prepared as possible. If paying in cash, try to pay with exact change and tip to reduce contact with potentially contaminated bills. 

Another point we can’t stress enough: TIP your budtenders! Tip 30% if you can, 20% at a minimum. The average budtender salary is approximately $13 an hour—these hardworking people need our tips to pay their bills. 

Lastly, try to seek out and patronize dispensaries that take good care of their budtenders. While some dispensaries don’t offer staff members access to employer health insurance plans or paid sick leave, others have stepped up to offer these essential workers new protections and hazard pay.  Andrew DeAngelo, co-founder of famed Oakland dispensary Harborside Health Center, has responded to the COVID-19 crisis by giving Harborside workers paid time off, sick leave and health benefits. As DeAngelo told Green Entrepreneur, “Our budtenders are critical assets, we have to treat them like it and invest in their well being.”

If you’re looking to speak live with a budtender, or find out about possible delivery and curbside pickup information in your area, Leafly has put together an excellent resource, updated twice daily: Is my dispensary open and can they deliver cannabis right now?

RELATED:  With an 8:1 ratio of THC to CBD, our Lullaby pen is formulated with a specific blend of cannabinoids and terpenes designed for calming effects to enhance rest and relaxation—an ideal stress reliever in trying times.

Check out all of our custom formulations here.

Ajoya dispensary

Meet Brittany Krapes, LucidMood’s Budtender of the Month for May 2020

This interview is part of a special Q&A series where we talk to budtenders—who are some of the most fascinating and informative people in our industry—about the weird questions they get, what daily life on the cannabis front lines is like and what they appreciate most about cannabis.


Brittany Krapes, Ajoya, LucidMood Budtender of the Month

Name: Brittany Krapes

Dispensary: Ajoya in Louisville, Colorado

What year did you start working in the cannabis industry?
2017

Who are your favorite customers at the dispensary?
I love the people who come here and are willing to learn! It’s fine serving people who know what they want, but seeing someone who is curious and wanting to learn is something else. People eager for education are always great because they are open to different cannabinoid blends, different terpenes, and maybe even a different medium to consume their cannabis. 

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to your fellow budtenders?
Find a balance in treating customers like they know nothing and everything at the same time! It’s difficult to judge what someone may or may not know without asking them, and we are in a state where we get a lot of tourists. Offering the same quality of help to every person is important in maintaining a positive experience for everyone. 

What’s the craziest question about cannabis you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
The craziest questions come from people who haven’t consumed cannabis, of course. The questions that always amaze me are the ones that come from a perspective of cannabis being similar or the same as an opioid. It surprises me when people ask how I function on cannabis doing basic activities, and they seem confused when I tell them that today is a microdose day or a CBD day—or that cannabis is absolutely not the same as the pain medicine they have gotten from their doctor or heard about from their friends. 

What’s the biggest misconception about cannabis you’d like to fix?
You don’t have to be a stoner, and you don’t have to be high all the time! I see people come in for the same product, but one will use it for medicine and one will use it for recreational purposes. Consuming cannabis or using cannabis products does not have to be good / bad or black / white. It can be for your grandma or your neighbor. It can be once-a-month or whenever. There is something for everyone. 

What’s the most challenging part of your day?
Naturally since I love people who love to learn, those unwilling to learn are my personal struggle. It is hard to be in an industry that is seen as an importance but also has a negative stigma attached to it in so many communities, even our own still! I see many people who just want to “check it out” but they come with decades of fear and misconceptions. It can be hard to convince people that the stigma is there for the extremes, and most users are not that.

Why do you consume cannabis?
Cannabis helps me sleep, relax, and deal with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) pain and anxiety. I use topicals for eczema and psoriasis. I use cannabis to help me with all sorts of things! 

What does consuming cannabis do for you?
Cannabis makes me feel grounded and keeps my mind from racing all day. I am a very anxious person, and cannabis calms me down without knocking me out or making me feel too mentally fuzzy. 

“If I were a LucidMood pen, I would be….”
I would absolutely be Lullaby. When (LucidMood Chief Science Officer) Tristan (Watkins, PhD.) and I were talking about this pen we were excited about how it shuts your brain off. It doesn’t just get you so high you pass out, it really helps unwind. I would be Lullaby because I am all about relaxing and comfort. I love everything that makes people feel calm and collected and homey. 

earth-day-2020-uplifting-cannabis-spring-cleaning

A Conscious Celebration of Earth Day 2020

Finding Productivity Indoors and Outdoors via Uplifting Cannabis Formulation Lively

We’ve spent enough time inside our houses to know where the wayward dust collects, which closets need reorganizing and what paint is screaming for a little touch-up. 

Between this new season of growth and the stay-at-home orders keeping us homebound, there is literally no better time to begin your annual spring cleaning ritual.  

While we typically categorize cleaning as a chore, let’s add some uplifting cannabis to the mix and make it something of a celebration—a gift to our future selves, who will appreciate our thoughtful foresight. And I’m here to tell you that LucidMood’s Lively vape pen can be your best helper for the daunting but rewarding expedition that is spring cleaning. And I should know, as I’m the scientist who created this energetic cannabis formulation of cannabinoids and terpenes specifically engineered to fuel vigorous activities like hiking … and also spring cleaning. 

Although Lively was originally envisioned to inspire outdoor activities, this can easily translate to productive seshes in the great indoors. After all, cannabis is extremely versatile, and finding that perfect high can make all sorts of activities more enjoyable. 

Before diving into Lively, it may be useful to hear that many of us associate spring cleaning (and other large projects) with stress—so please know that you are not alone if you are experiencing similar feelings. 

Your brain is not a huge fan of digging into large projects, because these activities take up a lot of energy and attention, two resources your brain values highly. It turns out you can trick your brain a little bit by breaking the large task into smaller subtasks—and of course by getting high with the help of an uplifting cannabis formulation.  

Because those first steps of beginning your spring cleaning projects are usually the most difficult to take, let Lively’s 2:1 THC:CBD ratio act as your foundation. Take that first hit from Lively and notice how the CBD takes the edge off that stress. (Check out my prior post, CBD and Stress: What Does the Science Say?, to learn why cannabidiol works this way.) Sure enough, this 2:1 ratio was specially created to help you experience the perfect amount of euphoria while still accomplishing your goals.

Sounds ideal for spring cleaning to me.

Now throw on your favorite record and let the music work alongside that higher THC content, all while the CBD keeps you more level and alert. 

All that said, the cannabinoids are only one part of this proprietary LucidMood formulation. 

Limonene and valencene are the primary motivators within the Lively formula. Both terpenes can be found in orange peels, and when combined, they provide a strong sense of alertness and motivation. Sometimes these compounds work so well that people report feeling restless after inhaling them—at least when they are stuck in a boring research environment. 

This may explain why sativas, which are commonly high in limonene and valencene, can leave some consumers feeling racy or paranoid, and this is exactly why we recommend Lively for those active moments in your life. 

And because we recognize that plans don’t always go perfectly, we balanced out these alerting terpenes with CBD and Geraniol. 

We’ve already talked about CBD, so now let’s tackle Geraniol. This terpene is one of my favorites, and for good reason. Geraniol hits very smooth, tastes and smells like sweet roses, and serves as a mentally relaxing ingredient. Although there are some extremely technical papers researching the effects of Geraniol on different cells and neurons, one simplified study found that inhalation of Rosa Damascena oil (very high in Geraniol) actually relieved women’s anxiety during the first stage of labor

Fortunately, you are just trying to clean your house.

That said, April 22, 2020 also marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! And so after you’ve tidied up your living space, celebrate Earth Day 2020 by treating yourself to some fresh air and using your Lively pen the way it was originally intended. Find a nearby trail or pedestrian-dedicated area, stretch out and take in the beautiful spring air—which is wildly different from the winter air we were previously living with, given the spike in pollen count associated with this blooming season. 

Remember to follow your city and state’s rules for social distancing and out-of-home activities, but I think you’ll agree that a little outdoor time is necessary after a blissed-out spring cleaning sesh.

So whether you are doing a quick dust and vacuum, reorganizing all of your cupboards or diving into a full interior design rework, LucidMood’s Lively has you covered. Enjoy that perfect balance of euphoria and alertness—with that safety net of calmness—and make the most of your new staycation orders with this energetic cannabis blend.  

Feature photo: Volha Flaxico via Unsplash

LoDo Wellness Dispensary - LucidMood's Budtender of the Month Amber Sullivan

Meet Amber Sullivan, LucidMood’s Budtender of the Month for April 2020

This interview is part of a special Q&A series where we talk to budtenders—who are some of the most fascinating and informative people in our industry—about the weird questions they get, what daily life on the cannabis front lines is like, and what they appreciate most about cannabis.


Name: Amber Sullivan

Dispensary: LoDo Wellness Center in Denver, Colorado

Currently, LoDo Wellness has made a very difficult, but responsible decision to shut its doors while COVID-19 causes ripples through society. Keep an eye on their website for updates on reopening – http://lodowellnesscenter.com/ 

What year did you start working in the cannabis industry?
2018. I had been working in the beer industry and wanted a change.

Who are your favorite customers at the dispensary?
We get many seniors coming in who are seeking to ease their physical pain and improve personal wellness and quality of life, and I really enjoy working with them. Their generation often has had extremely negative views about cannabis, but just being able to talk to them one-on-one can completely shift their view. Personal connections make it possible for us to break down those negative stereotypes they were given. 

Groups like bachelorette parties are also some of my favorites. There’s usually a newbie, or at least one person who is super nervous because they had a bad experience with cannabis in the past, and I’m able to talk to them about CBD and different approaches to consuming. Those are the customers who often come back super excited because they gave it another try and actually had a great time! People are hungry for education and guidance, and one of the best parts of my job is being able to offer that to them.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give your fellow budtenders?
Really listen to people. I personally prefer indicas but they don’t work for everyone. Everyone has a vastly different experience with cannabis. When you treat people as individuals and find out about their past experiences, you can help prevent unwanted side effects much more effectively.

Because our location is so close to Denver’s Union Station—a major transportation hub downtown—I’d say around 60% of our clientele are tourists. Many of them don’t live in legal states and often this is their first time in a dispensary.  I could give these customers a ton of information, but I try to follow the advice of the awesome astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (I’m paraphrasing): Even if you know a lot, you can’t overwhelm people with information. That’s counterproductive.

What’s the craziest question about cannabis you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
A woman came in with a huge stack of paperwork from her doctor as well as all of her medications. She wanted something that could help her skin, and she pulled up her shirt to reveal a really intense rash on her torso. She told us she wanted to avoid steroid injections, which her doctor had told her were the best way to treat the rash.

While I know what products could potentially help her, if a doctor is saying injections are the way to relieve her condition, I don’t want to contradict a medical doctor. Yes, cannabis topicals can help with many skin problems, but we are not dermatologists, and these products are not a magic bullet for every chronic condition. Sometimes finding answers for people is difficult, especially when there isn’t a clear-cut yes or no.

What’s the biggest misconception about cannabis you’d like to fix?
That people who consume suffer from a lack of ambition. Thankfully that myth is collapsing as the cannabis industry expands. 

People use this plant for productivity. Cannabis consumers tailor their consumption based on their experience and what they want to do with their time. I use cannabis in different ways, but one of them is that it helps me write for hours at a time. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing on the couch, but that’s only a small part of the cannabis picture!

What’s the most challenging part of your day?
Right now, as we deal with COVID-19, work can be challenging and definitely is more stressful. I’m just trying to take it day by day. We are providing a valuable service to people, and a service to the state with the tax revenue we provide—we just want to be safe and hope we have the support and understanding of both our customers and the regulators. 

What does consuming cannabis do for you?
I consume cannabis to help me write, storyboard and come up with ideas. I also use it to sleep, and to calm down in social situations; CBD in particular is really helpful for me personally. When I take it I feel like it actually helps me to be my own true self and not front.

If I had to choose one word to describe how cannabis makes me feel, it would be “even.” I feel a lot of things, and sometimes I go strongly in one direction or another. Cannabis helps me find that middle ground where I can feel all of my emotions and yet stay balanced.

Which LucidMood product do you use, and why?

I like Lullaby because I use it to help me get to sleep. Normally I need quite a bit of cannabis to be fully relaxed, but with this pen I take a few puffs and I’m out! 

“If I were a LucidMood pen, I would be….”
I want to be Luminous but I’m actually Luscious. I enjoy the hedonistic feeling that the Luscious pen gives me. It makes me want to cook a giant meal for one, find the softest blankets possible and just soak in and enjoy all of life’s sensory pleasures.

Do you see product manufactures reaching out to educate budtenders?
We need more outreach for education. People come in and are told to ask for a product, or they reach for a product they want—without necessarily knowing what that product is or what it will do for them. Budtenders are a great source of the actual questions people need answers to, because we are plugged in on a daily basis to the consumer who’s telling us how they want to feel.

There are so many new products as well as so many people who are new to cannabis, and we need to communicate with consumers about what’s available, the possible side effects and how individuals can react quite differently to the same products.

CBD and Stress: What Science Says

CBD and Stress: What Does the Science Say?

Are you feeling more on edge lately with so much uncertainty in our daily lives? I sure am. That’s why I’m so glad I also have cannabis in my daily life, and CBD in particular.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is often recommended for easing stress and boosting mental relaxation—but it’s also promoted as a pain reliever, sleep aid and skincare ingredient, sold at grocery stores and gas stations, and even infused into pillowcases and sports bras. No wonder people are confused. Which claims are real and which ones are hype? 

Research on CBD and Stress

As a neuroscientist, I seek out data-based evidence. So I’d preface any statements about CBD and stress relief by saying—as any responsible person in this field would—that findings are promising but we need more data from large-scale, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Decades of prohibition prevented researchers from doing more in-depth study of cannabinoids, and I’m thankful we’re starting to make more headway.

In recent years, credible studies on CBD have resulted in some encouraging discoveries, and I’d like to share a few with you:

  1. A 2019 study of 72 adults published in the Permanente Journal examined whether CBD had an effect on anxiety and sleep in a three-month period. An overwhelming majority of participants’ anxiety scores decreased within the first month. And they remained at decreased levels for the duration of the study. (A majority of participants reported that they slept better too in the first month. Results fluctuated over time, however.) 
  1. Another 2019 study published in Frontiers of Psychology examined 37 teenagers with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Each participant received 300 milligrams of CBD oil or a placebo every day for one month. The participants’ anxiety scores in the non-control group dropped significantly, while the scores of those in the placebo group remained unchanged.
  1. A 2015 literature review published in Neurotherapeutics assessed findings from 49 primary preclinical, clinical, or epidemiological studies, and found that “evidence from human studies strongly supports the potential for CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorders.”
  1. A 2011 study published in Neuropsychopharmacology examined the effects of CBD in 24 subjects diagnosed with Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder (GSAD). All 24 were asked to speak in front of a group. Researchers found that “CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech.” 

CBD and THC: They Work Better Together

Beyond it’s calming abilities, CBD is associated with many other benefits. One benefit is that cannabis consumers report fewer of the unpleasant side effects associated with THC when CBD is present. 

Almost everyone who has tried cannabis has had an unpleasant experience at some point, one that usually involves jitters, paranoia, or a racing mind. These studies and others indicate that CBD could counteract some of those unwanted effects. I would argue that such a reduction does strengthen the argument for CBD’s ability to boost mental relaxation and clarity.

At LucidMood we’ve designed a variety of formulations so that consumers can find a THC:CBD ratio that works best for them. 

Of course, everyone’s experience with cannabis is different—but as head of R&D, I take very seriously the idea that our customers are looking to us for reliable results and consistent experiences. Who wants the stress of not knowing how cannabis is going to affect you when you’re looking to unwind after an intense day

There is no universally recommended dosage for CBD yet. I always advise new consumers to start low and increase dosage gradually. Cannabis tolerance is highly variable, so if, for example, you’re trying a LucidMood vape pen, start with one to two 2-3 second inhalations, wait about 10 minutes to feel the onset of effects, then go from there. 

Helping People Have a Better Day 

At LucidMood, we are big believers in the many cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis and their ability to help people have a better day. That’s why we got into this crazy business in the first place. In uncertain times, we could all use a little support to help us be more centered, more relaxed.  

So, could CBD help you cope with stress? My TL;DR answer: The best way to figure that out is to try it.

Learn more about LucidMood’s unique formulations here.

Recreational CBD? Busting the Myths About Cannabidiol

Recreational CBD? Busting the Myths About Cannabidiol

Now more than ever, the world can feel really chaotic, and it can be a challenge to disengage from the stressors that surround us. 

Thankfully, we have options to step away from the fray, whether that’s getting outside for fresh air, savoring a home-cooked meal or my favorite way to achieve mental relaxation: cannabis. “Recreational CBD” might sound like an oxymoron, especially since so much of the marketing and promotion around cannabidiol guarantees consumers that it will not get them high. 

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about CBD and what it can do. So let’s bust a few myths:

Myth: CBD is Purely Medicinal

It’s absolutely true that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and the potential to reduce adverse effects of stress, along with helping many people with seizure disorders—but it also has important recreational benefits as well.

CBD, while non-intoxicating, is actually psychoactive in very subtle ways when consumed on its own—and when consumed alongside THC, it supports THC and positively affects the euphoric sensation of the high. 

Myth: CBD Kills the THC Buzz

CBD has been cast as the “anti-THC” by some, and many people incorrectly believe that it inhibits the “fun” aspects of THC. 

Like most binaries, the division of THC and CBD into two sharply divided categories—one for wild stoner partying, the other for boomers with arthritis—is simply not accurate.  

Although THC does most of the heavy lifting to create the euphoric high that its fans have grown to love, it isn’t the only important cannabinoid when it comes to experiencing an enjoyable high. The way I see it, CBD actually supports THC for recreational use because it influences THC’s psychoactive effects in a number of ways. 

The most-studied aspects of the THC-CBD interaction are tied to the unwanted effects of THC

We all know people who avoid cannabis because it makes them feel paranoid and panicky—but studies indicate that CBD can help calm unease and result in greater feelings of tranquility. While everyone’s experience with cannabis is unique, I think it’s valid to ask whether people who had negative weed experiences in the past could have had better ones if they had tried the right cannabinoid formulation.

Myth: Pure THC is Totally Awesome

There are many anecdotal reports from patients about unpleasant side effects of consuming pure THC in the form of the pharmaceutical Marinol (a.k.a. dronabinol, a synthetic version of THC). Which could explain why it’s not very popular. 

However, studies show THC paired with CBD appears to reduce some of the unwanted effects associated with THC, including paranoia and disorganization. Although not everyone experiences these effects, those who do could greatly benefit from pairing CBD with THC.  

About the Entourage Effect

So what’s behind CBD helping to provide balance with THC? It’s the entourage effect

This phenomenon was identified by organic chemist Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, who’s my hero and a true OG in cannabis research going back to the 1960s. His theory is that the hundreds of compounds in the cannabis plant interact with each other by activating or deactivating certain receptors in the human body. 

In this case, if THC is causing a person to feel paranoid, other cannabinoids (like CBD) and terpenes would step in to alter that experience—hopefully for the better.

Better Blends of THC and CBD

In many THC cannabis products, lab tests report a non-detectable (ND) amount of CBD, and I see this absence as a massive missed opportunity for consumers to experience cannabis to its fullest potential. 

At LucidMood, we design our formulations with the entourage effect in mind. 

Our Luminous pen, for example, contains a 1:2 ratio of THC to CBD, which offers a gentle euphoric sensation. The terpenes geraniol and limonene are included in this blend for an even balance of calm and clarity. 

Our Luscious pen is formulated for more of a body high, with a 4:1 THC to CBD ratio, and includes the terpenes linalool and caryophyllene for relaxation. 

Because LucidMood offers several different THC:CBD ratios, consumers can experience an array of different euphoric highs that include light mental relaxation, strong head highs, intense body highs and many levels in between. 

I encourage those who see THC and CBD as belonging in completely different lanes to consider the ways they interact, both with each other and with the wide spectrum of terpenes found in the cannabis plant, and to experiment with how custom formulations can offer better and more reliable outcomes.

Check out all of our custom formulations here.


About Tristan Watkins, Ph.D.

Dr. Tristan Watkins is a neuroscientist who studies how terpenes and cannabinoids interact with the nervous system and applies this knowledge to create cannabis formulas that deliver distinct and predictable effects. His cannabis research began as a passion project during graduate school at Vanderbilt University, where he researched how changes in brain structure and function lead to changes in behavior. Dr. Watkins currently serves as the Chief Science Officer of LucidMood, where he formulates and validates experimental products.

Cannabis for Intimacy: LucidMood Loving formulation

Weed and Sex: Why the Modern Consumer Uses Cannabis to Build Intimacy

It might not come up every day, but budtenders often get questions about cannabis and sex. 

Of course we know that weed is great for social activities, connecting with friends and even alleviating social anxiety—but what about weed for those one-on-one, clothing-optional interactions?

While there’s no single cannabis product that improves everyone’s love life, research indicates that cannabis can boost libido and increase sexual satisfaction. 

A 2019 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine (JSM), How Cannabis Alters Sexual Experience, offered some eyebrow-raising results in a survey of 216 men and women:

  • 58.9% of study participants said cannabis increased their desire for sex
  • 69.8% said cannabis helped them relax more during sex
  • 73.8% reported increased sexual satisfaction with cannabis
  • 65.7% said cannabis use resulted in an increased intensity of orgasms

Keep fanning yourself, because a 2017 Stanford University School of Medicine study of more than 50,000 Americans also showed a positive correlation between marijuana use and sex. 

Why it Makes Sense to Combine CBD with THC 

While these numbers are pretty remarkable, more study of cannabis and sex is needed (of course it is!). While we wait, it’s important to remember what any knowledgeable budtender will tell you: 

  • All cannabis is not created alike, and the varying types and amounts of cannabinoids affect people differently. 
  • And while cannabis can help some people reduce anxiety, the plant has the opposite effect on others—and when it comes to sex and intimacy, nothing kills the vibe faster than anxiety or stress.

Research has shown that too much of the prime psychoactive compound in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can induce anxiety and discomfort. And while cannabidiol (CBD, the current “It Girl” of cannabinoids) doesn’t get you high, it relaxes you—and it mellows out some of THC’s uncomfortable side effects. 

This desire for a balanced, even experience—high but not anxious—is why some people seek out specific formulations of cannabinoids. While smoking flower can be unpredictable, targeted extract formulations offer a more reliable experience. So if you or your partner are wary of being overwhelmed by a high-THC strain on a romantic night, try seeking out a product with a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD (such as LucidMood’s Loving vape pen).

CBG and the Mood-Boosting Powers of Cannabis

And while it doesn’t take a chemistry lesson to figure out whether or not weed increases a person’s chemistry with their partner, it’s important to note that cannabis is more than its most famous component, THC. In fact, the plant contains hundreds of distinct compounds, including a group known as rare or emerging cannabinoids. 

One rare cannabinoid in particular has gotten more attention of late: cannabigerol (CBG). This non-intoxicating compound is thought to help regulate mood due to its ability to act on the serotonin system. The more common cannabinoid CBD has been shown to boost anandamide, which is often called the body’s native “bliss” molecule for its role in activating cannabinoid receptors in the brain that elevate mood. (LucidMood’s Loving vape pen includes both CBG and CBD for this reason.)

And if that’s not enough science for you, cannabis also contains many different terpenes, which give plants their distinctive scents (think pine and rose), and some of which also have profound effects on humans. Terpenes like linalool and limonene, commonly found in lavender and citrus, have been shown in lab studies to have relaxing properties, which may help to relieve stress and improve low moods. The right combination of cannabinoids and terpenes can create a feeling of being deeply relaxed but also very tuned in to your senses. 

When it comes to weed and sex, it’s helpful to remember that cannabis facilitates connection in many ways. When we are less stressed and more relaxed, less anxious and in good spirits, it’s easier to bond with other people, whether that’s through going out for brunch with friends or staying in for a romantic evening with a new crush. 

Cannabis can be an excellent tool for improving emotional and physical intimacy, but if we’ve learned anything, it’s that weed is way more than just a puff of a bowl or vape pen. Cannabis is a complex plant with unique and powerful effects, so why not experiment with how different formulations affect your desire? 

So please, friends: consume your cannabis with the intention of being open and tuned in to the moment and to yourself—which is what intimacy is all about.

What’s in the LucidMood Loving formulation: A 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD, plus CBG and the terpenes Ocimene and Nerol.

About Tristan Watkins, PhD.

Dr. Tristan Watkins is a neuroscientist who studies how terpenes and cannabinoids interact with the nervous system and applies this knowledge to create cannabis formulas that deliver distinct and predictable effects. His cannabis research began as a passion project during graduate school at Vanderbilt University, where he researched how changes in brain structure and function lead to changes in behavior. Dr. Watkins currently serves as the Chief Science Officer of LucidMood, where he formulates and validates experimental products.

Introduction to Cannabis

Stop thinking of cannabis as a singular plant that solely produces THC. Instead, think of cannabis as a plant that produces a diverse set of compounds that can produce a full suite of effects and moods. Cannabis produces many more cannabinoids than just THC, some of which we are still discovering. Moreso, hundreds of terpenes are naturally found within cannabis, and these terpenes can impart unique flavors, tastes, and experiences. If you have ever wondered why some products make you super chatty, while others leave you listless, its because of the complex assortment of cannabinoids and terpenes interacting in your body. Although this type amount of variability can seem confusing, it also means that you can find the perfect product to best match your needs — for any moment.

Cannabinoids – THC gets all the fame, but the other cannabinoids are just as important to creating the perfect high for you. If high-THC products are a bit too much to handle, consider finding products that contain other cannabinoids, like CBD, CBG, or CBN. These other cannabinoids can help your high feel a bit less intense, more social, or more spacy.

THC – This is the one everyone knows. THC delivers a strong sense of euphoria, leaving people giggly and oftentimes hungry. If not for THC, the popularity of cannabis would likely be minimal.

CBD – CBD is essentially the mirror image of THC, and produces somewhat opposing effects. CBD does not get you high, and even smooths out some of the more intense effects of THC. These two cannabinoids, THC and CBD, actually work well in unison. In fact, cannabis in the past — decades to centuries past — contained much higher amounts of CBD alongside THC.

CBG – Similar to CBD, CBG does not create the high associated with cannabis. Products containing CBG will likely create a more energetic and sociable experience than without.

CBN – Although CBN does not produce a euphoric high like THC, it can have a very strong sedating effect for many people. Small amounts are said to be great for meditation, while larger amounts can aid people in rest.

Terpenes – Terpenes are the naturally occurring aromatic compounds that give botanicals (including cannabis) their signature smell and taste. Additionally, many of these terpenes can be relaxing, alerting, sociable, connected, centered, and more. Finding the perfect combination of terpenes can be challenging. Some go well together. Some are opposing and clash. Think of terpenes like your spice rack, where some spices naturally group together perfectly, while others should never be found in the same dish.