Cannabis for Sex:
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Today’s guest is dr. Becky Lynn M.D. From st. Louis, and we’re focused our conversation with dr. Lin on women’s health today and specifically how it pertains to cannabis and CBD and women’s sexual health. So I hope you enjoy the show.
Hi, how are you? Good? How are you? Can you hear me? Okay, I can.
Awesome. Well, Happy Thanksgiving.
Thanks. You too.
Yeah, thanks for joining us on this day after Thanksgiving. I appreciate you taking the time. It’s really nice to meet you fascinated
to talk to you in terms of your specific area of expertise when it comes to cannabis and CBD very different than most of the folks we talked with. So hopefully we’ll be able to shed a lot of light for the listeners. And help educate some folks around cannabis and sexual function. Sure. Is that accurate?
That’s pretty accurate.
So tell us a little bit about yourself to get started. And how did you get interested in the Cannabis Dimension as an MD? I mean, I’m always intrigued by that
so I’m a gynecologist and I specialize in menaPause and sexual health and sexual problems in women. so low libido painful sex, difficulty with orgasm and the whole cannabis thing sort of fell into my lap. It was back in 2015. I was seeing many women for sexual problems and I had a number of women come to me and say, you know, I have this problem with libido or have a problem with orgasm. But when I use marijuana it gets better and so it just made me a little bit curious. I wanted to know is there any truth to that and if so, what’s the idea behind
it? And so what I did is I went to the medical literature, you know published medical studies and there really was not much there really because it’s been illegal. So there’s really there’s very few. There were there were no like high quality studies because you can’t do that and have you know, what control group and group that gets marijuana and then evaluate their sexual function. There were a couple questionnaires which are inherently not great studies because you know, it depends on its there so many areas where you may just not remember exactly what things felt like, you know, when you did that and then there were a handful of animal studies so rats and hamsters and things like that. So then I went to the internet to see what I could find and there were plenty of websites that that cannabis is the greatest thing since sliced bread when it comes to sex and you should try it and all this so I was working for st. Louis University at the time and in Missouri at that time. All marijuana was illegal medical. Marijuana is now legal in Missouri. I’m in St Louis, but when I was doing this was all illegal, so we designed a questionnaire to evaluate women’s perceptions of the sexual experience when they smoked marijuana before hand and we asked people how they used marijuana was it, you know edibles. Or smoking or vaping and the majority said smoking. So we are questionnaire looked at several domains of sexual function. We looked at the overall sexual experience sex drive lubrication pain and orgasm and what we found was that the majority of the women who and basically the group that we looked at. I worked in a big busy OBGYN office. Was anybody who walked into that office no matter how young how old well they had to be above 18, but they could be pregnant non-pregnant was just you know, a representative sample of the women that came to our
clinic and so we did find it back to the findings that the majority of women reported and improved sexual experience overall improved orgasm improved Drive less pain and really not much difference in lubrication and we talk to almost 400 women 300 plus women. So it was a pretty big sample when we did that we have also now completed a second study, but it’s not published yet and it’s still in its still with the statistician
looking at Women’s perceptions of the sexual experience in a group of women with sexual problems. So I’m anxiously awaiting that information and kind of curious what we’re going to find so it definitely just fell in my lap and it was Kind of good timing because you know, there is such a movement in Missouri for medical marijuana and during the time that I was doing all this it passed so it’s been it’s been very interesting and with these these folks that were being studied was this marijuana use directly before sex or was it marijuana use in general? And therefore you’re more relaxed as a person and sex naturally is better or both before sex. That’s specifically what we asked. Yeah and So we compared several groups also, so we separated into people who didn’t smoke marijuana people who smoked marijuana, but it wasn’t part of sex usually and then people who use specifically before sex and we did find that people who used marijuana before sex had twice as high chance of reporting good orgasms and their life in general.
Wow, that’s a pretty big deal. Right?
So yeah at the media loves that one.
I mean just as much attention as gets paid to male sexual health, right? I mean, I have a pharma background. I used to be in that world and very familiar with with DTC drug advertising specifically in the male erectile dysfunction area. I spent a lot of time there. So it’s there’s a lot a lot of money that’s been spent in that regard, right the what you’re talking about here is pretty revolutionary stuff, right? What kind reception are you getting?
Oh, well when my study came out, I was called by a lot of and I’ve never been in this in this position. But a lot of people called and wanted to interview me and talk about the study. It definitely has has caught on and it’s you know, my have a 16 year old daughter who was this was all like two nights ago and she was scrolling through her phone and she knows what my research is about and She was she saw some study on cannabis and she was reading it some on the internet like a not like a published medical study and she was and it said a researcher and steal a gynecologist in st. Louis and she was like, that’s my mom. So it’s it’s kind of funny. It’s definitely gotten traction. I’m very interested in it. And since then I I have created a there’s a course that I well I was going to do it live, but now it’s all recorded through cannabinoid medicine studies on women’s health and marijuana and cannabinoids in general not just marijuana and I have learned so much more about you know, how it works in the body and how it affects pregnancy what we know and what we don’t know and lactation and fertility and the menstrual cycle and I I just feel like, you know, there’s a lot of potential with cannabinoids because the receptors that they bind to in the body are all Over and they’re concentrated in the reproductive tract. So there’s a lot that we don’t know but I kind of think now with you know States legalizing it it’s becoming you know more acceptable to do studies on it before you you could but it was definitely it was very difficult. You could only use a strain of cannabis that came from a farming Mississippi, which is not anything that anybody is actually using so, you know, I just feel like the world is our oyster and and and what we’re going to learn in the future and I see it already all around me. Just how many more studies are coming out how many researchers are looking into all the possibilities for medical marijuana. So do you have any hypotheses at this point as to why it’s working for women so well or how it’s working or both? Yeah. So for the sex realm, I think it works for a variety of reasons. I think one it does now. Well, let me preface this by saying it’s not going to make sex fantastic in every situation with Person you have to be in a comfortable situation with somebody that you trust. You know, I certainly don’t recommend this to everybody in every situation and definitely not children. Definitely not so but in the right situation with the right person or by yourself, I think it lowers anxiety and having treated women with sexual problems. I think anxiety plays a huge role when it comes to pain and when it comes to orgasm but even just with the libido if you’re a little nervous about things, you know, it can lower your anxiety. I think it slows down the perception of time and it heightens all of your senses so that feeling of touch and taste and smell like I think it just heightens your senses and makes everything seem so much bigger in your brain. That’s generally what it does in life. Right and just don’t make sense. I guess that that would have been super into into sex
So what anything any part of I know you haven’t done the studies yet or so much better you looking at all at Men’s Health is part of this to to see if they’re similar reaction or you staying focused on women at this point.
So I’m just staying focused on women. I used to be full time at Saint Louis University. Now, I’m an Adjunct professor there and I have my own private practice in Missouri. And when I was full time at SLU, I had reached out to one of the urologist who had a an interest in men’s health and we talked about doing something together, but we never got on it and I can’t do it myself because I am not a men’s sexual health expert by no means none of my patients are men. So so I don’t know if he’s like had any idea, you know desire to go down that route, but I don’t I don’t treatment or semen so I’m kind of useless when it comes to that.
Yeah, I went to Indiana University a long time ago, but I know they’ve really A lot of leadership experience in the area of sexual health for men and women. So I don’t know if there’s any is there anybody there working on anything similar to what you’re looking
at or do you know not that I know of since my paper was published.
There’s been a couple more papers, but I can’t remember off the top of my head where they’re coming from. I want to say one was like maybe Stanford, but I’m not a hundred percent sure, right. So what’s next for you in terms of exploring this further? I mean how How do you hope to I guess gather the support to explore more clinical testing that is that where your mind is. Well, so my immediate project is I’m working with a couple people and we are writing a review of the effects of cannabinoids on pelvic pain because I think that is a huge window of opportunity like I mentioned there’s a lot of As for cannabinoids in the reproductive tract and one of the places where it shows some promise maybe we don’t know because we don’t have enough data yet is in women with endometriosis and endometriosis causes chronic pelvic pain when it gets bad, it’s horrible. So what endometriosis is where the endometrium or they’ll the tissue that lines the uterus what women shed each month with a period can be implanted in the pelvis on the bladder on the bowel. On pelvic sidewall and it causes inflammation and it causes terrible pain and it causes painful sex and there is some preliminary thought and very preliminary data that cannabinoids might help with pain due to endometriosis. So we’re in the process of looking at all the literature and writing a review of what we know on on how cannabinoids affect pelvic pain because there’s really good data there is data on pain in general. And cannabinoids, you know, it’s at least in Missouri chronic pain is one of the you know diagnosis that you can use to say that someone is able to use medical marijuana. So we know that it works for pain. So with this review, we’re sort of honing in on chronic pelvic pain. I don’t have any anything like my questionnaires that I did in the works at this point mainly because I’m not full-time academic. Mix anymore. So to do a big study is a lot more complicated, but I’m definitely working on the paper with chronic pelvic pain.
And in that regard are you looking for thinking is your hypothesis? That is it could be CBD or THC or both or is it does it matter to you and your research?
So CBD does have an it’s an analgesic also, so and you know, I don’t know what the right answer is it CBD or is it? Cannabis or is it a combination of both and my suspicion is that probably a combination of both because they potentiate each other and if you know you mix CBD and THC maybe you don’t have to use as much THC and when you think about medical marijuana, it’s different from recreational
marijuana. The goal isn’t to get stoned the goal is to use as little as you need to have an Effect on whatever you’re treating so it’s not to get high. And so, you know you I think that’s why that’s part of the reason. I think that THC and CBD combined will probably pan out in the future. Yeah. Well it remains to be seen one place. I do use CBD and this is totally not Based on data that collects data that’s published is I see a lot of women with chronic pelvic pain and vulvodynia. And so vulvodynia is pain on the vulva and there’s no reason for it. It’s not a yeast infection. It’s not that you use the wrong soap or detergent or something like that. Some women have chronic pain of the Bola and as you can imagine it’s horrifying,
you know, and so there’s a variety of reasons that happens, but I have a couple patients who have You know been treated with everything and gone everywhere the Mayo Clinic and Northwestern and like with all the tried-and-true treatments that we have haven’t gotten better. And so, you know, I was talking to one this all just got started because there are CBD Lubes out there and there are CBD suppositories and and things like that and I said because of what I know about cannabis and marijuana and cannabinoids I said, you know, there’s the CBD Lube. I don’t know if it’s going to help. Bu, you know, but it’s pretty benign from a reputable company. And so my one patient who was seriously had tried everything that’s been going on for years. She tried the CBD lube and she loved it and it helped her pain so much so it’s totally anecdotal because you don’t know that it’s really the CBD in the lube. It could be the other stuff that’s in the one to but so we tried it with another chronic pelvic pain patient, and she said it took her pain from an eight. On a Pain Scale to it too. And so I’m just like and I don’t know if we can’t prove that. It’s the CBD but knowing what I know about CBD I’m excited to see where that goes. And I do know that there is a trial going on on the East Coast a friend of mine is looking at a CBD lube for vulvodynia, and I was reading about how CBD works and CBD works by binding to the Seeing receptor as capsaicin so capsaicin. I don’t know if you know much about capsaicin. It comes from peppers and it hurts like hell but it’s supposed to help with pain. What’s that strong anti-inflammatory? Yeah. So so I never it’s a known treatment for vulvodynia, but I’ve never had the courage to use it because what I’ve heard like when you first put it on it burns like crazy,
so I’ve never used it, but I read somewhere that CBD binds to the same receptor as capsaicin, which is a known treatment for vulvodynia. So I was like, oh, you know, maybe it’s going to work. Who knows but I definitely see the potential in it.
That’s great. That’s thanks for sharing that logic to around why you think things are working because without studies we don’t really know right but it’s okay. You can apostasies base with with experience and professional judgment like you have so thank you for for sharing that
What else could you share with us that I haven’t asked you about? What on your mind?
Hmm. What is on my mind?
When you’re there in st. Louis, right? So in Missouri, the legalization status is medical because I could Practice Medical but I know there’s a big movement to make it work to make recreational marijuana legal and actually, you know, it was passed in 2018 and on the November ballot and the first dispensaries just opened in Missouri within the last month or so, so I’m interested to see where it goes.
What are you looking for when you advise your patients? What from a quality standpoint? What do you advise them? You said you referenced earlier from a reputable company?
Yeah, so, you know so I know a couple vendors that I trust and what I’ve read and heard is that you know, the FDA has gone and tested some of these online CBD products, right? And so, you know one group that they tested had no CBD and no THC another group that was sold as CBD really had THC in it and so, you know and I see these places even right now. I’m actually in Los Angeles visiting my parents like I shouldn’t say that online, but we’re stuck at home. So, you know, I see like just down the street. There’s like two stores. Well, he in in in California. It’s all legal, but I’ve worked with a couple of vendors that I think I And I go with that and they have mine. I don’t remember the designation. I don’t remember it off the top of my head that says they’re reputable certifications that you’re looking for the people. Yes. Yeah a very common one is the u.s. Hemp Authority certification. That’s one minute. Yeah, but I refer people to look for that and they’re looking through for CBD. Yeah, and you know, the thing with CBD is if you look on the internet it says it fixes everything and there is nothing in the This world that fixes everything. So I think people have to be careful with that. It’s not the answer to everything and you know, the thing is also because it’s over the counter. It doesn’t have to undergo the rigorous testing that medicines have to undergo and it’s not regulated like the, you know from being the pharmaceutical industry how tightly regulated when you get your prescription, you know exactly what’s in it. It’s exactly the Name is the bottle of you’re going to get next month. But with these over-the-counter things, they’re really not well regulated at all. So you have to be careful and I feel like there’s a lot of false advertising and marketing claims about everything that CBD does and so be careful what you read. I think yeah, I think that’s great and great advice and thank you so much for your time today. It’s been a pleasure meeting you and getting to know you a bit here, but stay in touch for sure. I get them excited to see where Research goes and best of luck and thank you for doing what you’re doing for women. Thank you for having me. It was fun. Okay.
Have a great weekend. Thank you. All right, bye-bye Thank you for listening Today Show always brought to you by Magic Immune A Tea available a packedwithlife.com. They mushroom tea that tastes great Try it magic Immune A Tea packedwithlife.com.