Protecting the nether region

illustration by maria ratinova

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at

Hey, you keep mentioning these cannabis-infused sex lubes and they sound like fun, but are they safe? I mean, can cannabis hurt the coochie? And how much is too much? Will it get me stoned?

—Georgia O’Kief

These are the deep, penetrating questions. Time to call in the professionals. Dr. Jen Gunter is an OB-GYN, and she writes books and stuff. In fact, she’s working on a new book about lady bits as we speak, and her blog is fantastic. I asked her via Twitter (@DrJenGunter) about the risks of cannabis lubes, and she told me that while she isn’t a cannabis expert (still a doctor though), “People must be careful dosing-wise if they don’t want to get high. Start at the very lower end and gauge response.” Since most cannabis lubes are low dose—three pumps of velvet swing contains about 5 milligrams of THC—I, as a cannabis expert, will tell you that the odds of getting more than a tingling sensation in your nether parts is low. She also told me that she wasn’t aware of any data about whether or not the vagina has cannabinoid receptors, and so she couldn’t say anything about the science of how cannabis lubes make things just a little better. She also cautioned that cannabis use (just smoking, not rubbing on the lady bits) is associated with a 20 percent increase in yeast infections, although correlation is not causation. It’s probably not the weed, but that stoners like to mix sex-time and snack-time together, if you know what I mean. So perhaps it’s best not to use a cannabis lube every day, especially if one is prone to yeast infections. Also: most lubes these days are water-based, but there are a few oil-based, canna-lubes out there. (Hippies love coconut oil almost as much as they love tantric sex.) Be careful with those. Oil-based lubes and condoms do not get along at all.

I hate to throw away all the plastic waste from vape pens, can you recommend any refillable options?

—Petra “Kim” Ikal

You know, it’s kinda funny how the cannabis industry, which used to be filled with hippies and environmentalists, has embraced plastic disposable pens and cartridges with a quickness. I get that pens are convenient and very discreet, but does anyone care about leaving a small environmental footprint anymore? As to your question: Pax, Prohibited and a few other companies sell vaporizers that can be used for waxes and oils. They are fairly easy to use, and once you get the hang of it, you can load up a fat dab hit with minimal muss and fuss. Also, many dispensaries in California have cartridge recycling programs, so you can drop your empties in the box.