The Herbivore: A Sense of Sensuality: A Brief History of Aphrodisiacs, Similar Terpenes, and Strains of the Like

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A Sense of Sensuality: A Brief History of Aphrodisiacs, Similar Terpenes, and Strains of the Like

By Zachariah Finning


History holds more than a few contrasting narratives of the origins of Valentine’s Day. Some humorous and fun, others warning about narcissism and extreme lust. Just as no two individuals share the same exact attributes, no two lovers’ perceptions of their love are identical. Alas, we as humans all strive to feel connected, loved, and that we belong in this world. Society, past, and present expects a lot of us and holding up those expectations and responsibilities can force our more primal drives out of us. Sensuality not only allows us to truly connect, both personally and physically, with the individual we care most for. It also brings us closer to ourselves in spirit and grounds us back into our physical body. Since the beginning of history, man has used a multitude of compounds to assist in the sensual experience. These compounds are known as aphrodisiacs and they come in many forms and varieties. There is even some anecdotal evidence to suggest that certain terpenes may increase your libido ensuring some cannabis strains are a perfect pairing for your Valentine’s Day.

It can be quite anguishing to have a lowered libido. Embarrassment, shame, anger, and resentment can all build up because of a lowered sexual drive. Science today suggests that our drive to be sensual can be affected by many things both internal and external (S1). Physical inhibitors could be too little or too much exercise, not enough sleep, extensive drug use (prescription or otherwise), and lowered hormone levels among many others. On the flip side, psychological factors like stress, depression, anxiety, and grievances in your personal relationships can all weigh heavily enough to disrupt our libido (S1). With so many factors at play, it is no wonder that mankind has looked towards mother nature to increase our desire for sensual intimacy and enhance our sense of touch. Since the beginning of modern history aphrodisiacs have been utilized to increase ones’ desire for, and performance during, intimate and sensual interactions.

Aphrodisiacs, according to the definition are food, drink, or drug that stimulates sexual desire (S3).   Symbolisms have long been an important factor in the history of aphrodisiacs. This started sometime in the Middle Ages with the emergence of “The Law of Similarities” (S2). This belief essentially dictates that “like causes like” insinuating things like sea cucumbers, asparagus, ginseng, and oysters all would increase desire because they are suggestively shaped or textured (S2). Eccentric and rare foods have always been in the canon of Aphrodisiacs. Birds Nest Soup, piranhas, and even a tincture of eel, lotus root, and charred newt all make the list for medieval, ancient, and feudal love cures (S2). In Greek mythology, Aphrodite, the goddess of sexual love, was born and rose from the sea. Due to this many seafoods have been deemed aphrodisiacs since their inception (S2). Some rumored and more common aphrodisiacs in history can be found in sweets and spices including chocolate, lavender, vanilla, ginseng, and mint; seafood such as clams, caviar, shrimp, mussels, and infamously oysters; produce such as truffle, cucumber, pomegranate, strawberries, figs, and even seaweed; absinthe, coffee, red wine, and certain spirits all hold aphrodisiacal properties as liquid beverages (S2). It is not only the desired after effect that leads us to aphrodisiacs, but it is also the act of using them and feeling them take hold. This conclusion can be drawn from the vast array of substances, ingredients, and methods of administration.

Aphrodisiacs are thought and believed to work by stimulating your senses. It is this stimulation of the senses that trigger a boost in hormones that send signals out to the rest of your body (S4). Some work directly on your body’s systems while others work more on your mind and mental state. The combination of sight, smell, taste, touch, and eventually lowered inhibitions all work together to create the magic of an aphrodisiac. Some rely more solely on one attribute while others combine a few (S4). This is intriguingly similar to the entourage effect when using cannabis. Different levels of THC and CBD along with varying terpene profiles play a huge part in the effects a specific strain of cannabis will have on an individual. Strawberries have long been thought to have aphrodisiacal properties going all the way back to the Romans. As referenced in a scientific study on modern commercial strawberries, the three main terpenes found in the succulent fruit are myrcene, linalool, and pinene (S5). Myrcene is the most commonly found terpene in modern cannabis and thought to promote calming effects. Linalool is believed to have anti-anxiety properties being found in lavender and birch bark. Pinene is the most common natural terpene in the world and it’s shown to have anti-inflammatory properties as well as pain relief (S6). The combination of those terpenes and their promoted effects on the body can easily show us why some believe the strawberry to be the fruit of love.

If you’re looking to enhance your Valentine’s day experience or any night of the year for that matter, there are many options available to you. Foods, with their aromas and aphrodisiacal properties, along with the right cannabis strains can all come together to increase your senses and thereby heighten the experience you and your lover share together. At High Mountain Health we host a number of strains that would pair perfectly with certain foods for a more elevated experience. The simplest strain pairing to utilize would be Original Sour Diesel and garlic (S7). Garlic by itself can be used in so many recipes from classic American, Italian, even Asian fare and its benefits as an aphrodisiac work on your circulatory system. The compound found in garlic responsible for this is allicin. It is known to stimulate blood flow helping a multitude of reactions required for physical intimacy. The razor-sharp and pervasive essence of a renowned sativa strain, Original Sour Diesel, helps create a sense of equilibrium complimenting the zest that garlic is known for (S7). If you’re the seafaring type, another great combination would be an oyster dish with the famed Super Lemon Haze. A little less popular, and more of an acquired taste, these mollusks are known to have a high amount of zinc. This mineral is essential for testosterone production which can boost sex drive in men (S7). Going back to symbolism the shape of this sea dweller is another provocative aspect of eating oysters. Nothing goes better with these than lemons. The terpene limonene found in both Super Lemon Haze and the lemons used to prepare the meal will give you a nice uplifting high along with anti-anxiety properties to help ease any tension (S7). If you’re done with dinner and it’s time for dessert a fun coupling would be bananas and Blue Dream. A banana split would be the perfect shareable dish to end your night. Besides the suggestive shape of bananas, they are also high in potassium. This mineral is essential for muscle strength and contractions - so you can keep on moving through the night (S7). Blue Dream’s calming yet euphoric effects mix naturally with the fruit’s rich nutrients and sweet flavor. No matter your taste or your preference, with a little trip to google you can find the perfect pairings for you and yours.

We strive for health and wellness in all aspects of one’s life here at High Mountain Health. Our home brand of concentrates KAYA has produced a special wellness-product that will certainly amplify your intimate experiences with the one you love. KAYA SUTRA is a Pleasure & Wellness Enhancement Oil. Produced using organic, fair trade coconut oil which is infused with KAYA’S ethanol extracted cannabis distillate (S8). It was designed to enhance tactile sensation, lubrication, blood flow, and give one a relaxing feeling during intimate activities.  KAYA Sutra has no psychoactive effects if applied topically.  However, at 2.8mg THC per spray, expect mild intoxication if consumed. Sutra can be used safely alone or with your partner. (Do not use with latex!)  Patients report heightened sensitivity and orgasm, warming sensations with intensified pleasure, and muscular relaxation with increased blood flow (S8).  As mentioned before, physical intimacy is an essential part of our lives as humans. It helps us stay grounded and connects us in many ways to the one we love. HMH and KAYA are happy to help enhance your personal experiences.

This Valentines Day is the first of the decade and many couples around the world will be looking to make their time together a little more memorable. Whether they choose to spice things up or calm things down, there are a multitude of combinations using aphrodisiacs, foods, cannabis strains, and wellness products that can help them achieve their ideal time together. The most important part of any relationship is embracing and being grateful for the person that you share your love with. The most crucial pairing this Valentine’s Day will be the one between you and your lover. The famous saying is “it takes two to tango.” Take time to understand their feelings, needs, and wants regularly so you can work together to create a memory that will last well beyond the heat of the moment.



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  6. Terpene Research information gathered by the employees of High Mountain Health. Terpene Informational Pamphlet-HMH