To say designer, entrepreneur and activist April Pride is doing her part to inspire women to embrace cannabis for all the right reasons is an understatement. Van der Pop, her lifestyle line features streamlined accessories that defy what most of us envision when we picture weed-centric products (no cheesy leaf motifs here). Now she’s coming out with a self-care, aptly called SELF, featuring hemp seed oil as its primary ingredient. It’s also important to note one of them is a vaginal lubricant. She’s also a major advocate of using cannabis for health and wellness. We talked to April about sex, weed and why are the two are an ideal match, especially for women.


Van der Pop

Van der Pop

For those who don’t know, what’s so great about having sex when you’re high?
Just to preface, since so little research has still been done on weed and how it pertains to sex, most of what I say is anecdotal. Just a few weeks ago, the New England Journal of Medicine published their findings on cannabidiol and seizures and that was the first time any cannabis research had been published in a well-respected American publication: three weeks ago. So it’s my own experience. It’s that which has been shared with me. Like this past Sunday morning, my best friend called me and she was like, “April, you need to write a book on how cannabis really creates incredible sex.” Like no shit, right?

She started talking about how it’s been awhile since she’d smoked with her partner but unexpectedly took an edible and had sex. She’s very happy with the sex she has with her current partner, but there’s a significant difference in how time stands still and you’re more sensitive to touch and more present. Your body can focus on the task at hand and get lost in time. There’s a network in your brain called the thalamo-cortico-striatal circuit that’s directly related to how you perceive time. It’s also high in cannabinoid receptors, so when you get high, it gets flooded with THC and lose track of time. So when that happens when you’re having sex, it just allows you to have much more present sex.

Right. But there’s still such a stigma attached to consuming cannabis. Like “stoner culture,” don’t you think?
This understanding about it is what’s missing. Everyone’s assuming people who are into weed aren’t smart and don’t care about the physiological happenings while we’re also having a lot of pleasure. But we want bang for our buck, right? Like, if I’ve got some time to kill for sex, let’s really do this right. We should always choose to get stoned if possible: That’s my thinking.

It boils down to three things. Anything that allows you to forget what you need to do in the morning or the one last thing you need to do before you go to bed: It’s like, “Yay.” You need to forget about that shit, especially when you’re trying to have sex. The second is sensitivity to touch. When the same fingers that have touched you for five years, 15 years, however long, when you’re stoned and they touch you, it feels different because the CB2 receptors within your connective tissue, your skin, are just on fire. They’ve been activated, so it feels better. The third is it’s better than alcohol because with cannabis, yes, your inhibition is still down, but it’s in a more sensual way.

Do you think it comes down to personal preference, when choosing between flower or oil or other modes of getting high?
I think you should do whatever you feel comfortable with. If your end goal is to have sex, it’s not the time to start experimenting with edibles because you might freak out. It’s not the time to dab for the first time if you’re not experienced.

But my one piece of advice is indica-dominant is the way to go when it comes to strains. With sativa or a sativa-dominant hybrid, you’re more likely to experience anxiety.

Van der Pop

Van der Pop

Would you recommend smoking if you’re having a one-night stand?
If you want to get the most out of a one-night stand, I would totally recommend getting high because you’re not going to overthink anything. It makes it more meaningful in a connected way. You’re just kind of dancing – versus messy, sloppy drunk sex.

Why is it beneficial to women especially?
The first thing is we need to get out of our own heads and figure out how to relax. I find so many women say things like, “I just can’t get the to-do list out of my mind” or “It just takes me so much to unwind from the day so I can get to a place where I can relax and enjoy it.” It seems like women overthink. We’re just more wound up.

What kind of progress would you like to see in the next year or several years? Aside from complete legalization, obviously.
If you look at the pharmaceutical industry, there are 27 products for men’s sexual health in the market and there is one for women and it’s only kind of good. I don’t think we need any more pills to take; we’re all taking enough pills. Sexual satisfaction is an area in which women really struggle. It breaks up marriages. It leads to affairs. People want to be sexually satisfied and if they could figure out a way to do that with their current partner, it would help.

I’d like to see women’s sexual health be taken seriously by people creating cannabis products. It’s not just about getting high, which I find to be the hardest thing to get across to women who aren’t already down to consume. There are strains that are high in CBD and then there are vaginal topicals: You don’t have to get high to have a good time. What I’m really proposing here is an alternative for our sexual happiness that’s all-natural.


Photos by Jessa Carter.