Placebo Effects


I was in a conversation with some marijuana nerds the other day, and one of them talked about how there aren’t really any pure sativa or pure indica strains anymore. It’s all hybrids, and the differences people feel between them is mostly placebo effect.

I do feel like I can sense the differences between strains, but how could I ever know if it’s just my brain tricking itself into thinking that I have more of an active, party high, or more of a sleepy, couch-lock high?

Obviously, the placebo effect is an important factor with which developers of pharmaceuticals ought to concern themselves. Outside of contexts like that, though, perhaps it doesn’t matter so much. If hearing a description of the nice head high that Golden Goat is supposed to induce makes one interpret one’s experience as a head high, then that’s great.

When I made a batch of my own cannalube, I didn’t know how it would affect me. No-one told me about what putting marijuana-infused coconut oil on my genitals would feel like. The sensation was pretty fantastic. It felt like my clit got engorged more quickly than usual. I didn’t come any faster than usual, perhaps, but it was an especially powerful orgasm when I got there. The first time I used it, I was really trying to think about how it affected my experience because I was writing a recipe and review for a potential writing job. I have used it many times since, and it always improves the experience for me, but sometimes I think about whether my wanting it to work is what makes it work.

But ultimately, I don’t care. My subjective experience is what matters when it comes to sex. The words my sex partners use to describe what they want to do to me can get me raring to go, or completely turn me off, even if they are describing the exact same thing. Words matter. Desires matter. Feelings matter. That they are not tangible does not make them less valid and impactful.

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