MERRY JANE Just Published a Set of Books on How to Harness the Power of CBD
The rumors are true: MERRY JANE just published a three-part book series on how to use the power of CBD to upgrade your sex, wellness, and overall lifestyle! Here's what you need to know about these dope reads.
Published on October 7, 2020

The CBD market is massive — and it quickly exploded into a worldwide obsession. Less than five years ago, no one (save weed nerds) had ever heard of the acronym. Now, you can find the cannabinoid in everything — from chapstick to capsules to dog treats — and it’s sold essentially everywhere — from CVS to Amazon to random gas stations along interstate highways.

It’s a beautiful thing to witness the death of cannabis’ archaic stigma. It’s only because of this new-found acceptance that MERRY JANE exists. And it’s the reason we’re able to publish books written by expert authors on the various ways in which cannabis, specifically CBD, can help people live their best lives. In fact, we just published a three-book set on just that. 

The CBD Solution: Sex is written by Ashley Manta, better known as the “CannaSexual,” the cannabis and sex expert who’s been featured in numerous publications including Playboy, Vice, Cosmopolitan, RollingStone, and MERRY JANE for her expertise in the art of pleasure. In the book, Manta, an award-winning sex educator, guides readers through the ins and outs of assembling a CBD tool kit for reinvigorating your pleasure journey, rituals, and body love. She also provides recipes, including DIY CBD lube and a CBD mocktail — ideal for your next date night. Whether you’re solo or partnered, this guide focuses on rediscovering sex as a joyful exploration of what turns you on, with the help of CBD’s therapeutic properties.

The CBD Solution: Wellness and The CBD Solution: Living are both written by Lauren Wilson, author of three best sellers, including Healing with CBD: How Cannabidiol Can Transform Your Health Without the High. Our Wellness book is currently available for purchase. The CBD Living hardcover has yet to be released, but is expected to hit shelves in 2021.

Wilson, who’s written several books on cooking, walks readers through the history, science, medicinal benefits, and healing properties of CBD in The CBD Solution: Wellness. It demystifies how the non-intoxicating compound can help with pain, nausea, anxiety, stress, sleep, skin health, and more. Wilson dives into the pros and cons of the different ways one can ingest CBD, how to choose the right products for your needs, and how to upgrade your self-care with DIY CBD face masks, healing ointments, and bath bombs. 

The CBD Solution: Living, which will be out in 2021, guides readers on how to improve their day-to-day with CBD. She provides concrete instructions on incorporating CBD into skin care and beauty rituals, integrating CBD into food and drinks, and 25 different ways to use CBD to ultimately upgrade your life. 

All three books were written for cannabis veterans and novices alike, as Manta and Wilson use CBD as a vehicle to discuss larger topics, such as self-care, sex, and becoming the best version of ourselves — all subjects no one can know everything about. We caught up with Manta and Wilson to get the details on the books, what they learned, and how CBD can upgrade your life in every way. Take notes from the experts, friends. 


Courtesy of Chronicle Books

MERRY JANE: In a nutshell, what is it about CBD that can make sex a more enjoyable experience?

Ashley Manta: CBD, when used mindfully and deliberately, can help address the things that get in the way of enjoying sex. Common things include worry and struggles with confidence, physical discomfort, or feeling disconnected from one’s body due to stress. 

CBD topicals are great for increasing the pleasure of physical sensations while reducing the severity of pangs and twinges. CBD ingestibles and inhalables are helpful for getting into a more erotic headspace by helping to dissipate some of the mental chatter and feelings of overwhelm. Not to mention, the ritual of including CBD in a sexual experience can add an element of sacredness, which deepens connection and feelings of presence.

How can CBD change the way you think about sex with yourself and others? 

Ashley Manta: Changing the way you think about sex with yourself is the best place to start. CBD can be woven into self-love practices and personal development work to help quiet our noisy brains, so you can be in the moment with yourself. From there, it becomes easier to connect with others from a grounded place because you’re already over what Dr. Emily Nagoski calls “your emotional center of gravity.” That might look like taking a bath with a CBD infused bath bomb and then standing in front of the mirror making kind and loving declarations about yourself. It could also look like taking a dose of CBD tincture before a therapy session or an intense discussion with a partner to help keep you in the moment rather than jumping to conclusions.


Courtesy of Chronicle Books

What was the best part of writing The CBD Solution: Sex? What did you learn?

Ashley Manta: I love every single word of the book! I’m so proud of the depth and breadth of the topics covered, the expert interviews, and the ability to focus on the things I’m most passionate about. I loved reframing foreplay in the partnered sex chapter, I loved promoting masturbation in the solo sex chapter, and I loved getting geeky about CBD in the introductory chapter. 

The sexual wellness chapter was the one I was most proud to write. There are sections in that chapter around disclosing an STI status to a prospective partner, living with chronic pain, and supporting a partner with trauma. Those skills are so crucial to having authentic and emotionally evolved relationships, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to share those pieces of knowledge. I learned that having an extensive network makes writing a book infinitely easier because when I needed quotes or research, I had a lot of colleagues to draw from!

Using CBD during sex is often associated with female-identifying people or those with vaginas. Is it just as effective for male-identifying people or those with penises?

Ashley Manta: Yes and no. CBD topicals for genitals are much more beneficial for folks with vulvas. However, CBD suppositories work for anyone with a rectum (or vagina), so that equalizes things a bit, and penis-havers can definitely benefit from smoking or vaping CBD, or consuming CBD products orally, or applying topicals to sore muscles or painful spots. CBD (ingested or inhaled) can increase feelings of calm and comfort, and that’s good for any gender.


Courtesy of Chronicle Books

How about Baby Boomers? How can CBD improve the sex lives of seniors?

Ashley Manta: My dad was actually one of the sources for my book! He and his partner are both in their mid-60’s and use CBD products regularly for sexy fun times. He finds that it helps with the arthritis in his shoulders, and she says it helps increase her orgasmic capacities. 

What is one thing you want people to know about The CBD Solution: Sex and/ or incorporating cannabis/CBD into the bedroom?

I want you to know that this book is by no means exhaustive. It is a fabulous primer for the world of cannabis and sex, but it is intentionally short (only 208 pages!) to make it accessible to people who are new to CBD, and looking to expand and enhance their intimacy. I wanted to get people on the same page about consent, boundaries, communication, pleasure-based anatomy, and the science of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids as starting points for exploration. This book does all of that and more. 

For an even deeper dive, check out the Sex and Cannabis Professional Alliance, which I co-founded with some of the experts I quoted in the book including Dr. Jordan Tishler, MD; Chelsea Cebara, and Reba Corrine Thomas; or listen to my podcast, “Elevated Intimacy.” I’ll also be teaming up with MERRY JANE for a live Q&A on Instagram and giving away signed copies of the book on my @cannasexual page in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out! 


Courtesy of Chronicle Books

What is the best way to talk to people about using CBD who are intimidated about “getting high” or using marijuana in general?

Lauren Wilson: The unfortunate reality is that there’s still a stigma around getting high, which is a bummer because THC can be such a therapeutic and healing experience! And, let’s be real: it’s often just plain fun. But, CBD is wonderful because it’s an accessible introduction to cannabis: It doesn’t “get you high,” but can have similar therapeutic effects for the body and one’s general health and wellness.

I always like to start off talking to people about the endocannabinoid system (ECS). A lot of people don’t realize that humans (and mammals and so many other creatures on Earth) have an innate bodily system that recognizes and works with the active compounds in hemp and cannabis. So, our bodies are designed to make use of the incredible compounds in these plants. Once folks get that our bodies have evolved to work with hemp and cannabis, the scariness around using cannabis becomes a bit less intimidating.

What is the difference between self-care and wellness? How can people incorporate CBD into their lives and authentically take care of themselves?

Lauren Wilson: Self-care leads to wellness. It’s a means to an end. In order to be well, one needs to engage in self-care, especially today — we need to practice radical self-care. To me, “self-care” is mostly about self-awareness. It’s about understanding what actions, foods, activities, relationships, etc. help you feel your best, and then carving out the time, energy, and focus to make sure you are doing those things. I think sometimes people think self-care is a selfish act when the opposite is true. It can help you be your best — not just for you, but for the world around you. In that sense, self-care, then, is a truly selfless act. 

In my experience, self-aware self-care is a process that means being attentive, reflecting, and being open to the hard truths you might arrive at about yourself, the way you live, and/or how you interact with others. This is where CBD and self-care become compatible. CBD can help us connect to ourselves and see things about our lives without harsh self-judgment and negative self-talk. 


Courtesy of Chronicle Books

Is all CBD made equally? What should people look for when they’re trying to find the best, most effective CBD product?

Lauren Wilson: The CBD market is a wild and wooly place! In short— no, not all CBD products are made equally. Fortunately, the hemp/CBD market has matured enough that most companies are really working hard to provide their customers with the cleanest and best CBD products they can. Much of that comes down to the plants themselves (how and where they were grown), and how the compounds in the plants were extracted. 

Certificates of Analysis (COAs) are the new gold standard, and any company worth their salt has their products tested by independent labs to ensure they contain the quantity of CBD that’s printed on the label and don’t contain nasty pesticides, heavy metals, or solvents. Always make sure you can access the test results specific to your product. 

What are plant allies? And how can they impact our lives?

Lauren Wilson: Plant allies are, simply put, our friends in the plant kingdom. Humans have grown up alongside many plants (most of which were here long before us) that are important pieces to the puzzle of life on Earth. I love the term “plant ally” because it formalizes and gives a modern spin to the ancient relationships we have to plants.

Right now is an especially exciting time for our relationship with plant allies, especially in regards to psychedelic plants. Psilocybin mushrooms are about a decade or less behind cannabis in terms of reform and access, while ayahuasca and ibogaine are finally being recognized for their abilities to heal.

Aside from the new frontier of plant medicine, we already use countless plants for our health and wellness: echinacea, turmeric, maca, milk thistle, aloe, and calendula to name a few. Adaptogens, like ashwagandha, goji berry, and turmeric, are another class of plant ally that is getting a lot of attention these days, too. Like the cannabinoids in hemp and cannabis, adaptogens are believed to work with our bodies to promote balance.


Courtesy of Chronicle Books

How can using CBD upgrade our lives?

Lauren Wilson: CBD is another option we can add to our wellness toolkits. If you’re engaging in self-aware self-care, you might come to find that CBD is a tool you want to pick up and use regularly, or it might be a tool you use only sometimes, or not at all. Cannabidiol has lots of potential for working with our bodies to bring more vitality and balance, it’s just a matter of exploring how it works for you.

*Available on Amazon Books: Wellness and Sex
*Available at Barns and Noble:
Wellness and Sex
*Available via Booktopia in Australia:
Wellness and Sex
*Available via Waterstones in the UK:
Wellness and Sex

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Mary Carreon
Mary Carreon is an award-winning journalist from Southern California and the Associate Editor at MERRY JANE. She’s drawn to stories about cannabis and the environment, social equity, veterans, the history of weed in California, and the rise of psychedelics and plant medicine in the 21st century. You can find her bylines in KCRW, Billboard, DoubleBlind Magazine, Forbes, CA Leaf Magazine, Kitchen Toke Magazine, OC Weekly, (the OG) LA Weekly, High Times Magazine, and more. Mary loves green juice, coffee, and red wine equally — but not at the same time. When she’s not reporting, you can find her doing yoga to Ravi Shankar, or migrating towards the nearest venue playing the best music. Follow Mary on social media @maryyyprankster or visit her at
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