People who smoke marijuana regularly definitely need to be wary of the many effects weed may have on their bodies. One thing they probably don’t have to be concerned about? Their sex drives. People who say they smoke weed every day also say they have more sex, according to a new study from Stanford University.
Doctors and scientists had previously voiced concerns that blazing up may kill your sex drive. But Stanford researchers analyzed data from more than 50,000 people between the ages of 25 and 45 via the National Survey of Family Growth, and they found that the frequent smokers definitely fired up their sex lives along with their vapes and bongs.
Nonsmoking women reported knocking boots an average of six times during the previous four weeks, while daily stoners said they did it just more than seven times. For men, the numbers are similar: Nonusers did the dirty an average of 5.6 times over the previous four weeks, while those who smoked daily reported 6.9 times. That’s about 20% more sexual intercouse for team Reefer Madness. “Frequent marijuana use doesn’t seem to impair sexual motivation or performance.
If anything, it’s associated with increased coital frequency,” said senior study author Michael Eisenberg, assistant professor of urology, according to the university press release. (Make a note: The next time someone suspects you’re having sex more often, just say you’re dealing with a bout of “increased coital frequency”.)
The results don’t prove that pot actually causes higher sex drives, but they do hint at it, according to Eisenberg. This is the first study to look at the relationship between marijuana and sex frequency in the United States, but it’s about time, considering an estimated nearly 25 million American adults use it, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “The overall trend we saw applied to people of both sexes and all races, ages, education levels, income groups, and religions, every health status, whether they were married or single and whether or not they had kids,” Eisenberg said.
New studies are constantly done on the effects that weed has on your body, but for now, a low sex drive isn’t one you need to get paranoid about. How individuals react to THC depends on a host of variables, such as your familiarity with the drug, the setting, or your current mood. But many people report that marijuana is great for sex. In one 2016 study, approximately half of pot users reported feeling “aphrodisiac effects” after smoking pot, while 70% said they experienced “enhancement in pleasure and satisfaction.”
For men in particular, marijuana is purported to delay orgasm, and some guys have reported that marijuana can help them last longer. But that might not always be a good thing. According to researchers from LaTrobe University, men who smoke pot daily are four times more likely to have trouble reaching climax than men who do not smoke pot, though the authors of the study speculated that might be the result of men who experience ED over-self-medicating with the drug.
Some men have also reported that marijuana helps them achieve and maintain erections. But it might not be marijuana in itself that’s resulting in this effect. Dr. Thomas Green is a board-certified urologist who has treated men with erectile dysfunction for the past 38 years, and he says that anxiety can be a contributing factor for erectile dysfunction, particularly if there is no identifiable
physiological cause. While he says we still have “much to learn about the effect of cannabis on erections,” there’s some evidence to suggest that low doses of marijuana can decrease anxiety, which can play a role in helping to maintain erections. “If we look at the effects of anxiety on erections, it appears that anxiety can cause intermittent impotence,” he said.
“Therefore, on an anecdotal basis, I would recommend moderation to increase the odds of erectile success.” That said, some research suggests that marijuana might not be as beneficial to erectile strength as we think. One Canadian study of monkey penises and marijuana (yup, really) found that high doses of THC decreased the ability of the smooth muscle of the erectile body to contract, making achieving erections less likely. (Smaller doses showed no change in erectile strength.)
The bottom line? The research on marijuana and sex is often self-contradictory, and making sense of it can be exasperating. What we do know, however, is that the effects of marijuana vary from person to person, so one person’s libido booster could be another person’s boner-killer.