Marijuana boosts libido and enhances sexual performance, a new study has found – despite previous research suggesting the opposite.
For years, many scientists have associated the drug with sexual dysfunction.
But new research by the Stanford University School of Medicine has found that, on the contrary, cannabis users have 20 percent more sex than non-users – and there appears to be a causal connection.
The findings, published today in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, are based on an analysis of more than 50,000 Americans between the ages of 25 and 45 – and they mark the first ever to examine the relationship between marijuana and sex in the US.
Smoking marijuana has been linked to increased sexual activity (file image)
‘Frequent marijuana use doesn’t seem to impair sexual motivation or performance. If anything, it’s associated with increased coital frequency,’ said the study’s senior author, Michael Eisenberg, MD, assistant professor of urology.
The most recent data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse show more than 20 million American adults use marijuana – and that rate is rocketing as more states legalize the drug for recreational and medical use. It is already legal in 29 states.
The rapid legalization movement has pushed scientists to investigate all aspects of the drug’s properties and impacts.
Research is divided on many points – but when it comes to sex, things are especially murky.
Some studies have found the drug affects a man’s sperm count and erectile function, while others have shown it activates sexual arousal in the brain.
Drs Eisenberg and Andrew Sun, the lead author, assessed data compiled from the National Survey of Family Growth.
The annual survey assesses family structures, sexual activity and the number of children, and US demographics.
Participants have to say how many times they’ve had sex in the past month, and how much marijuana they’ve consumed over the past year.
Looking at all this data from 2002 to 2017, the researchers zeroed in on the age group of 25-45 – 28,176 women with an average ago of 29.9 and 22,943 men with an average age of 29.5.
‘The overall trend we saw [of marijuana increasing sexual frequency] 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,’ Dr Eisenberg said.
They found a quarter (24.5 percent) of men, and 14.5 percent of women had used marijuana over the time period, and those who had used the drug reported a highly frequency of sexual intercourse than those who hadn’t.
For example, women who did not report using marijuana had sex around six times a month, compared to cannabis users, who had sex an average of 7.1 times a month.
The difference was more stark for men – surprisingly, given the widely publicized suggestion that pot triggers erectile dysfunction. Non-marijuana users had sex 5.6 a month, compared to daily users who had sex an average of 6.9 a month.
Crunching the figures, the authors found pot increased sexual activity by 20 percent.
They found this was true of all people – eliminating the theory that it is only true for people who smoke weed to relax before sex, they said.
While the authors assured that this does not categorically prove weed directly boosts sexual activity, they said it calls into question previous studies suggesting the opposite.