A new scientific review of academic research on cannabis and human sexuality concludes that while the relationship between marijuana and sex is a complicated one, use of cannabis is generally associated with more frequent sexual activity as well as increased sexual desire and enjoyment.

The article, published this week in the journal Psychopharmacology, also suggests that lower doses of marijuana may actually be best suited for sexual satisfaction, while higher doses could in fact lead to decreases in desire and performance. And it suggests the effects may differ based on a person’s gender.

“Reports suggest that cannabis has the potential to enhance sexual pleasure, reduce inhibitions, alleviate anxiety and shame, and promote intimacy and connection with sexual partners,” wrote the five-author research team from The Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. “Furthermore, it has been associated with increased pleasure during masturbation and enhanced sensory experiences during sexual encounters. These observations indicate that cannabis may have notable effects on sexual experiences.”

The nine-page literature review says that while sex is a complex dynamic influenced by various physical and emotional factors, marijuana “affects individuals in an integrative manner, impacting both physical and emotional aspects, which can potentially influence sexual experiences.”

“Individuals who use cannabis more frequently tend to report higher levels of sexual activity.”

Women typically see more beneficial sexual effects from cannabis use, the paper says, though less research has been done looking into women’s experiences. Published literature suggests that marijuana can relieve painful intercourse, or dyspareunia, authors wrote, adding: “Moreover, low doses of cannabinoids, including THC and tetrahydrocannabivarin [THCV], which possess sedative and hypnotic qualities, could potentially alleviate anxiety associated with sexual activities or interpersonal interactions, consequently disinhibiting sexual desire and arousal, particularly in certain women.”

Some advocates have cited the potential for cannabis to improve sexual function in women as a reason to add conditions such as female orgasmic disorder (FOD) as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.

As for men, the new Psychopharmacology article notes that studies’ findings “are conflicting—some suggest that cannabis causes erectile disfunction, premature ejaculation, and postponed ejaculation, while others claim the opposite.”

Dosage also appears to be key, though there’s still a need for more investigation.

“Throughout our study, we found the dosage and frequency of cannabis use to be modulating factors in the effects of cannabis on sexual experiences,” the report says. “However, the many conflicting findings of different studies raise questions on the validity of the findings.”

The relationship between cannabis and sex is “complex…with lower doses generally showing positive effects and higher doses potentially leading to diminished sexual experiences.”

For instance, authors found research to support the conflicting ideas that marijuana has positive, negative and neutral effects on male orgasms.

As for frequency, more regular cannabis use appears to correlate with greater sexual function, at least in general. A survey of female customers at a cannabis dispensary, the paper says, found that compared to low-frequency users, women who used cannabis more often scored higher on measures of female sexual function.

“Increasing cannabis usage frequency by an additional day was associated with higher total FSFI scores, as well as improvements in desire, arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction domains,” it continues. “Furthermore, as the frequency category increased, the likelihood of reporting sexual dysfunction declined.”

Another study found that women who used marijuana frequently “had twice the odds of reporting satisfactory orgasms compared to those with infrequent use.”

Among men, some research suggests a correlation between daily cannabis use and difficulties in achieving orgasm, “including both delayed and premature ejaculation.” At the same time, another study found “no significant association between the frequency of cannabis use and trouble maintaining an erection,” authors wrote.

Yet another study found that men who used cannabis regularly scored higher on measures of erectile function, the report says. “Furthermore, they performed better in four out of the five functional domains of the [International Index of Erectile Function], namely erectile, orgasm, intercourse satisfaction, and overall satisfaction.”

A smaller study using the same measurement index, however, found the opposite result, observing a negative correlation between frequent use and all domains of sexual function.

“Studies investigating the impact of cannabis use frequency on human sexuality have yielded diverse and occasionally conflicting findings,” researchers wrote, calling for more research “with a focus on standardization of frequency measurement and controlling for more covariates.”

Authors of the new literature review say their findings make “evident that cannabis exerts a multifaceted influence on various aspects of human sexuality, encompassing both positive and negative outcomes.” Further research is necessary to expand the scientific understanding of marijuana’s effects on sexuality, they added, which “can aid in mitigating harm and potentially enhancing human experiences.”

Some of the research cited in the study comes from clinical sexologist Suzanne Mulvehill and Jordan Tischler, a doctor and cannabis specialist. A report based on a 2022 survey, for example, found that among women who experienced challenges in achieving orgasm, more than 7 in 10 said cannabis use increased orgasm ease (71 percent) and frequency (72.9 percent), and two-thirds (67 percent) said it improved orgasm satisfaction.

A separate report from the same dataset, by the same authors was published in March by the Journal of Sexual Medicine in a shorter, two-page form.

Mulvehill has been one of the leaders behind state-level efforts to recognize female orgasmic disorder as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. In March, officials in Illinois voted in favor of the addition.

There’s growing evidence that marijuana can improve sexual function, regardless of sex or gender. A study last year in the Journal of Cannabis Research found that more than 70 percent of surveyed adults said cannabis before sex increased desire and improved orgasms, while 62.5 percent said cannabis enhanced pleasure while masturbating.

Because past findings indicated women who have sex with men are typically less likely to orgasm than their partners, authors of that study said cannabis “can potentially close the orgasm in equality gap.”

A 2020 study in the journal Sexual Medicine, meanwhile, found that women who used cannabis more often had better sex.

Numerous online surveys have also reported positive associations between marijuana and sex. One study even found a connection between the passage of marijuana laws and increased sexual activity.

Yet another study, however, cautions that more marijuana doesn’t necessarily mean better sex. A literature review published in 2019 found that cannabis’s impact on libido may depend on dosage, with lower amounts of THC correlating with the highest levels of arousal and satisfaction. Most studies showed that marijuana has a positive effect on women’s sexual function, the study found, but too much THC can actually backfire.

Separately, a paper published earlier this year in the journal Nature Scientific Reports that purported to be the first scientific study to formally explore the effects of psychedelics on sexual functioning found that drugs such as psilocybin mushrooms and LSD could have beneficial effects on sexual functioning—even months after use.

“On the surface, this type of research may seem ‘quirky,’” one of the authors of that study said, “but the psychological aspects of sexual function—including how we think about our own bodies, our attraction to our partners, and our ability to connect to people intimately—are all important to psychological wellbeing in sexually active adults.”

Legalizing Marijuana Leads To ‘Substantial Decrease’ In Intimate Partner Violence, Study Shows

Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

The post Marijuana Use Linked To Better And More Frequent Sex, Study Finds—But Dosage Is Critical appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Read MoreMarijuana Moment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *