4 ways cannabis affects sex

Published: January 10, 2020

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While claims of cannabis improving the sexual experience are circulating on the internet, scientific data is lacking to support any definitive conclusions. However, one study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine examined whether cannabis use before sex affects the sexual experience for women, and the results suggest it could increase sex drive and pleasure.

Green with pleasure

The recipe for a romantic dinner with a happy ending is going green. One study points to cannabis being an aphrodisiac.

“There are a variety of ideas as to why. One is that it lowers your anxiety and stress, and gives you a little bit more confidence in your sexual ability,” says Becky Kaufman Lynn, a gynaecologist who has studied the relationship between sex and cannabis. “It may slow down your perception of time and heighten sensation.”

Quality and quantity

Lynn became interested in the relationship between cannabis and sex after several patients told her the drug improves their experiences in bed. About 30 per cent of women who responded via questionnaire reported using cannabis before sex.

Of them, two-thirds reported it made sex better, by increasing libido and pleasure. Only three per cent said marijuana ruined the mood, while the rest had no opinion, or were neutral. Several women reported using cannabis specifically to dull pain that interfered with their enjoyment of sex.

Getting busier

It could suggest that cannabis encourages more sex and research out of Stanford backs that up. Researchers analyzed data of more than 50,000 American adults from the U.S. National Survey of Family Growth, a multi-year look at all kinds of data, including sex and cannabis use. Men who used cannabis daily had 22 per cent more sex than abstainers, while female users reported 34 per cent more romps in the sack than adults who were THC-free .

The researchers weren’t sure why, except that cannabis users are chill. “Individuals who engage in marijuana use, or would be open about use, might be more psychologically disinhibited in general than those who are not,” the study authors wrote. “This also might be reflected in their sex life.”

Intimate setting

Or maybe where cannabis is being consumed puts users in the mood. A small study published in 2016 proposes that the illicit nature of cannabis led to more sex. It’s not so much the “bad boy” image that made cannabis users appear sexier, but rather that when cannabis was illegal it was usually consumed in a private place, setting up the chance for intimacy.

“If you get someone to come home with you to smoke weed, it’s a way to facilitate getting a sexual connection,” explained Joseph Palamar, the study’s lead author.

It’s too early to tell if legalization has led to a corresponding reduction in the chances of getting lucky.

Stronger swimmers

The more surprising research is that cannabis use increases sperm counts. Previous studies suggested aspiring dad’s should avoid cannabis. But a recent study out of Harvard University linked cannabis with increased sperm concentrations and higher testosterone. Testing a combination of blood and sperm samples, they found men who consumed had higher sperm counts and concentrations than those that hadn’t. And “more intense use” led to higher blood levels of testosterone.

Sex and cannabis: the right stuff

All that science suggests cannabis could be better than chocolate, wine, or a romantic dinner. But before lighting up with your date remember that getting too high could ruin the mood as not all cannabis is created equal.

If you’re nervous or anxious, cannabis with higher concentrations of CBD will calm you down, making it easier to get into the mood and reduce the chances of performance issues. To actually make sex feel better THC is more important, argues Andrew Mieure, owner of Top Shelf Budtending and a certified cannabis sommelier.

“In my personal experience, I’ve noticed a very clear difference in sensitivity after consuming THC, which CBD alone does not provide,” he says. “However, it’s always a balance game to find the right combination of cannabinoids.” His own preference is a 1:1, the CBD to reduce anxiety and the THC for euphoria and relaxation. “Too much THC and I’m a heart-pounding mess.”

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