Birds, Bees, and Buds: What Do We Know About Cannabis and Sex?

[Canniseur: So many questions. Not enough answers. Some answers are here, but too few. Mostly because … wait for it … because there’s not enough research. This is the basic conundrum of cannabis. More research is needed. Lots more. But there can’t be more research until the U.S. Government reclassifies cannabis from Schedule 1. I’ve been yelling about this for so long I’m hoarse.]

Cannabis use has always been a controversial topic when it comes to reproductive health and sexual intercourse. While one side argues that some strains work as an aphrodisiac and that plant significantly boosts sexual performance, with even written folklore and religions preaching about it, others say it is connected to sexual dysfunction like premature ejaculation.

Still, modern science seems to praise the use of cannabis in sexually active people, and here are the reasons why.

Research Is Fairly Limited

Cannabis is known to reduce feelings of anxiety and distress, and to relieve chronic pain. Because of this, it comes as no surprise that it works as an enhancer during sex. Still, there is a lot more research to be done to prove that cannabis use is directly affecting sexual enjoyment. These  are some of the reasons why we’re having problems with the research.

  • The plant is, unfortunately, considered a Schedule I drug in the United States, which means the government treats it as highly addictive and not very beneficial. These laws make it somewhat hard to conduct further studies, as you cannot just provide the surveyees with cannabis and inspect changes in their sex lives. Technically, you can, but you will need a lot of luck to obtain a license because the US government is incredibly strict about it.
  • Since these laws are stringent, the people conducting studies have often relied on surveys. That is never simple, and most often comes with some setbacks.
  • For example, people need to be honest and as accurate as possible when trying to recall such experiences. Still, even when they are sincere, they tend to forget some details, while those interviewing them have no adequate way of knowing if everything they say is true, which often makes these studies questionable.
  • Another drawback is that surveyors often cannot even ask which cannabis-based products were used before sex. That makes it hard to determine the contents of THC and CBD, which products work better (for instance, smoking a blunt or eating an edible), and similar.

More often than not, there is no reliable way to determine how the endocannabinoid system benefits from cannabis intake, and what mechanisms of the human body make sex more enjoyable.

Scientific Backup

Several studies can positively influence the debate over cannabis being a sexual enhancer and stimulant. Even though they use less empirical methods, the studies most certainly shed some light on the topic and give more reasons for research once cannabis loses its Schedule I drug status.

  • An older attitude survey from 1979 focused on graduate students (mostly male) and revealed that persistent cannabis smokers who had sex while high had a more enjoyable experience. This confirmed the value of further scientific research on the topic.
  • Another study on cannabis use and sexual behavior was in the spotlight some five years later, also focusing on college students. The study revealed that most subjects (over two-thirds) were likely to initiate sexual intercourse after smoking cannabis. About half of those interviewed preferred to have a familiar sexual partner.
  • More recently, in 2017, Sun and Eisenberg at Stanford University published a widely accepted study that had a rather interesting approach. Instead of interviewing the participants about the correlation between their sex lives and cannabis use, the surveyors specified how often those people had sex and how frequently they consumed cannabis.
  • During four weeks, cannabis users had sexual intercourse 7.1 times on average, while those who did not consume it had sex around six times during the same period. The study, even though not focusing on sexual enjoyment, gave an interesting insight into a higher frequency of sexual contact in those consuming cannabis.
  • 373 women took part in a survey by Dr. Lynn that was later published and presented in several different meetings. Half of those women reported consuming cannabis regularly, and the other half used it a couple of times a year. About 127 women revealed they used cannabis before sex.

Women who used cannabis before intercourse had much stronger, more frequent, and much more enjoyable orgasms than those who did not use it. What is more, the women who used cannabis more frequently (and not only before sex) said they had a high sex drive and better orgasms than those who did not smoke marijuana very often.

Myth About Cannabis Affecting Fertility: Busted

As we previously mentioned, some researchers implied that cannabis had something to do with low sperm count in men. While the severe overall decrease was indeed found between 1973 and 2011, with some 9% of the male population in the US who were facing infertility, another study suggests that cannabis causing infertility can be questioned.

Namely, Harvard scientists conducted a study that included 662 men of reproductive age, using 1,143 samples of semen and 317 samples of blood, and assessing not only sperm count but also considering reproductive hormones. The participants were also asked about their previous experience with cannabis.

By the end of the study, the Harvard investigative team concluded that those who smoked it at one point or were continuous users had a much higher concentration of sperm cells on average than those who never used cannabis.

Even though the findings were much different than expected (as the team thought cannabis use would reduce sperm count), investigators revealed that it did make sense. Considering that cannabis has an effect on the endocannabinoid system in humans, it is only logical that the plant’s use benefits people in multiple ways.

The Verdict

The research says enough – giving cannabis a chance to play a role in people’s reproductive health is the way to go. Even though science currently has insufficient information about the positive effects on sexual intercourse and cannabis consumption, there is plenty of material to back up further efforts to find out more.

One thing is for sure – we look forward to seeing what other studies will reveal after this plant gets fully decriminalized.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for information and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to reflect the specific views of the publication.

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