Thursday, November 09, 2017 by Ethan Huff
New research from the Stanford University School of Medicine puts to rest the widespread myth that consuming cannabis (marijuana) results in decreased libido and lowered sexual performance. According to the data, cannabis users actually tend to be more sexually active than non-users – by about 20 percent, to be precise – a connection that the experts say is more than just casual or coincidental.
Published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the study looked at the sexual activity of more than 50,000 Americans between the ages of 25 and 45. It represents the first study of its kind to investigate the connection between cannabis use and sexual frequency, revealing not only that cannabis users have more sex than other people, but also that cannabis use itself tends to increase sexual desire and performance – a finding that counters decades of misguided belief that cannabis somehow impairs sexual function.
Based on what the researchers identified, cannabis use does not appear to negatively impact sexual function. If anything, it actually boosts it, as evidenced by a comparative analysis of data collected from the National Survey of Family Growth. Dr. Michael Eisenberg, M.D., an assistant professor of urology at Stanford, along with colleague and co-author Andrew Sun, say that in every category they looked at, cannabis use proved to have a positive impact on sexual function.
“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 is quoted as saying. “Frequent marijuana use doesn’t seem to impair sexual motivation or performance. If anything, it’s associated with increased coital frequency.”
According to the data, more men than women use cannabis. Men are almost twice as likely to use it, in fact, with nearly 25 percent of those evaluated as part of the study indicating that they partook at some point during the evaluation period compared to just 14.5 percent of women. This might come as a surprise if you believe the prohibitionist claim that cannabis use leads to erectile dysfunction, but that is not what this particular study found.
While women who use cannabis were found to have almost 20 percent more sex compared to women who do not use cannabis, the variance was even more dramatic for men. While non-using men were found to have sex 5.6 times per month, on average, cannabis-using men were determined to have sex an average of 6.9 times per month – a more than 23 percent increase compared to non-using men.
This increase cannot be exclusively credited to marijuana’s relaxing properties, either. This study’s researchers determined, after crunching all the numbers, that cannabis itself increases sexual potential by at least 20 percent. While this finding cannot categorically prove that cannabis actually increases sexual activity directly, it does appear to contradict earlier research that suggests the opposite effect – as well as reinforce the findings of other studies that have shown similar outcomes.
“Usually, people assume the more frequently you smoke, the worse it could be when it came to sex, but in fact, we learned the opposite was true,” Dr. Eisenberg added during an interview with CNN, noting that he routinely sees patients who suffer from sexual problems that could potentially be addressed with cannabis. At the same time, Dr. Eisenberg still recommends the basics when it comes to men who suffer from performance problems.
“For most people, we tell them instead to go to the gym and lose 20 pounds,” he says. “Being overweight can give men arousal problems. We always talk about anything that can be good for your heart can be good for your penis. For a lot of guys, hearing that is an amazing motivator.”