Talk about getting into the weeds. A recent study in the Journal of Cannabis Research came to an interesting conclusion: that cannabis could potentially be used to treat sexual dysfunction. In the study, which was an online survey of 811 people, over 70% of respondents reported increased sexual desire and greater orgasmic intensity from marijuana use. And over 40% of women surveyed reported “increased ability to have more than one orgasm per sexual encounter.” Well, these results may sound goofy. But before you give up the haircut, the candles, the steady paycheck, or anything else that might increase sexual arousal in favor of ganja, consider the limitations of this study.
This study involved conducting an online survey among a sample of adults aged 18 and over who reported cannabis use. In fact, 62.6% of respondents reported using cannabis on a daily basis, with 59.8% intentionally using cannabis before sex. Well, that probably wasn’t a typical sample of people. A convenience sample doesn’t mean they’re people found outside of a convenience store. That meant the research team at East Carolina University (Amanda Moser, MS, Sharon M. Ballard, PhD, and Jake Jensen, PhD) and North Carolina State University (Paige Averett, PhD) simply picked people who happened to be conveniently available as a sample of all-comers, so to speak. So it’s hard to say how biased this sample might have been. As such, the results of this survey may not truly reflect what the general population might say.
The respondents were between 18 and 85 years old. However, it was younger, with an average age of 32.11 years. They were predominantly White (78.9%) and college educated (80.1%), with 64.9% identifying as female. Almost a quarter (23.1%) of respondents identify themselves as LGBTQIA+. Almost three-quarters (73.7%) of those surveyed said they were in monogamous sexual relationships.
The survey asked people a series of questions about their cannabis use, sensuality and experiences, functioning and levels of arousal during sex, including masturbation. This included specific questions about achieving orgasm and maintaining erections and lubrication.
Of the 811 respondents, 601 felt that cannabis increased their sexual desire either slightly or significantly, with this perception being higher in women than in men. And 582 believed that cannabis slightly or significantly increased the intensity of their orgasms, with no clear difference between men and women. Cannabis also seemed to help people feel like they were masters of their own domain, with a majority of respondents (507 or 62.5%) reporting that they felt either slightly or significantly more pleasure when masturbating.
So did the research team get a sense of what might have been going on here? Well, 71.9% of respondents reported slight or significant improvements in taste with cannabis use. In this case, growing taste didn’t mean they started dressing like Anne Hathaway. Rather, they had an increased sensitivity to tasting things with their tongues and mouths. A similar percentage (71.0%) of respondents reported a slight or significant increase in touch.
This could also have been a “relax, do it” situation, as 87.7% of respondents reported a slight to significant increase in relaxation during sex. Two tents can be helpful when camping, but being too tense will not help you orgasm and enjoy sex. So it would make sense that relaxation could help improve sex.
Speaking of relaxation, the survey results address a persistent concern men may have about cannabis and their penises. There is a belief that the muscle-relaxing properties of cannabis may decrease a penis’ ability to achieve and maintain an erection. Of course, an erection is not a muscle-bound thing. Your penis, if you have one, doesn’t have that many muscles, so don’t try to lift a barbell with it. Instead, an erection is blood filling the erectile tissue of the penis, like air in a balloon animal thing. Well, based on the survey results, it wasn’t hard to see that cannabis didn’t seem to bring erection cheating to respondents. Most male respondents indicated that the ability to achieve (93.4%) or maintain (92.4%) an erection did not decrease.
Of course, this study was far from avocado toast, which means it was far from perfect. This was also a convenience sample of cannabis users. So it could have been chosen for people who already believed that marijuana improved their sex life. As you can imagine, if you already believe that something like dressing up like Captain America will improve your sex life, there’s a good chance it’s happening through the placebo effect.
Additionally, survey responses do not always reflect what people are really feeling or experiencing. If you ask someone a question that includes the word “erection,” you may not always get an honest answer. For example, if you ask someone at the grocery store, “Where do you keep the cauliflower and can you maintain an erection?” you’ll likely find an answer to only one of those things.
It would have been more accurate to directly observe all study participants having sex, but that could have been really scary and resulted in a lot of “Hey, Schmoopie, who is the person with the tablet in our room”? Questions followed by, “Oh, I just signed up for college so I can get money to buy you dinner.”
The study also did not include objective measures of arousal and orgasm. This includes physiological data such as heart rate and body temperature or how often you say something like “Don’t stop”, “Oh my God”, “Oh, Jason Mamoa” or “Linguini” during sex. However, saying “linguini” during sex could mean that the person is really excited or just really hungry.
Additionally, the survey did not ask about a number of other things that might have influenced the sexual experience. For example, there was no sense of what medications and other substances each person was taking. Speaking of marijuana, it wasn’t clear what the person was eating either. There are also other things that can affect sex, such as: B. amount of physical activity, overall health, job satisfaction, presence of a support network, interest in partners, number of pillows on the bed, and whether Bryan Ferry’s “Slave to Love” was playing in the background.
Finally, the survey didn’t measure the dosage of marijuana used. Of course, one gram of marijuana would be very different from 100 tons. So, future studies could help determine how marijuana dosage may be related to the above effects.
While this study isn’t the first to show links between marijuana use and increased sensation and relaxation, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should discard other means of increasing sexual arousal and start using marijuana. It’s still not clear what repeated use of marijuana can ultimately do to your body. For example, studies have shown that cannabis use could potentially have long-term effects on your brain, as summarized by the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA). And while sacrificing your brain for your penis and vagina might seem like a fair trade, you should wait for more studies to really determine what that trade-off might be. Nonetheless, this study points to the possibility that cannabis may ultimately be helpful for people with genuine sexual dysfunctions that cannot be corrected in any other way. This assumes that other options have already been discarded.