Our sex lives are extremely personal to us as individuals and are driven by our own set of preferences. A complex myriad of factors combine to create what we define as our ideal sexual situation or encounter. Consequently, studying sexual arousal is complicated.
From getting people to reveal what makes them tick to people just simply having different ways of defining what ‘sex’ means to them, it becomes quite a difficult topic to make definitive statements about either way.
However, throughout recorded history, we have seen marijuana described as an aphrodisiac. Something that both men and women can use in order to improve libido, increase sexual longevity and as a way to create more powerful and longer-lasting orgasms. But, do these claims have any basis in science?
Studying cannabis and sexual satisfaction
There is plenty of difficulty in studying cannabis and sex. Sex is a spontaneous act and arousal can be quite hard to force in a clinical environment. Participants may feel ‘pressured’ to perform, so creating a fair test is nearly impossible.
Most of the information can only come from surveys and this has its own issues, even when selecting a fair cross-section of participants. Because not everybody smokes cannabis and those that do smoke cannabis regularly are more likely to not feel any negative aspects compared to those who don’t smoke.
So, surveys only really provide us with information about how cannabis affects the sex lives of those who consume cannabis regularly.
What do the studies say?
A 2019 study in Sex Med researched the effects of marijuana on sexual function in women, including the effects on libido, arousal, orgasm and satisfaction.
“Out of the 373 women surveyed, 127 reported that they have used marijuana prior to engaging in sexual activity. Out of this 127 women, 68.5% stated that the overall sexual experience was more pleasurable, 60.6% noted an increase in sex drive, and 52.8% reported an increase in satisfying orgasms,” the study reported.
The women who frequently used marijuana were more than twice as likely to report satisfactory orgasms than those who didn’t use marijuana or used marijuana infrequently.
Medical marijuana leads to more sexual activity
Consuming cannabis leads to people have more sex, is the conclusion of preliminary studies conducted by researchers from the Georgia State University and the University of Connecticut.
Following the legalisation of medical marijuana, the rate of people engaging in sexual activity has increased by 4.3% according to a survey. The detailed questions were based on sexual activity and substance use in young people between 1997 and 2001, and also concluded that marijuana decreases the use of contraception and increases the number of children born.
More evidence is needed across a higher scope of people, but initial findings certainly point to marijuana causing behavioural changes in sexual activity of both men and women.