A recent study conducted by Stanford University researchers Andrew Sun and Michael Eisenberg entitled “Association Between Marijuana Use and Sexual Frequency in the United States: A Population-Based Study” suggests that smoking cannabis increases sexual activity in both men and women (1).
The researchers asked 28,176 women (average age= 29.9 years) and almost 22,943 men (average age =29.5 years) men how often they had sex (heterosexual) in the four weeks prior to the survey and how frequently they used cannabis in the past year. The study employed a multivariate statistical model that controlled for demographic, socioeconomic and geographical/culture characteristics. More than 60% of the men and women were Caucasian and 76.1% of men and 80.4% of women reported at least a high school diploma.
Results from the study found that women who did not use marijuana over the four-week period had sex on average six times whereas women who used cannabis daily had sex 7.1 times on average. Similarly, men who did not use cannabis had sex 5.6 times on average whereas men who used cannabis daily reported having sex 6.9 times on average during the four-week period.
Based on these results, which were statistically significant (P<.001), the researchers suggested that cannabis use may lead to greater heterosexual sexual activity. It is important to note, however, that while the study results may have been statistically significant, the real life implications of these findings may not be relevant. More important, the researchers did not offer any explanations about the connections between cannabis and sex. Further, although the statistical design of the study controlled for a variety of variables, other variables were not considered or addressed. For example, did the persons who participated in the survey have cannabis in their systems before, during or after sex. Was cannabis consumed before, during or after sex? What was the time differential between cannabis and actual sex? Put simply, there needs to be a greater examination and more in depth analysis of the direct effect of cannabis on sexual activity before any firm conclusions can be drawn.
Sadly, many cannabis users who read this post (or similar articles in the lay press) are likely to point to this study as another reason why it is good to regularly smoke cannabis. That said, despite assertions to the contrary, there is evidence which suggests that smoking cannabis daily may negatively affect your health e.g., lung irritation and other respiratory issues. LIke most things in cannabis science, many more studies must be conducted before scientifically accurate conclusions and facts can be established.
Despite the possible limitations of this study, there was something positive that came out of it. One of the study’s authors offered “that if a patient asks whether his frequent marijuana use is getting in the way of his sex life, he will tell them that “it may not be the culprit. For most people, we tell them instead to go to the gym and lose 20 pounds”
- Sun AJ, Eisenberg ML. Association between marijuana use and sexual frequency in the United States: a population-based study. J. Sex Med 2017; 14:1342-1347.