So, let’s talk about sex and marijuana. What do you need?
A consenting partner: Check.
Birth control: Check.
Mood music: Check.
A smoke session: Well, this is a more controversial step in pre-sex planning.
What if consuming a certain plant is the foreplay you've been missing? If you talk to a cannabis enthusiast, they might tell you a sexy secret: Weed makes for a great aphrodisiac. Research might just suggest otherwise.
They – edible-munching buddies or scientists – might even be right. Do sex and marijuana go hand-in-hand?
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Set the Mood
Sometimes, a little bit of help goes a long way. A glass of two or wine is often used to jump-start a sexual encounter, to set the mood. Too much alcohol, however, can soften inhibitions, derail libido, and affect the ability to perform.
And while cannabis is often seen as a clear-cut alternative to booze, when it comes to an aphrodisiac, it can act similarly. Too much, and you’ll be out of luck. With just enough, sexual prowess might be enhanced. Here's the deal, though: Everyone reacts a little differently.
Unfortunately, the existing research involving sex and marijuana is conflicting and not as straight forward as coitus-loving stoners would like.
Sex and Marijuana Research
There have been few studies that aim to research how weed affects sexual performance, though cannabis remains largely understudied due to its legal status, despite that more than 22.2 million people reported mixing the two in a month. And while some research confirms that marijuana enhances capability, others say it’s inhibiting.
Both casual polls and scientific studies have observed that users report both mixed and unpredictable findings. However, a few things remain constant: First, the adverse symptoms of marijuana and sex (when things go wrong), could be tiredness, loss of interest, and feelings of anxiety. Second, cannabis is known to promote the release of the chemical oxytocin, also known as the "bonding hormone." This chemical allows partners to feel intimately closer, which is a factor in partner satisfaction.
Additionally, another study found that cannabis may have beneficial effects on female sexual interest, and opposite effects on male sexual motivation and erectile functioning.
Long Term: Things Don’t Look Great
When rats were tested in the eighties, their libido fluctuated. This, according to the New York Times, was due to the active compound, THC, in marijuana. Along the same lines, it has been suggested that chronic or daily marijuana consumption can lead to issues with libido and sex drive, and mess with testosterone levels in men. A study from 2009 stated that every day use can make it harder for men to orgasm, and a 2011 review from The Journal of Sexual Medicine cited chronic cannabis consumption can place consumers at a higher risk of erectile dysfunction.
Also worth noting: Beyond sexual performance, chronic weed consumption has been linked to depleting a man's swimmers; getting high once a week can decrease a sperm count by a third, according to Live Science.
Possible Good News
Reversely, a recent, 2017 study by Stanford University School of Medicine's Dr. Michael Eisenberg, concluded that cannabis increases a person's sex drive and probably does not limit performance – ultimately arguing that more usage can lead to more sex. This newest development claims that sex and marijuana have a positive relationship, even with a daily smoke sesh.
Essentially, the more that people smoked, the more sex they had, without impairing their performance. This research was based on strong correlation, rather than an immediate cause-effect relationship.
The Reality: Somewhere In Between
Maybe the right way to approach sex and marijuana isn't black and white. It's probably, according to sociologists at the University of California at Santa Barbara, somewhere in between. Simply, it just depends.
There are lots of factors to consider, including circumstance, the mood of the person, or even what strains they are smoking. Like at any moment in the bedroom, there are many factors that go into whether or not a person is aroused; while cannabis can heighten the mood, there are competing reasons why that may or may not happen.
Canna-lube is Here
To further promote the relationship between sex and marijuana, weed lube is here and the world is here for it. Products are popping up – many specifically marketed toward women; endocannabinoids have been credited with increasing sexual arousal in women, though it’s still probably enhancing the sexual experience for everyone involved.
These lubes make claims to enhance the sexual performance, targeting both desire and pleasure. They aim to provide both intensified stimulation and a targeted high.
With such conflicting results, the main task for any weed-and-sex lover is to go through a process of trial and error to decide if sex and marijuana work for you. All of the studies point to a simple truth: The results vary from person to person.
When the time comes, try it out for yourself. If it doesn't enhance your drive, pleasure, or performance, you'll know for next time what works for your body.