Marijuana users apparently have more sex.
At least that’s what a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine concludes.
The research, published today, found a positive association between use of the drug and sexual frequency.
It’s the first study of its kind.
Prior research on marijuana’s effect on sex drive and performance has been contradictory.
Some research concluded the drug enhances pleasure. Other studies concluded marijuana can be detrimental to performance.
“With the growing wave of legalization of marijuana in the U.S., it’s important to understand the health effects,” Dr. Michael Eisenberg, a lead study author and an assistant professor of urology at Stanford, told Healthline.
“As an expert in male sexual and reproductive function, my patients often asked me how marijuana may impact sexual function. This study begins to provide answers,” Eisenberg added.
What the study revealed
The study is based on an analysis of more than 50,000 people between the ages of 25 and 45 in the United States.
The participants included men and women.
Individuals in the study described their marijuana habits as never, less than once per month, monthly, weekly, and daily.
The daily users of marijuana reported more recent sexual encounters.
Marijuana users were also found to be having about 20 percent more sex than those who abstain from the drug, said Eisenberg.
The study found this was true in both men and women of different races, ages, and education levels. It was also true for married individuals.
Researchers stopped short of calling it a causal relationship. But they say that their results hint at one.
They also say the data implies that regular marijuana use doesn’t impair sexual function and desire.
Some unanswered questions
Marijuana has endured a reputation in popular culture as being somewhat problematic when it comes to sex, primarily in men.
Prior studies have investigated a link between the drug and erectile dysfunction as well as inability to orgasm.
However, Eisenberg’s study indicates that despite some of these potential side effects, the vast majority of users describe marijuana as increasing sexual pleasure.
Almost 75 percent of respondents believed this to be true.
Still, the study does leave some unanswered questions.
Marijuana dose is an important factor besides frequency. That wasn’t investigated.
A deeper look could give a clearer picture of the drug’s relationship with some of its reported side effects, such as erectile dysfunction.
Authors say the study also has broader implications in understanding the health benefits of marijuana.
In separate studies, marijuana users have displayed lower rates of diabetes, smaller waist circumference, and improved insulin resistance.
Increased sexual function could then potentially be added to this list, indicating a healthier lifestyle.
There’s also the most obvious implication of the study itself: Could marijuana be used as a treatment for sexual dysfunction?
This study can’t answer that question. But researchers believe that the strong association they found is a strong indicator that more work needs to be done to look at the potential benefits of marijuana on sexual health.