“High” Quality Sex?: Cannabis’ Influence on Libido
Has Mary Jane ever put you in the mood? Many marijuana users have testified to the herbs natural aphrodisiac properties that enhance their sex drive, while some claim it’s done the complete opposite.
With the increased acceptance & availability of cannabis, we’re just now beginning to grasp a full understanding of how the mother of all plants affects our body and mind in the short and long term. Scientific studies have supported both claims with a distinct differentiation between the way cannabis interacts with our hormones.
Sex, Weed & Hormones
Not only does your sex hormones affect the way cannabis influences your sexy time, but your brain’s THC tolerence greatly influences it’s overall effect as well.
When the brain reaches a psychoactive high or becomes “intoxicated by cannabis” it will then trigger the activation of the right nucleus, increasing erotic stimuli. However, this only occurs in users whose prolactin levels aren’t elevated. Prolactin is a protein hormone most commonly associated with influencing estrogen and testosterone levels in both women and men respectively. Levels are typically low in nonpregnant women and men.
High Sex Scientific Studies
A 2020 study published by Stanford University Medical Center’s Department of Urology, surveyed 452 adult women who reported to regularly smoking cannabis on sexual activity based on the Sexual Function Index. The study concluded that increased frequency in marijuana use is correlated with improved sexual function in female users & method of consumption does not influence outcome.
Another study published by the Canadian Urological Association journal in 2021 supported the 2020 Standford University study, over half (51.3%) of the participants self-reported increased sexual arousal with cannabis use. 73.5% reported increased sexual pleasure. This study also reported no significant detrimental effect to the male performance.
Majority of studies and researchers agree that low doses of marijuana are associated with positive sexual effects in both men and women, including prolonged duration of intercourse, improvement in quality of orgasm & increased sexual satisfaction. However, high doses have been shown to be associated with erectile dysfunction, sterility and reduction in testosterone levels.
Different cannabinoids for different folks
While THC in cannabis triggers the psychoactive stimulation that can enhance your sexual experience, CBD can improve your sex in number of other ways.
If you struggle with anxiety in the bedroom, CBD flower or oil may be a better choice over cannabis high in THC. CBD may help improve libido by reducing sexual performance anxiety ! CBD lubes have additionally become very popular in the adult industry due to CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties to reduce dryness and irritation.
Most studies and researchers support cannabis’ overall positive effects in the bedroom, but the way weed influences your sexual experience is really subjective to your own tolerence, dose and hormone levels. Be sure to be mindful of your consumption or you may find yourself too stoned for sex! Always be sure to get consent from your partner, no matter if you’re high or not!
As with all things, cannabis may the bomb in bed or it just may not be your cup of tea. Have fun & consume responsibly!
Androvicova R, Horacek J, Tintera J, Hlinka J, Rydlo J, Jezova D, Balikova M, Hlozek T, Miksatkova P, Kuchar M, Roman M, Tomicek P, Tyls F, Viktorinova M, Palenicek T. Individual prolactin reactivity modulates response of nucleus accumbens to erotic stimuli during acute cannabis intoxication: an fMRI pilot study. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2017 Jul;234(13):1933-1943. doi: 10.1007/s00213-017-4601-1. Epub 2017 Apr 12. PMID: 28401285.
Bari M, Battista N, Pirazzi V, Maccarrone M. The manifold actions of endocannabinoids on female and male reproductive events. Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2011 Jan 1;16:498-516. doi: 10.2741/3701. PMID: 21196184.
Kasman AM, Bhambhvani HP, Wilson-King G, Eisenberg ML. Assessment of the Association of Cannabis on Female Sexual Function With the Female Sexual Function Index. Sex Med. 2020 Dec;8(4):699-708. doi: 10.1016/j.esxm.2020.06.009. Epub 2020 Jul 23. PMID: 32713800; PMCID: PMC7691883.
Scimeca, G., et al. “Cannabis and sexual behavior.” Handbook of cannabis and related pathologies. Academic Press, 2017. 180-187.
Shiff, Benjamin et al. “The impact of cannabis use on male sexual function: A 10-year, single-center experience.” Canadian Urological Association journal = Journal de l’Association des urologues du Canada vol. 15,12 (2021): E652-E657. doi:10.5489/cuaj.7185