Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine found that people who smoke marijuana have around 20% more sex compared to people who don’t. The study shows that marijuana may stimulate sexual arousal, which is the opposite of the common belief that frequent use of the substance may impair sexual performance or sex drive.
Researchers did a retrospective analysis of data gathered by the National Survey of Family Growth between 2002 and 2015 involving 50,000 American men and women aged 25 to 45 years old. The respondents were asked the number of times they had engaged in heterosexual intercourse in the previous four weeks. These respondents were then asked whether they had smoked marijuana over the past year, and how frequently they had smoked the substance.
The study found that women who use weed on a daily basis has had sex 7.1 times on average in the past month, while women who had abstained from the substance reported having had sex an average of 6.0 times in the past year.
As for the men, those who smoke marijuana daily reported having had sex an average of 6.9 times in the past month, while non-users had had sex 5.6 times in the past year.
These findings were published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
According to Dr. Michael Eisenberg, assistant professor of urology at Stanford and senior author of the study, while the use of marijuana is very common, its large-scale use and its connection to sexual frequency has not yet been studied scientifically.
Given that the average couple engaged in intercourse about once a week, smoking weed could add up to 20 more instances of sex each year, which, Eisenberg said, “seems like a lot.”
Frequent use of marijuana, he added, does not seem to have a negative effect on sexual motivation or performance. On the contrary, it is associated with the increased frequency of sexual intercourse.
It is worth noting that a previous research has already linked the abuse or heavy use of marijuana to erectile dysfunction. There have also been studies that found that men who smoke weed could have reduced sperm counts.
Eisenberg further shared that the overall trend they saw in their study applied to men and women of all races, ages, income groups, education levels, religions, and to every health status, whether single or married, and whether they have kids or not. The trend also remained even after researchers took account of the respondents’ use of other substances like alcohol or cocaine.
Dr. Eisenberg said this suggests that the positive correlation between weed and sexual activity does not merely reflect less inhibited people’s tendency to use marijuana.
Moreover, the team also found that the frequency of sex steadily increased with increasing marijuana use. This dose-dependent relationship supports marijuana’s possible active role in promoting sexual activity.
He cautioned, however, that their study should not be misinterpreted as proving a causal link.
An article by NPR.org cited University at Albany psychologist Mitch Earleywine as contending that this association between cannabis and sex drive does not necessarily mean that the marijuana is responsible for the heightened drive. Earleywine, who has studied sex and cannabis but was not part of the recent Stanford study, noted that some surveys had found that people who used cannabis did engage in intercourse more often, but this appeared to be mediated by a character trait that looks for thrills and is willing to try new things. In short, he said that people who like smoking marijuana may possess the personality type that also leads them to like doing sex more frequently and to be lustier than the average non-weed-smoking people.