Eye-Opening Research on Cannabis and Sexual Health
Can medical cannabis make sex more enjoyable or make you have more of it? How does cannabis affect other aspects of your sexual health?
Human sexuality and sexual health is as diverse and complex as the cannabis plant itself: there’s something for everyone, yet not everyone likes the same things. Sexuality and sexual health is a part of life that should be celebrated as something that is cultivated within oneself and through interactions with consenting sexual partners.
As the legal medical cannabis industry develops across the nation, more is being discovered about the connection between cannabis and sexuality and how cannabis may enhance one’s sexual experiences.
The Connection Between Cannabis and Sexual Health
The connection between cannabis and sexuality isn’t new, with history books showing it was used as far back as 1700-500 BCE by the Hindi within Tantric sex practices. Early physician Galen suggested it brought “warm and pleasurable sensations” to its users. Mid-1800s British physician Sir William O’Shaughnessy, who was also the personal physician to Queen Victoria, wrote that cannabis created “intense aphrodisiac desire”.
At Compassionate Clinics of America, part of our goal is to provide patient education on how cannabis may impact all aspects of one’s health and lifestyle when we provide a medical cannabis certification. In this article, we’ll explore some of the emerging research that is helping us determine the connection between cannabis, sex, and sexuality.
Sexual Health and the Endocannabinoid System
Understanding how cannabis affects the body and its functions involves the endocannabinoid system, the regulator of all of our bodily systems and their functions.
The goal of cannabis medicine is not to necessarily fix certain problems but engage the endocannabinoid system in a way that all body systems, including those that regulate mood, pain, sleep, and even sexual function, come into balance or homeostasis.
Researchers on cannabis and sexual health are looking at the cannabinoid receptors that are found in high concentrations in areas of the brain that control our sexual function. Their research is often based on the assumption that the blood levels of endocannabinoids that our body produces increase in states of sexual arousal, and thus, cannabinoid medicine can help regulate an otherwise unbalanced sexual function in a human. Yet, more studies are definitely needed to back up these hypotheses.
Does Cannabis Make You Have More Sex?
In 2018, a study was released in the Journal of Sexual Medicine analyzing the statistics found in the US government’s National Survey of Family Growth, observing definite correlation between sex and cannabis.
The national survey asked more than 51,000 people of all genders how often they had sex in the prior four weeks, as well as how frequently they used marijuana in the past year.
Those identifying as women who used cannabis indicated they’d had 7.1 encounters over the last 4 weeks as opposed to one fewer encounter for their non-cannabis consuming counterparts. Those identifying as cannabis-smoking men reported sexual encounters 6.9 times in the 4-week period compared to the 5.6 instances of sex for those men who didn’t consume. The statistics showed that those who use cannabis have more sex.
How Does Cannabis Affect Sexual Health?
If cannabis may make you have more sex, could it also make sex better?
A 2019 study also published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine wanted to see whether cannabis enhanced sexual function.
Around 200 people who used cannabis alongside having sex answered various questions about sex and cannabis and had this to say about cannabis and sexual function:
- 3% used cannabis to alter their sexual experience
- 7% said sex was better with cannabis, 24.5% said it was sometimes better, and only 4.7% said it was worse with cannabis
- 9% said cannabis increased their desire for sex
- 8% reported increased sexual satisfaction
- 3% reported an increased sensitivity to touch
- 7 reported increased intensity of orgasms
- 8% said they could relax more during sex
- 5% said they were better able to focus
Half of those who indicated they had difficulty reaching orgasm said that cannabis made it easier to orgasm.
Cannabis and Erectile Dysfunction & Low Sperm Count in Men
There has been a long-standing rumor that cannabis may lead to erectile dysfunction (ED) or low sperm count in men. Let’s examine these myths with some of the available research.
A 2019 systematic review sought to answer whether cannabis = ED once and for all, as it hadn’t been thoroughly studied. The analysis reviewed five studies, amounting to a review of 3,395 men. It showed a higher prevalence of erectile dysfunction in cannabis users (more than two-thirds), with cannabis users being almost 4x more likely to experience ED.
Now, those who identify as men don’t need to put down their cannabis quite yet for fear of not being able to perform due to erectile dysfunction. The above analysis wasn’t able to determine whether the increased likelihood of erectile dysfunction was psychological or physiological. Simply, it could be both.
Recent studies have also looked at cannabis use and sperm count. A 2019 study showed observed over 650 fertile men and showed there were “no significant differences in sperm concentration between current and past marijuana smokers”.
Cannabis & Female Sexual Health
We have discussed before how cannabis can play a role in reproductive and sexual health for women and those with a uterus throughout our patient education series. For those with a uterus, painful conditions such as endometriosis, PCOS, and period-related conditions like Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) or Dysmenorrhea can be debilitating. These conditions can also significantly affect one’s sexual health or overall enjoyment of sex.
For those who are suffering with the aforementioned conditions that is affecting their enjoyment of sex, be sure to stop over to our blog on how cannabis may help with these sexual and reproductive issues.
Cannabis Products for Sexual Health
When you get your medical cannabis certification at Compassionate Clinics of America, you will have the opportunity to visit medical cannabis dispensaries in your state that may carry intimacy oils, sexual lubricants, and other intimacy products that are intended to turn up the fire in the bedroom.
Cannabis company Benzinga released a list of cannabis cultivars last year that are known to bring on feelings of arousal:
- Strawberry Cough
- Granddaddy Purple
- Sour Diesel
If you’re interested to see whether these cultivars make you feel a little spicy, ask your local medical cannabis dispensary what products they have in store for you.
Explore Your Medical Cannabis Certification with Compassionate Clinics of America
Compassionate Clinics of America has been working since 2017 to educate patients on medical cannabis and how exploring this type of medicine can positively impact many parts of one’s life, health, and wellness. We work across Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, & West Virginia, to help people access their medical cannabis certifications and navigate the process for the medical cannabis program in their state. If you or someone you love are interested in exploring cannabis medicine for sexual health, or for overall balance and homeostasis, don’t hesitate to reach out to us to book your telemedicine appointment.