For some, thinking about their sex life is a frustrating topic. Whether caused by a lacking sexual libido or discomfort in the bedroom, frustrations from sex lead many to seek out supplements and even medication to help give their sexual appetite a boost. Yet there is another substance that could be linked with a better sex life: cannabis. In fact, recent research has linked cannabis consumption with an improvement in sex life. But how is that? What is it about cannabis that has the potential ability to give a person's libido a boost.
Studies have shown that those who consume cannabis on a regular basis have more frequent sexual episodes compared to those who don't include cannabis in their daily regimen. One study published in 2017 polled over 50,000 adults and discovered that those who consume cannabis engaged in sexual activity much more often than those who do not.
According to the researchers with the study, consuming cannabis appears to be strongly associated with a boost in sexual activity without weakening or impeding on sexual function (at relatively low doses). Women who consume cannabis on a weekly basis were found to have 34 percent more sex compared to women who didn't consume it, and men who consume cannabis every week were 22 percent more likely to engage in sex compared to men who didn't.
While the data collected was self-reported, the researchers were still able to look at all the different groups that took into consideration race, marital status, and education level. They found the same link between cannabis consumption and sexual frequency across all groups. Although this data shows a positive correlation, not causation, between cannabis and a healthy sex life, it is statistically significant and encouraging.
Not only can the consumption of cannabis possibly increase the frequency of sex, but it may also help make sex more pleasurable, too. One study led by gynecologist Dr. Becky Kaufman Lynn found that some of her patients claimed to experience more pleasurable sex after consuming cannabis. When she first heard these claims, she wasn't entirely certain what the connection was, prompting her to initiate the study.
What Dr. Lynn and associate researchers found was that most of the women who combined cannabis and sex claimed that their sexual experience, libido, and orgasms were improved. The researchers believe that there are a handful of mechanisms at work here that link cannabis consumption with an improved sexual experience, including a reduction in anxiety and stress, which can hinder inhibitions and boost confidence in a person's ability to perform sexually. The cannabis plant may play a role in heightened pleasurable sensations.
A reduction of pain seemed to be a stand-out factor as well, helping women enjoy their rendezvous much more. Many women involved in the study who claimed to experience pain during sex said their pain levels decreased after consuming cannabis, allowing them to enjoy sex more without the discomfort they typically feel.
...there are a handful of mechanisms at work here that link cannabis consumption with an improved sexual experience, including a reduction in anxiety and stress, which can hinder inhibitions and boost confidence in a person's ability to perform sexually. Cannabis may play a role in heightened pleasurable sensations.
There are plenty of studies out there that have shown a link between the consumption of cannabis and a reduction in pain. The active cannabinoids in cannabis interact with receptors of the body's endocannabinoid system, which is tasked with regulating pain in the body. When external cannabinoids from cannabis are consumed, their interaction with these receptors may help to modulate pain thresholds by regulating neuron activity. Anyone who typically experiences pain during sex may find this very useful and may help them find more pleasure during sex.
There are also studies that have linked the consumption of cannabis and a reduction in anxiety. In fact, many medical cannabis consumers incorporate cannabis into their regimen specifically for that reason, and both the THC and CBD in cannabis may play key roles in alleviating anxiety, which in turn could potentially help lower inhibitions and make people feel more confident in bed.
Orgasms are an important part of pleasurable sexual experiences, and there may be a link between the consumption of cannabis and enhanced orgasms. According to one study in particular published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, there may be a relationship between orgasms and the release of chemicals of the body's endocannabinoid system, which behave much like cannabinoids found in cannabis.
The researchers found that participants who reached orgasm had higher levels of 2-AG compared to those that did not orgasm, leading the scientists to conclude that the release of 2-AG may play a role in the reward center associated with orgasms.
CBD (cannabidiol), which is one of the two most abundant cannabinoids in cannabis (the other being the mind-altering THC) has been shown to increase levels of 2-AG in the body, which could be an indication that consuming CBD products may help encourage 2-AG to boost orgasms. Of course, further research is needed to verify this association.
The effects of cannabis consumption on sexual performance and pleasure can vary greatly from one person to the next. While one person may experience better sex thanks to a decrease in anxiety, another's sexual improvement may be associated with cannabis' effect on relieving pain.
But it appears as though lower doses of cannabis are key, as consuming too much of it can interfere greatly with a person's cognition and even impair sexual function. On the other hand, it may actually cause some people to engage in too much sex.
On the one hand, higher doses can cause extreme psychoactive effects that impede on a person's ability to concentrate, which can get in the way of a pleasurable sexual experience and decrease performance. Lower doses may even be associated with more orgasms, particularly in men.
But there is also evidence to suggest that those who consume too much cannabis in high doses may be "hypersexual." One study found that people who claimed to engage in extreme amounts of sex were more likely to have consumed a lot of cannabis in the past. The researchers associated with the study found a positive correlation between lifetime cannabis consumption and hypersexuality.
That said, the relationship between the two may not necessarily be independent. Cannabis may not exactly be the cause of hypersexuality, but may just simply be related. There are other factors that may be involved and are playing a role.
There is certainly a need for more concrete studies to solidify the link between the consumption of cannabis and better sex. But there is certainly plenty of anecdotal evidence, and researchers are already taking the wheel and looking deeper into the connection between the two.