In a world filled with technology and mechanical interventions for just about everything, it’s delightful to know it’s still ‘The Plant’ that makes all life better, including creating deeper into’me’see. According to the Cannabis Research Journal,  Cannabis enhances sexual experience

As support for a well understood experience by the many folks who use cannabis in all its forms, comes this study, the purpose of which is “to examine the influences of cannabis on sexual functioning and satisfaction.”

Due to the complexities of the many aspects and variations of the sexual experience, “the current research study emphasizes an individual’s sexual functioning and sexual satisfaction and addresses the need to explore options to help women have more regular orgasms. One possibility for increased orgasm frequency is cannabis…. Using cannabis before sex has possibilities for social change by increasing sexual pleasure within our society as previous research indicates beneficial sexual implications especially for women…”

Describing the complexity of sexual experience in a poetical and rich way, the authors use the phrase: “intertwined progression of desire and arousal.” Explaining the variations in lubrication in women and erection in men combined with the vasocongestion occurring without desire, gives this study the depth and variation required to make suggestions regarding cannabis use.

The suggestions seem simple to those versed in using the herb during sex: cannabis enhances sexual functioning through increased relaxation, decreased anxiety, and sensory focus.  The only limitation of the study is that it relies on self reporting. However, the overall conclusion, that “cannabis use tends to have a positive influence on perceived sexual functioning and satisfaction for individuals despite gender or age and cannabis might help to decrease gender disparities in sexual pleasure.”

According to the University of British Columbia researchers surveyed 216 marijuana users recruited online who said they had used it during lovemaking.

  • 74 percent said it increased their sensitivity to erotic touch.
  • 74 percent said cannabis improved their sexual satisfaction.
  • 70 percent said it helped them relax and feel more present during sex.
  • 66 percent said marijuana boosted the pleasure of their orgasms.
  • 59 percent said it increased their sexual desire.
  • Among those who admitted problems working up to orgasm, half said cannabis helped them climax.
  • 41 percent said it had mixed impact, improving some aspects of sex but detracting from others.
  • 39 percent called marijuana always sex enhancing.
  • Only 5 percent said it always spoiled sex.

Please read this article and absorb the thorough examination of the subject. It deserves your attention.

Sex and cannabis

Cannabis has been identified to have sexually stimulating effects and can intensify sexual experiences (Cohen 1982). The cannabinoid profile in cannabis influences sexual functioning and satisfaction as too much tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may cause more inhibiting effects (Palamar et al. 2018). Due to its muscle relaxant properties (Small 2017), cannabis use may be inhibitory to men’s sexual functioning, yet, does not impair and may be beneficial for women’s sexual functioning (Sun and Eisenberg 2017). Cannabis may indirectly enhance sexual functioning by decreasing anxiety and increasing relaxation and sensory focus (Klein et al. 2012). It also has been found to be independently associated with increased sexual frequency with daily and weekly users having significantly higher sexual frequency compared to never-users (Sun and Eisenberg 2017).

Historically, and among different cultures, cannabis has been suspected to have an aphrodisiac effect increasing desire and sexual arousal among individuals (Chopra and Jandu 1976; Dawley et al. 1979; Halikas et al. 1982; Mayor’s Committee, 1944). Recent studies support this early research with reports of increased receptivity to and interest in sexual activity after using cannabis with women reporting higher rates of increased desire from cannabis use as compared to men (Androvicova et al. 2017; Lynn et al. 2019). Research has also found that cannabis users intentionally used cannabis for increased sexual desire as well as to decrease pain associated with sex (Green et al. 2003; Lynn et al. 2019).

Cannabis may also have implications during the excitement phase of the sexual response cycle which is characterized by the attainment of an erection in men and vaginal lubrication in women (Masters and Johnson 1966). Using cannabis has been reported to cause the inability to achieve and maintain an erection among men (Chopra and Jandu 1976; Masters et al. 1979) with a higher likelihood of developing erectile dysfunction among habitual users (Aversa et al. 2008). Foreplay could be considered an important part of the excitement stage and Palamar et al. (2018) found that cannabis use can increase the chances and duration of foreplay. Cannabis is also a vasodilator and because there are cannabinoid receptors in the genital region (Small 2017), cannabis may cause vasocongestion (i.e., lubrication) within female users. However, there is contradictory evidence on the influence of cannabis on female lubrication (Masters et al. 1979; Palamar et al. 2018).

During the plateau stage, which occurs after excitement but before orgasm, the vasocongestion response is at its peak in both men and women and the man’s penis is at its full-potential erection (Masters and Johnson 1966). Men are more likely to report increased duration of intercourse when using cannabis compared to women (Palamar et al. 2018; Weller and Halikas 1984). However, time may be perceived to last longer when using cannabis due to the altered time effect of cannabis use (Chopra and Jandu 1976; Kaplan, 1974; Palamar et al. 2018) or this may be due to increased time spent during foreplay when couples may engage in sexual exploration and try new behaviors while using cannabis (Palamar et al. 2018).

Orgasm is the release of sexual tension and cannabis use may contribute to more prolonged and pleasurable orgasms (Androvicova et al. 2017; Halikas et al. 1982). However, men’s daily cannabis use has been associated with inability to reach orgasm and reaching orgasm too quickly or too slowly (Smith et al. 2010). Those who are able to orgasm when using cannabis have also reported an increase in the quality and intensity of the orgasm, which was found to be especially apparent for men (Weller and Halikas 1984; Halikas et al. 1982; Palamar et al. 2018).

Cannabis use before sex has been reported to enhance sexual enjoyment and pleasure for individuals, including oral sex (Dawley et al.1979; Halikas et al. 1982; Traub 1977). Sensuality involves the senses (taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight) and, for the purpose of this study, is incorporated as an aspect of sexual satisfaction. Cannabis has continuously been reported to enhance taste and touch but seems to have less of an effect on hearing, smell, and sight (Koff 1974; Masters et al. 1979; Halikas et al. 1982; Weller and Halikas 1984). Increased sensation and sensuality have been found to be related to cannabis use which may be related to length and intensity of intercourse (Palamar et al. 2018). Cannabis use before sex has been associated with more tender, slower, and compassionate sexual acts while also feeling more relaxed with their partner (Palamar et al. 2018).

There is a need for updated research as cannabis use is becoming more prevalent due to legalization (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 2018). The majority of existing literature is outdated and some of it is contradictory, such as the physiological effects of cannabis on sexual functioning and satisfaction.

Research questions

The following exploratory research questions were proposed based on findings from previous literature as well as variables that have not been reported in previous literature: (a) Are there differences between men and women who use cannabis and their perceptions of sexual desire, orgasm intensity, and sexual satisfaction? (b) Does cannabis affect men’s ability to achieve and maintain an erection? (c) Does cannabis use affect women’s orgasm frequency? (d) How does cannabis use affect pleasure while masturbating? (e) What effect does gender, age, duration of cannabis use, intentionality, frequency of cannabis use, and cannabis form have on predicting sexual functioning and satisfaction?

See more at the Journal of Cannabis Research 

Reviewed by Andrew Levine

Share This