Cannabis has the potential to boost a person’s sex life, small studies suggest.
Weed may lower anxiety and sexual shame and make for more satisfying orgasms.
Still, using weed could also lead to a partner being more critical in their relationships.
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Weed is everywhere.
According to the CDC, an estimated 48.2 million people, about 18% of Americans, used weed at least once in 2019, the most recent year the government agency collected data on the matter.
Celebrities like Lady Gaga and Pete Davidson, fitness enthusiasts, and even mothers have recently spoken about how they use cannabis to calm down, find motivation, or relieve pain and nausea. Despite their positive anecdotal reports, some research suggests cannabis could have negative effects like increased anxiety and an increased risk of heart disease.
Cannabis use could potentially impact your sex life and relationship too, whether you’re a regular user or just enjoy indulging in a vape or edible before a date or intimate experience.
Some findings suggest weed can lead to more mind-blowing orgasms and increased feelings of intimacy during sex, while others suggest the substance could kill an erection or make someone more likely to act irritable in their relationships. Still, cannabis isn’t widely studied yet, so research is often inconclusive.
Boosting feelings of intimacy during sex
According to one small study of 41 non-straight men, cannabis could boost feelings of closeness during partnered sex.
For the study, published May 2020 in the journal Culture, Health & Sexuality, researchers interviewed men who were 15 to 30 years old about their experiences using cannabis before or during sexual encounters. Three of the men were transgender, 36 were cisgender, and the remainder didn’t identify with a particular gender.
Through interviews, researchers found that participants often reported that cannabis use lowered feelings of anxiety and shame during sex, particularly anal sex.
“I’m actually enjoying this for like the first time, solidly, like a nine out of ten [after taking the edible]! And then the next time I had sex without an edible, I was enjoying it as an eight out of ten. I’m like, ‘Huh?!’ So it changed something in me,” one the study participants said.
A customer shows purchased marijuana products at Curaleaf as New Jersey launches recreational marijuana sales following voter approval in Bellmawr, New Jersey, U.S., April 21, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah Beier Stronger orgasms and better sex overall
Researchers in Spain found that using cannabis before sex could potentially lead to more satisfying orgasms compared to drinking alcohol before sex.
For the study, published in January 2022, researchers at the University of Almeria enlisted 89 male and 185 female volunteers who either used cannabis, alcohol, or neither in their personal lives.
Both male and female participants who used cannabis regularly were more likely to report better sexual function than those who didn’t use weed at all. When the researchers broke sexual function out into more specific categories of desire for sex, physical sexual arousal, and orgasms, they found cannabis users reported more arousal and better orgasms, but not more desire, than non-users.
A potential erection-killer
Though cannabis could act as a sexual aid, consuming too much could kill someone’s erection, according to Dr. Jordan Tishler, an internal medicine physician and the president of the Association of Cannabis Specialists,
He said that patients regularly ask him about how they can incorporate cannabis into their sex lives. Before treatment with him, they cite issues like difficulty with sex drive and arousal, pain on penetration, anxiety and PTSD, and difficulty achieving orgasm.
If you want to infuse weed into your sex life without losing your erection, it’s best to start with a small dose and see how your body reacts, said Tishler. Consider talking to your doctor about the best course of action before proceeding, he said.
Tishler suggests newbies start with 5 milligrams and choose a strain with between 15% and 20% THC. Any more could heighten your anxiety and ruin the experience, he said.
Less confrontational during fights, which could lead to unresolved conflict
When it comes to weed and relationships, a study published in June 2022 suggests it could make someone more irritable or avoidant during relationship conflicts.
To study this, researchers at Rutgers University interviewed 232 cannabis users and their partners who live together in Massachusetts, where recreational cannabis is legal. They asked them how often they use cannabis and how they felt about their overall commitment and satisfaction in their relationships. They also measured each participant’s resting heart rate and breaths per minute.
They also videotaped the couples while they discussed a relationship conflict for 10 minutes, then watched the videos back. They found that weed users were more likely than non-weed users to avoid disagreements or react to them negatively. When later questioned, cannabis users were also more likely to say they were satisfied with how they resolved the conflict than non-cannabis users.
“This suggests that users may be unaware, or perhaps unbothered by, negative relationship dynamics during and after conflict. This can be harmful to relationships in the long-run to have chronic, unresolved conflicts,” Salvatore told Insider.