The view among some scientists and doctors that frequent marijuana use may impair sexual performance has been challenged by new research from Stanford University which suggests that in fact, the opposite may be more likely.
"We reported how often they smoke - monthly, weekly or daily - and how many times they've had sex in the last month", saidDr. Michael Eisenberg, the lead author. Women who didn't smoke pot in the past year had sex, on average, six times during the previous four weeks, whereas women who smoked pot daily had sex 7.1 times in four weeks.
"The overall trend we saw applied to people of both sexes and all races, ages, education levels, income groups and religions, every health status, whether they were married or single and whether or not they had kids", said Eisenberg.
For pot in particular we're just now starting to understand some of the potential benefits of the drug, including euphoria and relaxation, pain relief, lower rates of opiate dependence and domestic violence, decreased use of more harmful drugs, and, apparently, better sexual health. "[In] pretty much every group we studied, this pattern persisted", Eisenberg said. "One question my patients always have is will smoking marijuana frequently negatively impact my sexual function?"
In all, 24.5 percent of men and 14.5 percent of women reported having used cannabis, and the data show a positive correlation between frequency of marijuana consumption and frequency of sex. A 2003 study also found that over half of marijuana users said the drug was a libido-booster, compared with 26 percent who said it inhibited their sex drive. Of the participants, 25 percent of the men and 15 percent of the women reported ever using marijuana.
Tobacco companies put a lot of effort into giving cigarettes sex appeal, but the more sensual smoke might actually belong to marijuana.
Eisenberg also pointed out that the positive association between cannabis use and coital frequency was not dependent on other factors, including the use of other drugs like cocaine and alcohol. "It's possible it makes men or women more interested in sex", Eisenberg says.
A key closing distinction: The study does not establish a causal connection between cannabis use and sexual activity-there's no evidence cannabis users are getting high and getting busy in one fell swoop. Answers from around 28,000 women and 23,000 men were considered for their study, which was published online today in theJournal of Sexual Medicine.
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