High libido? Cannabis smokers have 20% more sex, researchers find

Toni Houston
October 29, 2017

This is the first study to look at the relationship between marijuana and sex frequency in the United States, but it's about time, considering an estimated almost 25 million American adults use it, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

For years, marijuana has been linked with lethargy and even impotence, with people claiming that regular marijuana users may have a more hard time having sex.

The researchers used data from the National Survey of Family Growth, which queries men and women about marriage, pregnancy, infertility, and sexual health. For men, the corresponding numbers were 5.6 times for nonusers and 6.9 for daily users.

The US National Institute of Drug Abuse estimates that over 20 million adult Americans use marijuana.

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.

Given that the average couple has sex about once a week, he said smoking marijuana could add up to 20 more instances of intercourse each year. Participants were asked how often they had sex in the last month and how frequently they had smoked cannabis in the past year.


For the study, Eisenberg and Sun analysed data going back to 2002 from the annual US National Survey of Family Growth which contains information regarding family structures, sexual practices and childbearing from a sample created to represent the demographics of the American population.

"While the results are very interesting, it's premature to suggest that marijuana may have a medicinal use in the treatment of sexual disorders such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation or orgasmic disorder", Vira said. "If anything, it's associated with increased coital frequency", said senior author Michael Eisenberg, an assistant professor of urology at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sponsors the survey. What's more, the link was found across all kinds of demographic groups. But that rose to 7.1 times for those who smoked it daily. "However, the fact that the association persists for all the subgroups - age, marital status, education, religion, etc. - suggests that there may be some biological explanation".

He does, however, warn that the study shouldn't be misinterpreted as having a causal link.

A 2003 study also found that over half of marijuana users said the drug was a libido-booster, compared to 26 percent who said it inhibited their sex drive.

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