A study by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine indicates that, despite concerns among physicians and scientists that frequent marijuana use may impair sexual desire or performance, the opposite appears more likely to be the case.
The findings, published online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in October, are based on an analysis of more than 50,000 Americans ages 25-45. And they're unambiguous, a recent release said.
“Frequent marijuana use doesn't seem to impair sexual motivation or performance. If anything, it's associated with increased coital frequency,” said the study's senior author, Dr Michael Eisenberg, assistant professor of urology. The lead author is Dr Andrew Sun, a resident in urology, the release said.
Hint of a causal connection
The study does not establish a causal connection between marijuana use and sexual activity, Eisenberg noted, but the results hint at it, he stated.
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,” he is quoted as saying in the release.
The study is the first to examine the relationship between marijuana use and frequency of sexual intercourse at the population level in the United States.
“Marijuana use is very common, but its large-scale use and association with sexual frequency hasn't been studied much in a scientific way,” Eisenberg said.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 20 million adult Americans are current marijuana users. With the drug's legalisation for medical or recreational use in 29 states, that number is climbing. But despite marijuana's growing status as a recreational drug, its status as a procreational drug remains ambiguous: On one hand, there are reports of erectile dysfunction in heavy users, and rigorous studies have found reduced sperm counts in men who smoke it. On the other hand, experiments conducted in animal models and humans indicate that marijuana stimulates activity in brain regions involved in sexual arousal and activity, the release said.