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Happy Valentine’s Day: Is Weed an Aphrodisiac?

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Is Weed an Aphrodisiac?

Mixed reviews over how marijuana affects the libido

CASPER, Wyo. (420CanNews)—The approach of Valentine’s Day resurrects the question of whether marijuana or cannabinoids in their various forms can lead to success in the bedroom. While conventional wisdom may say yes, studies have shown a mixed bag of positive, negative, and inconclusive results, with varying responses based specifically on gender.

However, that lack of clarity hasn’t stopped an industry ready to sell products of all sorts—everything from chocolates to lubricants—targeting Valentine’s Day opportunities for cannabis enthusiasts..

What Research Says

In a national sample survey based on a compilation of past studies about marijuana and sex, respondents reported how marijuana affected sexual desire, ability to maintain an erection, or increase orgasm intensity. The overall effects were positive for both genders, with women reporting their perceived influence of marijuana over certain sexual criteria was higher than men.

On the matter of increasing desire, over 70% of both men and women reported slight or significant increases, with women significantly more inclined to report increases than men.

Almost all men reported that marijuana had either no effect or increased their ability to achieve an erection (93.4%) and/or maintain an erection (92.4%). This finding runs contrary to prior research that says high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may have “inhibiting effects,” meaning an inability to achieve erection due to THC’s muscle-relaxing properties, the survey reported. 

As for orgasm intensity, over 70% of men and women reported that cannabis slightly or significantly increased orgasm intensity. While comparison testing showed no difference in orgasm intensity between men and women, the study noted that data outside the study did support an increase in the number of orgasms women who used marijuana experienced.

Methods Behind the Results

For the survey study entitled “The Influence of Cannabis on Sexual Functioning and Satisfaction,” participants ranged in age from 18 to 85 years old, with 64.9% being women, 34.1% being men, and the remaining 1% identifying as “other.” A majority of the participants were white or Caucasian (78.9%) and college educated (80.1%). Almost 25% identified as LGBTQIA+ or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, intersex, and asexual (plus those with other identities not named).

The survey also included people with a variety of occupations, including police officers, professors, and stay-at-home moms. Excluding South Dakota and Wyoming, at least one person from each state participated in the survey, which also included individuals from Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Over half (62.8%) reported daily cannabis use—either recreationally or for medical purposes—and intentionally used cannabis before engaging in sex (59.8%).

The Effects of CBD on Sex

While very little research exists about the effects specific to CBD and sexual performance, some studies say benefits come from addressing conditions surrounding sexual health, like reducing anxiety, elevating mood, or lowering blood pressure. According to a Very Well Health article on erectile dysfunction, “no evidence” supports CBD directly reversing erectile dysfunction, but the indirect effects can help a man’s ability to achieve and maintain an erection.

Similarly with women, no scientific research exists around CBD having sexual benefits, whether ingesting the product or for personal lubrication. But if such benefits existed, they would be welcomed. In reporting from Prevention, Stacia Woodcock, a dispensary manager for Curaleaf, said data on women’s sexual pain is an important area of study. “I would love to see real research behind it. If it is what people are saying and we can know more about it, we can put it to use to better help women,” she told Prevention.

Dosing and Other Concerns About CBD

Another concern people have about using CBD for sexual purposes has to do with dosing and how much product a person uses at any given time. Woodcock said little data exists about how much people should take or even how much gets absorbed through membranes in the mouth or vagina.

In addition, many products are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and rules regarding legality vary greatly both on a federal level and from state to state, the Prevention article noted.

Everything Goes Well with Chocolate

All these considerations apply even to the most inviting of Valentine’s options: chocolate. In New York City last year, the New York Post reported on a product being sold through the Union Square Travel Agency in the East Village. The dark chocolate “Love Beans for Arousal” were made with cannabis and five “exotic herbs renowned for their love-enhancing properties” to “increase sensuality.”

John Kagia, policy director for the state Office of Cannabis Management, told The Post that it’s only a matter of time before cannabis-infused sexual enhancing gels and lubricants hit the New York market.

More Studies Needed to Confirm Connection Between Weed and Sex

Authors of the cannabis and sexual functioning survey noted how few studies regarding weed and sexual satisfaction exist, partly because of legalization barriers. They said future research should focus on men, particularly with their frequency and duration of cannabis use as it relates to sexual performance.

Similarly, studies surrounding the effects of CBD need further study. The resulting effort may better inform the public and translate into more effective uses of marijuana and CBDs in the bedroom.

For more information, here are additional sources.


The influence of cannabis on sexual functioning and satisfaction,2018)

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