Good news for pot smokers: Smoking weed regularly could actually be beneficial to your sex life.
While previous studies have suggested that frequent marijuana use may impair sexual desire or performance, new research out of Stanford University School of Medicine suggests the opposite may be true.
“Frequent marijuana use doesn’t seem to impair sexual motivation or performance. If anything, it’s associated with increased coital frequency,” said Michael Eisenberg, the study’s senior author and an assistant professor of urology at Stanford.
According to the study, which was published Friday in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, pot users are having about 20 percent more sex than pot abstainers.
Eisenberg and lead author Andrew Sun analyzed data from the National Survey of Family Growth, an annual survey sponsored by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that looks at marriage and divorce rates, pregnancy and men’s and women’s health overall. The data spanned from 2002 to 2015.
In all, Eisenberg and Sun looked at self-reported answers from more than 50,000 Americans, ages 25-45.
One of the questions in the annual survey explicitly asks respondents how often they’ve had intercourse with someone of the opposite sex in the past four weeks.
In another section, people are asked how often they’ve smoked marijuana in the past 12 months. Roughly 24.5 percent of men and 14.5 percent of women in the analysis said they’d done so.
The big takeaway? Those who had smoked generally reported having slightly more sex. Women who reported no marijuana use during the past 12 months reported having sex 6.0 times on average during the past four weeks compared with 7.1 times for women who smoked daily.
As for the men, daily marijuana users’ reported sexual frequency was 6.9 times on average in the previous month compared with 5.6 times for non-users.
The correlation held true among different demographics, too.
“Once we found the positive association between marijuana use and sexual frequency, I thought there were be some groups for whom this pattern did not exist,” Einsenberg told HuffPost. “For example, I thought there would be differences based on age, race/ethnicity, education and marital status but for every group examined, we saw the same association.”
“Frequent marijuana use doesn’t seem to impair sexual motivation or performance. If anything, it’s associated with increased coital frequency.”
What’s even more interesting? No such positive correlation was found when Eisenberg and Sun looked at the respondents’ use of other drugs or alcohol and sexual frequency.
In other words, this likely isn’t a matter of less inhibited types being more inclined to use drugs and have more sex, Eisenberg explained.
Keep in mind that this is just one of many studies that have looked into the relationship between marijuana and sexual health. A 2012 European study suggested that weed lowers testosterone levels for some men, which may ultimately lead to erectile dysfunction. This occurs when THC ― the active chemical in cannabis that gets you high ― blocks the release of GnRH, a hormone vital to successful reproductive function.
And Eisenberg stressed that the research shouldn’t be misinterpreted as “if I smoke more pot, I’ll have more sex.”
“Correlation does not equal causation,” he said. “More research in this area is needed. I think this represents an important opportunity to understand this association.”