Does cannabis amplify sex life? Is there a reality behind the many testimonies?
While scientists are still trying to determine the precise relationship between cannabis and sex, a growing body of evidence indicates that the link is proving to be real. A recent study, which questioned female cannabis users about their sexual experiences, found that more frequent cannabis use was associated with increased arousal, stronger orgasms, and best overall sexual satisfaction.
“Our results show that increased frequency of cannabis use is associated with improved sexual function and is associated with increased sexual satisfaction, orgasm and desire,” says the study published last week in the journal Sexual Medicine.
To reach its conclusions, the team interviewed 452 women who responded to an invitation distributed at a U.S. chain of cannabis clinics. The researchers asked respondents about their cannabis use, and each completed a Female Sexual Function Index Survey (FSIS), a questionnaire designed to assess sexual function over the past four weeks. The survey notes six specific areas, including desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain.
To our knowledge,” the authors wrote, “this study is the first to use a validated questionnaire to assess the association between female sexual function and aspects of cannabis use, including frequency, cannabis samovar used, and reasons for use.
In general, a higher FSFI score means better sexual function, while a lower score indicates sexual dysfunction. By comparing the frequency of cannabis use to each participant’s FSFI score, the researchers determined that more frequent use was associated with lower rates of sexual dysfunction.
For each additional step in the intensity of cannabis use (number of times per week),” the report states, “the odds of reporting female sexual dysfunction decreased by 21%.
Women who used cannabis more frequently had higher FSFI scores overall, indicating better sexual experiences overall. More regular users also had higher specific FSFI subdomain scores, indicating greater arousal or better orgasms, although not all of these differences reached statistical significance.
Another weak relationship showed that women who frequently used cannabis reported lower levels of gender-related pain.
When stratified by frequency of use (≥3 times per week vs. <3 times per week), those who used more frequently had higher overall FSFI scores and had higher FSFI subdomain scores, except for pain,” the study says.
However, the study does not provide much insight into which cannabis products would be more stimulating for sexual intercourse.
Our study found no association between cannabis chemistry (e.g., THC versus dominant CBD), the reason for cannabis use, and female sexual function. “Neither pattern of use nor the type of cannabis used affected sexual function.
The researchers stated that several mechanisms could explain the overall findings, for example, that the body’s endocannabinoid system is directly involved in female sexual function or that cannabis improves sex by reducing anxiety.
As many patients use cannabis to reduce anxiety,” the report says, a reduction in anxiety associated with sex may improve experiences and lead to improved satisfaction, orgasm, and desire. Similarly, THC can alter the perception of time, which can prolong feelings of sexual pleasure. Finally, CB1, a cannabinoid receptor, has been found in serotonin neurons that secrete the neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays a role in female sexual function, so activation of CB1 may lead to increased sexual function.
The mechanism underlying these findings needs to be clarified,” the authors noted about their report, as does whether acute or chronic cannabis use has an impact on sexual function. While the endocannabinoid system represents a viable target for cannabis therapy for female sexual dysfunction that requires future prospective studies, any therapy must take into account the possible adverse impact of cannabis use.