The Latest Study on Cannabis and Sex

Stephen Andrews
13 Feb 2023

An online survey collected answers from 811 adults to gauge whether cannabis spices up their sex lives. Over 80% of respondents answered positively that the use of cannabis before sex increased their desire and improved orgasms. Slightly over 60% of respondents also said marijuana enhanced their pleasure when masturbating. The survey results are consistent with earlier research on the same topic.

The recent study on marijuana and sex was published in the Journal of Cannabis Research, and it was led by Amanda Moser of East Carolina University, now a Denver-based sexologist who specializes in combining cannabis and sex. 

The study appears to confirm a lot of things that previous studies on the subject have informed and what also anecdotal evidence on the use of cannabis for the purposes of greater sex suggests. 

Moser and co-authors say that the study's findings are particularly relevant for women's pleasure. The research suggests that "cannabis can potentially close the orgasm inequality gap," a reference by the study authors to past findings that women who have intercourse with men are usually less likely to experience orgasm than their male counterparts. 

"Women may be more likely to orgasm when using cannabis before sexual encounters, which could contribute to equity in the amount of sexual pleasure and satisfaction experienced by both women and men," the research says. 

According to some studies, more than 90% of men report having regular orgasms during intercourse, in contrast with fewer than 50% among women. This is one of the main reasons that motivated Moser and her team to conduct the survey. 

The researchers recruited correspondents through medical marijuana and legal cannabis advocacy organizations. Only participants of legal age and who have used cannabis were able to fill in the survey. Most of them reported daily use of cannabis, and about 6 in 10 said they used cannabis purposefully before having sex. 

The age range of the participants was between 18 and 85. A majority of them were identified as white (almost 80 percent), female (near 65 percent), and college-educated (near 80 percent). A quarter of the participants identified as LGBTQIA+. Three-quarters said they were in a monogamous relationship. 

The survey had dozen of questions about the influence of marijuana on specific aspects of sex and arousal. It sought to find answers beyond the physiological effects of weed (such as whether it helps achieve an erection), and it asked questions that concerned overall sexual functioning and satisfaction. 

The authors note that many of the findings are consistent with existing literature. Both men and women reported a boost in desire and orgasm intensity. Women said they were better able to achieve multiple orgasms. One of the reasons that explain this is the heightened relaxation effect of using cannabis. "Those who use cannabis report being more relaxed, whether mental or physical, which would improve overall sexual functioning and pleasure," the study says. 

Some of the survey included questions on the perceived senses of smell, taste, and touch from cannabis. Unsurprisingly, over 70 percent of respondents said cannabis enhanced their senses of touch and taste (hi munchies!). The study's authors note that taste and touch are also "two senses that are heavily used during sexual intercourse."  

One of the study's limitations is its reliance on self-reported recollections from cannabis users. Participants were asked to self-report based on many years, which may come with certain biases. One such question could be whether cannabis has helped or not men maintain erectile function. While the men in the survey reported no such difficulties, "due to the self-report nature of this survey, social desirability may have prevented them from reporting erectile issues."

Still, the highlight of the research results is that sexual satisfaction improved significantly when participants intentionally used cannabis before sex. 

Moser says that the study's findings may have implications for treating medical dysfunctions, especially with women. "Women with vaginismus (i.e., painful intercourse) may benefit from the muscular relaxation and increased sexual functioning that results from cannabis use, while women with decreased desire could also see possible benefits," the researcher says. 

One previous study on cannabis and sex has found that nearly 70% of people who use marijuana before intercourse experience more pleasure. Another has also found that marijuana helps women experience more intense orgasms. A third study says that daily consumption of weed leads to 20% more sex. A fourth is that cannabis reduces anxiety in queer men before engaging in sex, which in turn leads to more sensual intercourse. 

How to use marijuana for sex? Make sure that both you and your partner consent to the use of marijuana, and pick a strain that works in a way that improves sexual performance. For example, some cannabis strains are better at intensifying orgasm than others. You have to try out to find out that kind of things. Avoid using edibles as their effects are sometimes unpredictable, and these products are not the best match in anticipation of sexual intercourse. 

Stephen Andrews