This article originally appeared on The Fresh Toast
Since marijuana is one of the most popular recreational drugs on the planet, scientists have been interested to know what all that consumption may be doing to the sexual experience. When it comes to men, that typically breaks down into a few subjects: sperm count, erections, orgasms and sex drive. Let’s explore what we think we know now.
Growing up in the '80s and '90s, boys were painfully aware of two widely traveled stories: 1) Mountain Dew, specifically yellow #5, shrinks your penis and 2) marijuana reduced your sperm count. Although it probably hurt sales among teen boys, the Mountain Dew story was completely false.
On the other hand, a percentage of men who heavily use marijuana have been shown to have lower sperm count and reduced quality of sperm composition. This may impact 29 percent of heavy users. That number increases when additional drugs are used, as well.
But science doesn’t always provide an easy out. In some cases, the opposite is true and contradictory information is discovered. In one study, CBD, a non psychoactive cannabis compound, has shown to actually be an activator of sperm creation. Additional research will determine if this may be great news to men suffering from fertility issues.
Want to sell a product? Tell men that it will give them a bigger penis or more robust and dependable erections. It is surefire. The erectile dysfunction pharma business is worth between $3 and $4 billion annually.
So what does weed do to affect erections? Once again, the results are mixed. Some animal and in vitro studies have shown a negative correlation between cannabis and the function of erectile tissue.
However, others have pointed to the ability of the herb to relax the user, reduce blood pressure and improve blood circulation as positive contributions towards healthy erections. Erectile dysfunction is not yet approved in any state as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.
Information here is currently limited. One Australian survey found that in males aged 16-64 males who were daily users vs. non users was associated with an increase in reporting of difficulty having an orgasm. The same did not hold true for women.
The Indian Hemp Commission Report of 1894 claimed that the drug had “no aphrodisiac power whatsoever.” Many users would dispute that finding.
A Canadian study of a small group of participants found roughly 50 percent of respondents said cannabis increased their sex drive, touch sensitivity and enhanced the experience of sex.
A similar study of Kansas City residents found that, “over two-thirds reported increased sexual pleasure and satisfaction with marijuana use.” An older study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs revealed that 75 percent of male respondents said that cannabis enhanced their sex lives.
Like so much regarding cannabis science, we need to know more. There are inherent challenges with the existing data regarding age of the studies, limited sample size and a need for standard double blind, placebo control research. So guys, when that researcher calls you or invites you to participate in a reputable study about marijuana and sex, sign up. They need to speak to more men with experience of mixing their sexual adventure with a bit of top shelf bud and what better way to contribute to the field of science.