He says; she says. Your sex live (or your perception of your sex life) may influence your decision to smoke weed at the same time you are trying to get something else on.
There are pros and cons of having sex when you are high on cannabis. And, those differences may mean different things to men and women.
Marijuana: sedative or stimulant?
Michael Castleman acknowledges the scarcity of quality research on the effects of marijuana on human sexuality in Psychology Today. He writes, “The sexual effects of every other mood-altering drug - alcohol, amphetamines, antidepressants, cocaine, narcotics - are well-documented, fairly consistent, and not particularly controversial.”
When you smoke marijuana, the THC moves quickly through the lungs to the bloodstream. It then hits the brain where it overexcites neuro-chemical receptors. That produces the “high.” It distorts color and sound, coordination and mood, and muscular control and psychoactive perception.
While “excitement” means an inebriating stimulation, it also manifests as a lasting and relaxing calm. For most users, that’s the idea. Smoking weed is a mind-altering escape. Those who consider these effects as negative have prohibited its use and effective research into its pros and cons.
Lauren Vinopal, writing for Fatherly, reported on a survey of 1,400 medical marijuana consumers in California. “They didn’t specifically ask subjects if they used weed for sex, but 14 percent reported using it to enhance their sex lives and 47 percent used it to improve their mood — presumably a turn-on for everyone involved. While more men are using weed than women (64 versus 36 percent), women beat out men when it came to using it for sex (8 versus 4 percent).”
This survey depended on unreliable self-disclosure, and the results do not deserve her claim that weed outdoes Viagra for women. It does, however, suggest that it, indeed, reduces users’ inhibitions. But, as with one or more cocktails, you can overdo it.
To the extent that the female sexual response is mostly psychological, as some scientists and many men believe, women might find the marijuana effect of some cannabis strains supportive and pleasantly relaxing. Those strains may also reduce the anxiety, stress, depression, and chronic pain that militate against enjoyable sexual behavior.
To the extent that the female sexual response is attributed to blood flow, as some physiologists believe, cannabis can increase the strength and duration of arousal and sexual response to stimulation. HelloMD reports a University of British Columbia study of the effects of application of cannabis topical lotions. When exposed to pornography, subjects treated with cannabis oil reported heightened sexual response.
One California vendor promotes a female personal lubricant to relieve vaginal dryness and arouse sensitive tissue. Women’s Health quotes Alyssa Dweck, M.D. and Ob-gyn, “the potential for relaxation from marijuana absorption through the vaginal mucosa makes sense.” One user admitted, “it wasn’t a miracle lube, and although it made her wetter and more relaxed than usual, she didn’t report any 15 minute orgasms.”
Women should worry about interactions with alcohol, birth control, and fertility treatments.
Weed relaxes the mood and social environment. It relieves smokers of tensions, fatigue, and distracting stresses. This made for a positive experience. Otherwise, it has some downsides for men.
Peak Testosterone claims, “marijuana is a one-way ticket to low testosterone, erectile dysfunction and fertility problems.”
Male Virility News claims, “Marijuana has been said to interfere with the production of testosterone and other hormones associated with reproduction, causing possible infertility among adult users and delayed sexual development among adolescents.
However, there is no evidence that marijuana lowers testosterone levels or that it impairs male reproductive functioning.”
Studies published since the 1980s have claimed marijuana use reduces testosterone. But, Andrew Smith points out in MDmag over 40 years of research hasn’t led to clarity on the issue. “Among animals, however, trials show conclusively that THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, lowers testosterone, throws testosterone and estrogen out of balance and creates a host of problems.”
Dr. Christopher Assandra at AskMen says, “Marijuana use has also been associated with orgasm-related problems (both premature ejaculation and inability to achieve orgasm). Likewise, a 2010 study published in the Journal European Urology found that marijuana may contribute to ED by inhibiting the nervous system response that causes an erection in the first place.”
And, Daily Mail (04 March 2017) reports a University of Aberdeen study on mice. “The team found that in mice, cannabis may actually boost the amount of testosterone produced as a result of brain signals, but it reduces the amount produced by the testes... a serious negative impact on testosterone production.”
Men should also worry about combining marijuana with alcohol and prescription medications including Viagra.
What men and women need to know!
It would appear from the limited research on either gender that marijuana has no significant effect on sexual interest or performance - when used in moderation.
Men and women enjoy fuller physical and psychological sex when robust and healthy. Anecdotal history claims that light use of cannabis will enhance sexual experience by reducing physical and psychological inhibitions.
Heavy use of marijuana over long periods of time and/or with other medications, stimulants, or sedatives will negatively affect sexual performance and fertility. Of course, real and lasting stoners really couldn’t care.
It also makes sense for sexual partners to choose cannabis strains that avoid agitation and paranoia or couch lock and paralysis. If you smoke to enhance and round-out an experience, it can be great. If you smoke to avoid responsibility or commitment, you may be looking for trouble.