One widely accepted belief about marijuana use and a person’s sex life might not be true, according to Stanford University School of Medicine researchers. It’s been said for decades that smoking marijuana impairs sexual performance or reduces people’s sex drive. According to a Stanford research team, the opposite might actually be true.
“Frequent marijuana use doesn’t seem to impair sexual motivation or performance. If anything, it’s associated with increased coital frequency,” Michael Eisenberg, senior author of the study, said, according to Huffington Post.
The research was published Friday in Journal of Sexual Medicine. It claims that people who use marijuana have approximately 20 percent more sex than people who do not use marijuana.
The senior author and lead author Andrew Sun used information from the National Survey of Family Growth. This is an annual survey sponsored by the CDC. This survey is used to compile data pertaining to marriage and divorce rates, pregnancy, and overall health of Americans ages 25- to 45-years-old. Eisenberg and Sun examined data from more than 50,000 surveys taken from 2002 to 2015.
What they found flies in the face of conventional wisdom. It turns out, there is a positive correlation between marijuana use and increased intercourse with someone of the opposite sex. According to CNN, the study only focused on heterosexual sex. The surveys indicate that both men and women of all demographics who reported smoking marijuana within the past year also reported that they had more sex.
“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 explained to Huffington Post. “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.”
Perhaps even more interesting, this positive correlation was not found when the researchers looked at alcohol use. Alcohol use did not correlate to more sex.
Nor did the correlation exist when the researchers looked at other drug use. The senior author explained that this isn’t merely an issue of inhibition. It’s not that people inclined to use drugs or alcohol are just more inclined to have more sex.
Joseph Palamar, from the Department of Population Health at New York University, told CNN that the Stanford researchers presented a “cool epidemiological paper,” but that it did not explain whether people were under the influence of marijuana just before having the extra sex. He said he’d like to see research that showed any direct effect of marijuana on the frequency of sexual intercourse.
Eisenberg said that it should be noted that “correlation does not equal causation.” More research would be needed to find out if marijuana use is actually the cause of the increased frequency of sexual intercourse. After all, it could end up being that marijuana smokers are just more approachable to members of the opposite sex for some reason. Marijuana smoking might not have any direct biological influence on the frequency of sex.
[Featured Image by Ky Camacho/Shutterstock]