Smoking a joint may lead to more than just the munchies and a buzz. According to a new study from Stanford University, pot smokers have significantly more sex than non-smokers —and the conclusions are pretty definitive.
The study, conducted by researchers at Stanford University’s medical school and published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, analyzed 50,000 Americans between the ages of 25 and 45 to determine if there was a connection between the frequency of sex and the frequency of marijuana use. The results were ‘unambiguous,” the scientists say.
For years, scientists have generally found in studies that marijuana use lead to sexual problems. One 2010 study suggested that pot is related to a decreased sex drive . Another 2011 study found marijuana was related to worse actual performance in bed, and yet another study in 2012 found that weed seemed to cause erectile dysfunction in some cases. Even so, pot smokers appear to be having more sex than their straighter-edged pals, the researchers wrote in a statement.
It’s the first time such a study has been conducted, especially at this scale, the study’s senior author, Michael Eisenberg, MD, said in the statement. With the legalization of marijuana on a march through the states, this study sheds some light on a drug that remains both stunningly popular (up to 33 million reportedly partake, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health) and yet difficult to legally analyze in medical labs, researchers told Washington Post columnist Robert Gebelhoff.
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Study subjects were asked ow many times they had heterosexual intercourse in the past four weeks and how frequently they smoked marijuana in the last year. Female smokers reported having sex 7.1 times during the previous four weeks, compared to only 6 times for non-smokers. Male smokers reported having sex 6.9 times, and non-smokers reported having sex only 5.6 times.
“In other words, pot users are having about 20 percent more sex than pot abstainers,” Eisenberg said in the statement.
“I think if you asked a man or a woman, 20 more times to have sex over a year, that would seem like a lot,” Eisenberg told Reuters.
Of course, the study doesn’t necessarily indicate that weed causes people to have more sex. Perhaps people who smoke have traits that make them more likely to have more sex. Eisenberg takes pains to point this out, saying in his statement that the results “(don’t) say if you smoke more marijuana, you’ll have more sex.”
On the other hand, it could really be that the weed is causing people to want more sex. “It may be that marijuana increases arousal and sexual satisfaction,” Eisenberg told the Mercury News, and in at least one study, women who watched sexual films became more aroused when they had marijuana in their systems than those who did not.
Considering the study found that frequency of sex actually seemed to rise at the same time people increased their dosages of marijuana, he may be on to something. Still, Eisenberg told The Mercury News he wasn’t giving anyone license to use drugs as a relationship enhancer.
“It’s too early to recommend it as treatment,” he told the paper.