Around a third of women in the US have used cannabis before sex and those who do say they experienced increased desire and better orgasms, a study has found.
The study published in journal Sexual Medicine found women who used marijuana before sex were twice as likely as those who did not to say they had “satisfactory” orgasms.
While women who regularly used the drug were twice as likely as occasional users to have satisfying orgasms.
Researchers noted that marijuana use has been on the rise among adults in the US as a growing number of states pass laws which legalize it for both medical and recreational purposes.
Researchers note there is a dearth of research that has looked at the drug’s impact on sexual health – despite the fact cannabis is thought to act on the cannabinoid receptor in the brain which is involved in sexual function.
Marijuana has long been linked to an increase in sexual activity among teenagers – in the same way that alcohol and recreational drugs also have. Earlier research has also tied marijuana to unsafe sex and higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases.
But this study, carried out by Dr Becky Lynn of Saint Louis University School of Medicine and colleagues, focused on the link between cannabis and women’s satisfaction with their sex lives, sex drive, orgasms, lubrication and pain during intercourse.
Overall, 197 women in the study, or about 52 per cent, did not use cannabis at all. Another 49 women, or 13 per cent, used the drug but did not do so before having sex.
“What’s new about this study is that marijuana is framed as being useful for sex,” said Joseph Palamar, a population health researcher at NYU Langone Medical Centre in New York who was not actually involved in the study.
He added: “Typically, drugs are investigated as risk factors for sex. I think this paper signifies that times are changing”.
The study found women who did use cannabis before sex appeared to have more lubrication and less pain during intercourse than women who did not. However, the differences were too small to rule out the possibility they were down to chance.
Limitations of the study include its small size and that is was not a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how cannabis might directly impact sexual health.
source: Maya OppenheimWomen’s Correspondent @mayaoppenheim