People who smoke more marijuana are having more sex than those who smoke less, or don't smoke at all, a new study suggests. "We reported how often they smoke - monthly, weekly or daily - and how many times they've had sex in the last month", said Dr. Michael Eisenberg, a urologist at Stanford University Medical Center and lead author on the study.
"Usually, people assume the more frequently you smoke, the worse it could be when it came to sex, but in fact, we learned the opposite was true", Eisenberg said.
The researchers pulled together data from roughly 50,000 people who participated in an annual Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey during various years between 2002 and 2015.
On average, women who smoked weed every day had sex 7,1 times in a month, compared to the six times enjoyed by women who eschewed weed. Men who used cannabis had sex 6.9 times versus the men who didn't who had sex an average of 5.6 times over the four week period.
Dr Eisenberg adds that the overall trend applied to people of both sexes and all races, ages, education levels, income groups and religions, every health status, whether they were married or single and whether or not they had kids.
Currently, more than 20 million adult Americans use marijuana, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
"We were surprised to see the positive association between users", Eisenberg said.
Tobacco companies put a lot of effort into giving cigarettes sex appeal, but the more sensual smoke might actually belong to marijuana. In addition, coital frequency rose steadily with increasing marijuana use, a dose-dependent relationship supporting a possible active role for marijuana in fostering sexual activity.
Marijuana may also have increased some people's sensitivity during the act itself, although some reported getting so "lost in their own heads", they weren't paying as much attention to their partners, and they did not enjoy sex as much. Of the participants, 25 percent of the men and 15 percent of the women reported ever using marijuana.
After excluding respondents who didn't answer one or more of the relevant questions, the researcher was left with data for 28,176 women, averaging 29.9 years of age, and 22,943 men, averaging 29.5 years of age.
However, others have also found in both animals and humans that the drug can stimulate activity in brain regions involved in sexual arousal and activity.
"I wouldn't counsel patients necessarily one way or the other based on this", Eisenberg said.
The findings were similar for men, according to the study, published today (Oct. 27) in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.