Cannabis has been used for centuries by different cultures around the world to improve sexual performance. In India, where Ayurveda is the traditional and alternative medicine system, marijuana was considered a mean to increase sexual desire and combat impotence. In North Africa, like in Morocco or Egypt, cannabis has been used as a powerful aphrodisiac.
Franjo Grotenhermen, Doctor of Medicine and founder of the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine (IACM), claims in his book "Cannabis Healing” that this plant is indicated as a treatment for male impotence and erectile dysfunction, and to increase female sex drive. In the last twenty years, these same findings are strongly supported by different research works, many of them compiled by Spanish researcher Virginia Montañés Sánchez in a comprehensive article published in the specialized online magazine ‘El Cultivador’.
According to Montañés, in a 2001 study carried out in Canada on 64 men and 40 women who had used cannabis at least 25 times in their lives, demonstrated that, although the reason for this plant consumption related to sexual activity enhancement was among the last five out of a list of twenty reasons, cannabis did have an effect on their sexual relations. 54% of the research participants reported that the use of cannabis had increased their sexual arousal and 39% that their sexual intercourse lasted longer.
Five years later, a new study also conducted in Canada on 25 men and 16 women between 21 and 61 years old, almost half of them reported that they liked to use marijuana to have sex because they could see and improvement in their sexual performance as their sexual desire was increased and their libido was boosted.
“It's like someone turns the lights off; when I smoke, don't worry about my looks. My body is not perfect, but I don't care. When I smoke a joint, I feel comfortable with myself, which, after all, helps. And body sensations are much better perceived”, as affirmed by one of the participants. “I find my skin is much more sensitive to touch, my level of arousal is all raised and the orgasm more intense,” as one of the research participants stated.
Other studies confirm that many people today use cannabis as a way to improve their sexual activities, including one published in 2007 in the United Kingdom, on sexual experiences using drugs among 270 people. Almost a third of them indicated they used cannabis to enhance their sexual experiences and 16% to boost sexual desire and arousal. Another study from 2008, including 1,341 young men and women between the ages of 16 and 35 and coming from nine European countries, goes in the same direction: 29% of those surveyed also claimed to use cannabis to increase their arousal and sensations in bed.
Other relevant research works have brought some evidence to the table that explains the effects on cannabis the body in relation to sexual practices. In 2011, researcher Carolin Klein focused her doctoral thesis at the University of British Columbia, in Canada, on studying the relationship between the endocannabinoid system in the mammalian brain and female sexual functioning.
As explained in the academic article on research published in 2012 together with four other authors, this started from the observable effects that exogenous cannabinoids - those that are consumed - had on sexual behavior in humans at a subjective level - provided by the studies above on cannabis uses — and in animals at the target level. Now the goal was to measure whether there was any relationship between the endocannabinoid system and sexual arousal. And the result was that indeed there is a relationship.
The line of research opened by Klein was followed in 2017 by a group of Czech researchers who managed to prove that the increase in sexual desire caused by cannabis is not just a subjective issue, but with has some physiological causes. According to their research, cannabis stimulates the nucleus accumbens, a region of the brain known as the 'pleasure center' where CB1 cannabinoid receptor shows a strong response.
However, in opposition to the studies that relate the increase in sexual desire and pleasure with the consumption of marijuana, others researchers warn of the negative effects this plant can have on sexual and reproductive health.
According to a study published in 2015 by the University of Oxford, smoking cannabis more than once a week decreases sperm production by 28% compared to men who do not smoke cannabis or do so less frequently.
For women, there are also many specialists who point out that, as also dries your mouth, cannabis can cause vaginal dryness, although not as much as the contraceptive pill.