Health

Pot Smokers Have More Sex, Study Finds

Stanford researchers found that marijuana users have sex 20 percent more often than non-pot smokers, regardless of age, education, or marital status.

A woman smokes a cigarette of marijuana in an Amsterdam cafe on February 7, 2007 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
A woman smokes a cigarette of marijuana in an Amsterdam cafe on February 7, 2007 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Weed smokers are often stereotyped as being lethargic, unmotivated, and more likely to be Netflix and chilling on a Friday night than out on the dance floor. But new research suggests that laziness doesn’t apply to the bedroom.

A Stanford University study recently found that people who smoke marijuana regularly have more sex than people who don’t. It’s the first research to show a connection between marijuana use and the frequency of sex. 

The researchers used data from the National Survey of Family Growth, which queries men and women about marriage, pregnancy, infertility, and sexual health.

“We looked at associations between marijuana use and sexual frequency while accounting for important variables like age, education, and marital status, which also play a role,” Michael Eisenberg, senior study author and director of male reproductive medicine and surgery at Stanford, told Seeker.

The results were clear: No matter the person’s age, race, education level, income group, whether they were single or married, or whether they had kids, if they smoked marijuana, they reported having sex more frequently than non-marijuana smokers. 

The survey asked participants how many times they had intercourse with a member of the opposite sex in the past four weeks and how frequently they smoked marijuana over the past 12 months. Women who didn’t smoke pot in the past year had sex, on average, six times during the previous four weeks, whereas women who smoked pot daily had sex 7.1 times in four weeks. Among men, those who didn’t smoke pot had sex 5.6 times in four weeks, while those who smoked daily had sex 6.9 times. Overall, pot smokers had 20 percent more sex than non-smokers. The trend remained true even for weed smokers who also consumed other substances like alcohol and cocaine. 

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One question the researchers considered is whether people who use marijuana tend to be more outgoing in general and are therefore the type of people who also have sex more frequently.

“The personality type issue is certainly possible,” Eisenberg said. “However, the fact that the association persists for all the subgroups — age, marital status, education, religion, etc. — suggests that there may be some biological explanation.” 

The results show a dose-dependent relationship: The frequency of intercourse rose with increasing marijuana use. It’s likely the drug plays an active role in fostering sexual activity, a link that has been found in previous studies, Eisenberg said. “There is some data in humans and rodents that show marijuana can affect arousal pathways.” 

The study, published Oct. 27 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, comes at a time when more than 20 million adult Americans consume marijuana, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. That number is increasing as more states legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use.

But research on how marijuana relates to sexual health remains slim, and correlation is not causation. There's no guarantee your sex life will improve if you start smoking pot. 

“With the growing wave of legalization, I think it’s important to study the effects broadly,” Eisenberg said. “Sexual medicine is one area where little data exists and more information will help both patients and providers.” 

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