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Cannabis for Better Sex? Here’s What Science Says

Cannabis makes sex better?

Many people have reported that cannabis alters their sexual experience. In an essay published in 1969, the astronomer Carl Sagan, a longtime marijuana user, wrote that cannabis “enhances the enjoyment of sex” and “gives an exquisite sensitivity.”

There is very little research on the effects of cannabis on sex. This is probably due to the fact cannabis research has been notoriously difficult to fund and it remains an illegal drug (at least in the United States). Most of the research relies on data from surveys focusing on people who already use cannabis and are not representative of the general population. This is why is difficult to draw film conclusions. Furthermore, the surveys are generally imprecise about dosage or timing.

Dr. Becky K. Lynn, a sexual medicine and menopause expert and the founder of Evora Women’s Health in St. Louis, has clear ideas. “I’ve had several patients come to me and say, ‘I have low libido. Can you help me? And, oh, by the way, if I use marijuana, I can orgasm, no problem,’” she said. “They also tell me that low libido improves with marijuana.”

Cannabis for Better Sex?

Dr. Lynn is the lead author of a study published in 2019 that surveyed 373 women about cannabis at an obstetrics and gynecology clinic in Missouri. Among those women, 34 percent reported having used marijuana before having sex and most of them said it resulted in an increased sex drive, improved orgasm and decreased pain.

Studies have also found that some women use cannabis to help manage menopause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and vaginal changes, such as dryness, all of which may contribute to lower libido when untreated.

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“At low doses, cannabis helps libido, but at high doses, it often isn’t as effective,” he said, adding that the wrong amount will lead some people to become paranoid and anxious. The drug could also inhibit orgasm, creating the opposite effect of what was intended.

Dr. Lynn claimed is better to “Start low and go slow”. But how much is too much marijuana? That will vary from person to person.

And because cannabis is known to impair judgment, coordination and reaction time, those who use it before or during sex “must take into consideration whether people using the product and their partners can have safe and consensual sex,” said Dr. Stacy Tessler Lindau, a gynecologist at the University of Chicago Medicine and the creator of WomanLab, a website about sexual health.

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