PALO ATLO, Calif. - A new Stanford University study found people who regularly use marijuana have about 20 percent more sex than those who abstain.
Men who smoked pot daily had sex about 1.3 more times per month as those who are infrequent users and those who abstain. Women who smoked pot every day had sex about one more time per month than those who never use cannabis and those who are infrequent users.
"Marijuana use is independently associated with increased sexual frequency and does not appear to impair sexual function," researchers concluded. Past studies have linked marijuana use to erectile dysfunction.
Using data from the U.S. government's National Survey of Family Growth, researchers asked roughly 28,000 women and nearly 23,000 men how often they had sex in the month before the survey and how frequently they used marijuana in the past year
The study, thought to be the first of its kind, was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine last week. It was conducted by Stanford urology resident Andrew J. Sun, and Stanford assistant professor of urology Michael Eisenberg, an expert in male sexual and reproductive function. who described why they took on the project.
“I see men in clinic with various forms of sexual dysfunction. As we look for medical or lifestyle factors that may influence function, I’m often asked about the role that marijuana may play. Prior to this study, there was not a lot known,’’ said Eisenberg.
The team took into account factors such as age, marital status, obesity, children, poverty, ethnicity, health, pregnancy and religion — all of which could influence a person's sex life.
“I was surprised that this association existed for all groups we looked at,’’ said Eisenberg.
The findings, however, don't necessarily apply to people older than 44 or to homosexual couples.
Though researchers don’t know why cannabis use is linked to more time in the bedroom, other studies have shown that marijuana’s active ingredient (THC) stimulates a part of the brain that turns desire into action.
There are drawbacks, however.
Studies have found that male marijuana users had lower sperm counts than those who don’t partake, and there has been concern about an increase in pregnant women using cannabis.
The study comes on the brink of marijuana becoming legal in California.
Last November, state voters approved Proposition 64 to legalize recreational marijuana and allow adults 21 or older to possess limited amounts for personal use and have up to six plants in private homes. The law is set to take effect in January.