Recreational marijuana became legal in Canada on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, and with 31 states and the District of Columbia legalizing medical marijuana and 9 states legalizing recreational marijuana for adults, we’re learning more about the drug’s effects. With this legalization, researchers are finally able to take a closer look at marijuana’s effects through studies. Some of these studies include the impact weed has when mixed with sex.
A population-based study, including data from more than 28,000 women and more than 22,000 men published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine highlights that marijuana use increases and enhances sex. In the study, 20% reported having more sex than their non-marijuana using counterparts.
We still need some more research before we can discuss more solid evidence, but we’re pretty confident that we can now say that when compared with alcohol, marijuana appears to have different sexual effects.
In this blog post, we’re exploring some of the likely — ahem — highs and lows when mixing sex and weed together. And before you dig in, please keep in mind, that understanding the effects of marijuana is tricky because both are subject to dosage effects and everyone may be affected differently based on a whole host of other factors.
Marijuana and Sex – The High Side
1. Easier to relax
Many people experience less anxiety or stress while using cannabis, so in the short-term, this may help some people relax into a more sensual physical experience. Especially if they tend to feel tense or rigid. They may be able to feel more in the moment, which can lead to a better understanding of one’s body, emotions, and sensuality.
2. Heightened senses
When it comes to cannabis use, the topic we might hear about most is increased awareness of the sounds, feels, and sensations of what’s going on. These are all the potential ingredients for great sex.
3. Desire can grow like a weed
Some claim they have more of a desire to have sex when using weed. Many factors could also play into this such as slowed down foreplay and greater focus.
4. Juicier creative juices
There’s some evidence that weed might open up new thought patterns. And sex is a creative act, so your willingness to stay open to playing and having fun with it might lead to new ways of giving and receiving pleasure. You may even find yourself spontaneously landing in some new positions. Chances are you’ll be more likely to giggle about it too. The “truth serum” effects might also have you asserting your deepest sexual desires—when previously you may have been too nervous to speak up.
5. Being fully present
Some users say they feel more present when using weed. When we’re fully in the moment, we’re more in touch with our bodies. We’re less likely to experience our thoughts running wild through our heads, leaving us better able to relax into the experience. Since THC (the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis) may also improve our moods, we may experience a boost of dopamine—the feel-good brain chemical, increases during foreplay and sex.
6. Heightened orgasms
Looking above to the other high points of sex and weed, being able to relax and be fully present with your partner(s) may also lead to orgasm for those who usually find it difficult, or even to better or more intense orgasms.
On the flip side, there are some cons (or lows) to explore when mixing sex and weed:
1. Tough audience
Some people may feel overly aware of their partner’s actions and their reactions and become more critical than usual. This combined with a tendency to be more vocal might have some folks blurting things out that they later come to regret.
2. Dry to the bone
Cannabis users may be familiar with a dry “cotton-mouth” feeling. Well, the same can lead to vaginal dryness since weed dries out the mucous membranes. Help keep it moist by staying well-hydrated and using weed in small amounts until you understand the effects it has on your body during sex.
3. Emotional dependence
With overuse, marijuana can become a crutch. If you only experience sex while using weed, you may find yourself relying on the substance as a pathway to intimacy. This may be a relationship concern that’s being masked by weed. Make sure you’re keeping communication open and discuss any relationship challenges you may be experiencing outside of the bedroom, and perhaps not under the influence too.
4. Diminishing returns
It’s true that there can be too much of a great thing. The more weed you consume, the more intense its effects. If you engage too much, there’s a chance you might be too high to give or receive any pleasure. Unless you already know how much and which strains affect you, you may not know you’ve had too much.
Any substance that alters our state of mind can damper our decision-making ability. This could make for some choices you might not normally make when sober—such as unprotected sex, or having sex with a partner that you wouldn’t normally get in bed with.
Since you may feel more present in the moment, sex while using weed may make you feel more emotionally intense than when you’re completely sober. If the experience ends up feeling overly intense, discussing it with your partner(s) afterward while staying open and honest can help you both deepen your connection and have better sex in the long run.
Like any sexual advice, there’s no one-size-fits-all advice for you and your relationship. Know yourself, your body, and your partner(s) and if you’re experimenting, do so slowly and responsibly.
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Sexology International, like all of our work, is for people of all sexual preferences and all forms of gender expression, including people whose identity is something other than male or female. As such, we like to use gender-neutral pronouns. More recently accepted alternatives include words like “ze” and “hir” or the universal pronoun “they.” Throughout our work, we will be doing our best to use alternative pronouns, such as “they,” whenever gender or plurality is unimportant. In doing so we hope it helps everyone to feel included in the discussion and that it inspires you to think outside of traditional sex and gender binaries.