Recent studies confirm what cannabis users have been claiming for a long time… that pot leads to a more satisfying time in the bedroom. But it doesn’t stop there, new research indicates that cannabis can also improve the quality of your orgasms – again, something that many of us already knew full well. Bottom line, stoned sex is fun and it feels amazing, but what is the science behind this phenomenon? Let’s take a deeper look.
The connection between sex and cannabis is undeniable, but who knew that the key to improving your orgasms might be as simple as a taking a few tokes? Remember subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter to keep up with all the stories going on in the industry, and to get exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and many other products! We also offer great deals on cannabinoids like HHC-O, Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC, which you can find in our “Best-of” lists!
What is an orgasm?
Let’s start with the basics. Defined simply, and according to the American Psychological Association, an orgasm is when a person reaches peak sexual pleasure. Everyone’s physiology and body chemistry will vary to some degree, but some physical signs of an orgasm are relatively common and widespread. These include intense pleasurable feelings in your genitals (and entire body) due to the rhythmic contraction of the perineal muscles, anal sphincter, and reproductive organs, as well as heavy breathing, release of muscular tension, and increased heart rate.
Many people believe that ejaculation and orgasm are the same thing, but they are completely different physiological events. Ejaculation is simply that, the expulsion of semen from the body. Ejaculation is purely physical and happens in the prostate and urethra, whereas orgasms occur in the brain initially and then are felt throughout other parts of the body. In brain scans performed during an orgasmic state, the neurons were moving so rapidly that it resembled what happens in our brains during an epileptic seizure.
Ejaculation and orgasms often happen simultaneously, but that is not always the case. Additionally, there are some key differences between male and female orgasms, mainly when it comes to duration and recovery. Female orgasms typically last longer than male (20-30 seconds longer on average), and females are less likely to go through a refractory period; meaning we don’t need very long to “recover” and can have multiple orgasms in quick succession.
So, females get the benefit of longer-lasting, multi-orgasmic sexual encounters (lucky us), but there is a caveat: we’re almost half as likely as men to ever experience a true orgasm! According to a handful of studies and surveys, men have what they consider a real orgasm much more frequently than women. As per the research, just over 90% of men experience orgasm regularly during intercourse, compared to only 50% of women.
To add to this, it seems as though people are have less sex overall, based on surveys conducted over the last decade or so. And while it’s easy to blame the pandemic and just brush it off, statistics clearly state that by 2018 (2 years before the COVID was even a thought in anyone’s head), the number of adults in the United States and Europe reporting no sex in the past year had reached an all-time high. This applies to men and women across all age groups.
Cannabis, sex, and better orgasms – what the science says
Although clinical data is lacking in this field, a great deal of anecdotal evidence exists claiming that there is a strong link between frequent cannabis use and improved libido, arousal, orgasm, and just a better sex life in general. Naturally, a growing number of curious researchers are eager to further investigate this theory. Below are a handful of studies that have come out over the last few years, looking at the connection between the world’s most commonly used illicit substance, and sex.
Study 1, published in the journal Sexual Medicine in 2017. This study set out to determine whether frequency of marijuana use had any bearing on sexual activity. Researchers analyzed a CDC survey of 28,176 women and 22,943 men of reproductive-age, and tracked sexual frequency within the 4 weeks preceding survey administration related to cannabis use and frequency in the year preceding survey administration.
According to their findings, “Marijuana use is independently associated with increased sexual frequency and does not appear to impair sexual function.” Daily users actually reported having 20% more sex than their counterparts who had never used cannabis before, meaning there was a direct tie between regular cannabis use and the rate (and quality to some degree) of sexual activity.
Study 2, published in the journal Sexual Medicine in 2019. This one was a survey that analyzed the responses of 373 women who were receiving care at a specific OB-GYN practice over the course of 1 year, and who chose to participate in this questionnaire. They were asked questions about their sex drive, prevalence and caliber of orgasms, lubrication, and overall sexual satisfaction. They were also asked if they used cannabis, and if so, how often and if they used prior to having sex.
Out of that group, 176 women said they were, in fact, using cannabis on a regular basis. The survey results determined that, “Among those who reported using marijuana before sex, 68.5 percent stated that the overall sexual experience was more pleasurable, 60.6 percent noted an increase in sex drive, and 52.8 percent reported an increase in satisfying orgasms.” Take those results as you will, but basically, every single aspect of the stoner women’s sex lives was better than what their non-using counterparts were experiencing.
Study 3, published in the journal Healthcare in 2021. The most recent study on this list was conducted between January and June 2020 by a team of researchers from the University of Almeria in Spain. This study aimed to examine the effects of both, alcohol and cannabis use, on overall sexual functioning. Over that 6-month period, a group of 185 females and 89 males between the ages of 18 and 30 were observed. Among the group, some were regular cannabis users, some were regular alcohol users, and some were non-users. Researchers screened for use of any other substances as well as pre-existing conditions that could have a negative impact on sexual functioning.
The results were that cannabis users scored higher than both non-users and alcohol users on the comprehensive sexual functioning scale as well as subscales of arousal and orgasm quality. Like the other studies mentioned above, this one also found a correlation between regular or heavy cannabis use and better sex overall.
We know it works, but why?
It has been determined time and time again that cannabis makes sex better – through clinical trials, surveys, and a plethora of personal accounts and anecdotal information. The reason why still remains more of a mystery, however. Many believe it’s because cannabis can help reduce anxiety and stress, which in turn increases a person’s confidence, ability to have let go and have fun, and willingness to experiment in the bedroom.
Another premise is that it might be related to the way cannabis interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in our bodies, many of which are responsible for regulating hormones. The only reason cannabis actually works and has an effect on us at all is because of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Simply put, the ECS is a network of receptors that exists in the bodies of all living creatures (except insects), plus the endocannabinoids that bind to them. As a whole, the ECS regulates numerous different body functions and processes to maintain internal balance and homeostasis.
Becky Lynn, lead author of the 2019 study and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Saint Louis University in Missouri, outlined her experience with the subject in a recent interview. According to Lynn, her interest was piqued when a growing number of her own patients reported that they were using cannabis products to help with various sexual issues.
“I have seen it used in women with chronic pain disorders that lead to painful sex, women who experience difficulty with orgasm or an inability to orgasm, and women who use it to improve their libido, which may not match their partner’s libido,” she told Weedmaps.
These sentiments were echoed with data from the 2021 study. “Sexual function is improved in young people who are high-risk cannabis consumers, resulting in increased desire, arousal, and orgasm,” the study found. “This improvement is usually associated with a reduction in anxiety and shame, which facilitates sexual relationships.”
There is also the possibility that it has less to do with cannabis use, and more to do with the types of personalities that are drawn to cannabis in the first place. According to a personality profile created by the Myers and Briggs Foundation, people who use cannabis typically belong to the ENTP (extroverted, intuitive, thinking, perspective) personality type. Other bodies of research of claim that people who use cannabis (as well as other substances) are naturally more impulsive also. So it should come as no surprise that people who are extroverted, intuitive, and impulsive are likely to be more relaxed and outgoing in regards to sex.
Call me biased, but one of things that most drew me in with all these studies is how beneficial cannabis is for women in particular, when it comes to enhancing the sexual experience. I find this fascinating for two reasons. Number one: as far as women’s healthcare goes, especially concerning sexual topics, modern medicine is eons behind where we should be. The Women’s Healthcare Movement (WHM) in the United States didn’t even begin until the late 1960s, despite the fact that humans have been practicing some form of medicine since the beginning of time. Using a widely available natural therapeutic can give women a newfound sense of control over their sexual health.
Number two: I think it’s interesting that cannabis is now known to be good for the female body on so many different levels, yet women are less likely to support legalization than men. I’ll get more into this one soon, as this is a story for another time. Either way, it’s eye-opening to some extent, and who knows, maybe the push my fellow ladies need to get on board with cannabis, is the knowledge that pot leads to more arousal, explosive orgasms, and just better sex all around.
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.