Facts and Myths About Cannabis and Sex

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

There is no doubt that having regular sex is a very important aspect of every healthy romantic relationship. There is presently no research that shows which of the genders enjoys sex most. Unfulfilled sexual expectations can negatively affect the relationship between lovers. There has been a growing debate on the impact of cannabis like marijuana, because of its ‘high’ euphoria effect on one’s sexuality. Though legal in some states, but remains prohibited at the federal level. However, it is on record, according to the national survey on drug use and health that since 2016 44% of Americans over the age of 12 years old,  have used marijuana for varying reasons.

Marijuana, also known as the hemp plant, is the dried leaves, flowers, stem, and seed of the cannabis plant. Common slang names include pot, weed, widow, chronic, and herb. While it contains several other compounds, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two primary compounds.  According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, US National Library of Medicine, these two substances produce different and opposing effects. Cannabis produces different effects on people depending on their level of usage, gender, duration, and the strain used. Though its use has been legalized in some states for both medicinal and adult recreational use, it still remains, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse the most common illegal drug used in the United States. As regulations play catch up to society at will and more scientific research is encouraged and conducted this will continue to change. This article examines separating facts and myths regarding the relationship between marijuana and sex.

Is Marijuana an Aphrodisiac?

The US Food and Drug Administration defines aphrodisiac to be any substance, which could be food, drinks, or drugs with a label claim that it can arouse or enhance sexual desire when consumed.

There are varying schools of thought on the number of cannabis plant strains that are available and specifically which strains have aphrodisiac qualities in their nature. However, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the cannabis plant exists in two main strains. They are the Cannabis-indicia and Cannabis-sativa, each which has different levels of THC and CBD present.

Results from some research investigations conclude marijuana use inhibits the sex drive, while others determine it enhances it. However, based on the research conducted by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine, it was suggested that marijuana use does not inhibit sexual performance but rather enhance it. The result of the research is published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.  

Some proponents of marijuana see it as a natural aphrodisiac, especially for men,  when taken in moderate doses. It is thought the mechanism of action is that, smoking marijuana before sex slows down the brain waves, enhances the motor senses, and makes the sex organs engorge more easily.  In addition, some people are of the opinion that there are eight strains of marijuana that are aphrodisiac in nature. Marijuana is known to contain a high level of the mind-altering compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This substance enhances the release of dopamine, otherwise known as the ‘happy hormone’, which subsequently attaches itself to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, thus affecting one’s perception of pleasure. This, in turn, produces an effect similar to that of a naturally occurring brain neurochemical known as anandamide.

Conversely, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the use of marijuana has been demonstrated to lower testosterone levels, which may lead to erectile dysfunction. Based on the findings published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the use of cannabis could inhibit the ability to achieve an orgasm. This claim, according to cannabis enthusiasts occurs only when it is taken regularly and in high doses.

Is there a History of Marijuana and Sex?

The use of marijuana, in different forms, as a sexual enhancer has been around for decades and even centuries in many cultures. A lot of cultures, since time immemorial, have long embraced medicinal marijuana in treating various ailments. This is especially true of the CBD strain which have numerous therapeutic applications.

Some of the places and cultures where marijuana have been used in relation to sex are:

  • In India, among the Tantric sex practitioners, this has been in use as far back as the 7th century, to extensively prolong one’s sexual arousal. Marijuana is believed to help boost libido, delay ejaculation, and is effective in producing a long-lasting erection. It is usually mixed with milk, water, and other spices to form a ‘marijuana milkshake’.
  • It is on record that as far back as the year 1930, Russian newly wedded brides use cannabis mixed with lamb fats or Nasha on their wedding night to make their sexual experience more pleasurable by minimizing the pain of defloration.
  • History shows that cannabis has long been in use in Lebanon, Morocco, and Egypt for treating impotence and enhancing sexual drive. This is known as kif but could be medicinal kif, or sexy drive kif based on the preparation. When marijuana is mixed with opium, it is referred to as medicinal kif for treating impotence. But when mixed with substances that include ginger, nutmeg, cloves, lavender, snakeroot, it is known as a sexy drive kif for enhancing sex drive.

What are some of the Myths behind Sex and Cannabis?

The use of cannabis generates a lot of debate in the public domain. This results in misinformation, propaganda, politics, and other agendas. The propagation of erroneous information about sex and cannabis hurts everyone. Information is power with the ability to make informed choices. Below are some of the myths regarding sex and cannabis.

Cannabis and sex don’t gel

There is a misrepresentation that the use of cannabis can make one antisocial and unable to sexually relate to people. This assertion is entirely false as there is no scientific data to neither prove nor back up the claim. Actually, the contrary results from studies done by a Canadian Researchers Group shows that people who use cannabis have a more enjoyable sexual experience compared to non-users.

Cannabis sterilizes men

Some critics are of the opinion that the continual use of cannabis has the potential of making a man sterile. This assertion is entirely false. However, frequent cannabis use could result in changes to the size and shape of a user’s sperm, which could reduce the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg. Based on research conducted in 2014 by a team of researchers from University of Sheffield and Manchester, the negative effects of cannabis on a user’s sperm can be reversed if the user can abstain for 6 days.   

Cannabis prolongs arousal

This claim is commonly used by cannabis proponents, but there is no scientific data to back it up. The feeling of arousal often claimed to be experienced from cannabis use, according to the University of California Santa Barbara, is as a result of a distorted sense of time often experienced under the influence of cannabis. Perception is everything; therefore the individual’s experience is valid.

Are their benefits to combining cannabis and sex?

There is no standardization; cannabis does not produce the same effects in different people. Its effects vary from person to person, gender to gender, and from strain to strain. However, some factors like the method of use, the frequency of usage, the amount, and the personal circumstances or environment does contribute to the effects on each individual.

Yet, cannabis is known to work well as a sexual enhancer that benefits both male and female genders when taken occasionally in a moderate amount.

Some benefits of combining cannabis and sex include:

  • Increasing libido
  • Relaxation of the body and mind
  • Reduction of anxiety
  • Heightening of the senses
  • Inhibition of premature ejaculation


The key to deriving the utmost benefits from its aphrodisiac properties lies in the amount and frequency of usage. It can indeed be of great benefit for lovers struggling with low libido when taken occasionally and in the right amount.

The long, ancient history of the use of marijuana as a sexual enhancer attests to its staying power. This practice, coupled with the increasing number of states in the US legalizing its use provides people new avenues and options for intimacy.


1.        Marijuana, Drug facts; National Institute on Drug Abuse


2.       Cannabis, a complex plant: different compounds and different effects on individuals;   Zerrin Atakar; Dec.2012


3.      Marijuana Is a Natural Aphrodisiac—If You Don’t Get Too Dang High; Madison  Margolin; August 3, 2016.

 https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/yp35xv/marijuana-aphrodisiac-stoner-  boner-sex

4.        Endocrine effects of marijuana in the male: preclinical studies.


5.       Cannabis Use and Sexual Health; Anthony MA Smith PHD. et al, 28th January,2010


6.      8 Best Marijuana strains that act as Aphrodisiacs; Joseph Misolonas; Feb.14th 2018


7.   CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21    https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=310.528

8.    8 Fascinating Ways People of the Past Used Marijuana to Enhance Sex;Anna Pulley/The Influencer; April 1st 2016  https://www.alternet.org/drugs/8-fascinating-ways-people-past-used-marijuana-enhance-sex

9.      Sperm size and shape in young men affected by cannabis use; The university of Sheffield; June 5, 2014. https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/sperm-size-affected-by-cannabis-use-1.377749

10.     Does Marijuana Enhance Sex or Destroy It?  https://www.killerweednovel.com/sex-and-weed-does-marijuana-enhance-sex-or-destroy-it/

11.     Sex and Marijuana http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/sexinfo/article/sex-and-marijuana