Just like most things in the world, marijuana affects different people differently. Some people believe that cannabis helps in increasing their libido and sex drive, while some stand by the opposite. The mainstream acceptance of marijuana has been accompanied by a slew of health and wellness claims. For example, there are claims that marijuana products increase sex drive, arousal, and orgasm. In actuality, just a little amount of research has been done on the topic. So what do we actually know about the effects that marijuana has on sex?
Before we go on to understand the effect marijuana might have on your sex life we need to know how it affects our brain.
How does marijuana affect our brain?
THC, the main psychoactive element, stimulates the pleasure center of the brain, which includes eating and sex. This releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel joyful and relaxed.
THC enters the lungs and is absorbed into the bloodstream when a person smokes or inhales cannabis. THC molecules that make it through the blood-brain barrier will find themselves snugly fitting into receptors that normally receive endocannabinoids, which the body creates on its own. The endocannabinoid system, which is involved in a variety of processes such as stress, food intake, metabolism, and pain, contains these receptors. Unlike alcohol, which contains chemicals that are unrelated to those found in our bodies, cannabis contains cannabinoids, which are similar to those found in our brains. THC resembles a natural transmitter termed "anandamide," despite the fact that these cannabinoids circulate in far lower levels in nature than the huge inflow induced by smoking.
Anandamide has been dubbed the "bliss molecule" because it appears to increase feelings of joy and happiness. It is derived from the Sanskrit word "ananda," which meaning "joy" or "bliss." Anandamide, it turns out, is responsible for a lot more than happiness. Anandamide is involved in memory, motivation, mobility, pain, appetite, and fertility, as well as possibly preventing cancer cell proliferation. Anandamide is an anti-anxiety and antidepressant drug because of its role in neurogenesis, or the production of new nerve cells.
How does marijuana affect our bodies?
Marijuana's effects can be unexpected, especially when combined with other medications, according to a study. You may feel calm while using marijuana, but it can also cause a high heart rate and other undesirable side effects.
- Increased heart rate
- Eyes that are bloodshot
- Mouth is parched
- Coordination problems
- Eyelids swollen
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a molecule found in marijuana that does not get you high but is thought to be responsible for many of the drug's therapeutic effects. These advantages could include pain alleviation or the possibility of treating specific types of childhood epilepsy.
Limited study on marijuana and sex
It is commonly known that marijuana helps in reducing anxiety and pain. As an extension of this, it might help with sex indirectly by solving problems related to them. However, the long-term effects of marijuana are underreported and under-researched. Researchers often have to rely on self-reported surveys which means that participants are asked about the drug use and sexual experiences after them. It’s difficult to rely on people to accurately remember these things and the effect that it has on their sex life. There is also no way of verifying whether what the respondent has said is true or not. Also, such a survey would only show the relation that marijuana and sex have. It would be unable to show why marijuana has a certain effect on a person’s sex life. Furthermore, many of these studies have traditionally focused mostly or exclusively on men's experiences.
Marijuana is thought to cause poor sexual function, and some studies have found that it can interrupt the menstrual cycle, impair sperm quality, and make it more difficult to reach orgasm.
Marijuana and Erectile Dysfunction
ED may be caused by recreational marijuana usage, according to certain small studies. A person who uses marijuana in combination with tobacco may be at a greater danger of developing erectile dysfunction. Tobacco use reduces blood flow to the veins and arteries, and smokers are more likely to develop ED. Marijuana smoking, especially when combined with tobacco, may pose a similar danger. The smooth muscle tissue of the penis has cannabinoid receptors. As a result, it's theoretically possible that THC will decrease penile function, resulting in ED. However, there is a scarcity of evidence.
Marijuana can also influence the circulatory system, leading to a rise in blood pressure and heart rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Marijuana smokers are more likely to suffer these side effects, which both increase the likelihood of developing ED.
Men who use marijuana heavily have been demonstrated to have lower sperm counts and lower sperm composition quality. This could affect 29% of heavy users. When more drugs are consumed, the number goes up much more. An increase in reporting of difficulties reaching orgasm was connected with daily users vs. non-users in an Australian survey of males aged 16 to 64.
Marijuana and Vagina
According to studies, smoking marijuana not only dries out your mouth but also dries out your vaginal area.
This discovery was made in 2009 when a survey of 8,650 Australians was conducted to examine if there was a link between marijuana use and inadequate vaginal lubrication. Pot, or at least certain strains of it, can cause mucus membranes to dry out quickly, according to Dr. Julie Holland, causing what is known as ‘cotton vagina’.
It’s not all bad
Marijuana is associated with sexual desire and horniness. A lot of stoners have reported having a much better feeling of euphoria and a better sexual drive. We spoke to people who used marijuana regularly and this is what they said.
It's so much better when you're high, for me, being high helps me let loose. I'm not nervous anymore, and my anxiety takes a backseat - it's easy to be intimate without all the fear and nervousness." Akash, 20 said.
"All your senses are heightened, and everything just feels better. I am fully in the moment, present mentally and physically, so sex is so much better because it's like some elevated level of sex." Mrunal, 24.
Apart from elevated mood from marijuana it also helps in reducing tissue build-up and damage caused by high cholesterol. With high cholesterol, which has previously been linked to ED, marijuana can help reduce the effects or damage.
The Final word
Well, word is that there are only a few studies done on this matter to date but the scale might be tilting on the cons of smoking marijuana and its long-term effects on ED for now. Of course, the type of marijuana you smoke can also be a major factor, cause if it's spiked there is a good chance there are unwanted chemicals in it.
Also, the overall health of your genitals can be a big factor. So it's best to get a checkup of your genitals from a doctor before start getting high for better sex.