LOS ANGELES, (Xinhua) — Marijuana use is increasingly prevalent in the United States. A new population-based Stanford study indicates that, despite concerns among physicians and scientists that frequent marijuana use may impair sexual desire or performance, the opposite appears more likely to be the case.
The link between sex and marijuana has been confirmed by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The findings, published in the current issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, are based on an analysis of more than 50,000 Americans ages 25-45. And they’re unambiguous.
“Frequent marijuana use doesn’t seem to impair sexual motivation or performance. If anything, it’s associated with increased coital frequency,” Michael Eisenberg, the study’s senior author and assistant professor of urology, was quoted as saying in a news release.
The study is the first to examine the relationship between marijuana use and frequency of sexual intercourse at the population level in the United States.
According to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 20 million adult Americans are current marijuana users. With the drug’s legalization for medical or recreational use in 29 states, that number is climbing.
Researchers analyzed data from the U.S. National Survey of Family Growth, a nationally representative cross-sectional survey, sponsored by the U.S. federal Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, which is now carried out on an annual basis. It explicitly queries respondents on how many times they’ve had intercourse with a member of the opposite sex in the past four weeks, and how frequently they’ve smoked marijuana over the past 12 months.
They used a multivariable model, controlling for demographic, socioeconomic, and anthropographic characteristics, to evaluate whether a relationship between marijuana use and sexual frequency exists.
In all, Stanford investigators obtained data on 28,176 women averaging 29.9 years of age and 22,943 men whose average age was 29.5. They assessed these individuals’ self-reported patterns of marijuana use over the previous year and their self-reported frequency of heterosexual intercourse over the previous four weeks.
It found that women who smoked marijuana daily had sex with a male partner an average of 7.1 times per month, compared to 6 times per month for nonsmoking women. Among men, the corresponding figure was 5.6 for nonusers and 6.9 for daily users.
In other words, regular marijuana users have about 20 percent more sex than abstainers, according to the new study.
Moreover, Eisenberg said, the positive association between marijuana use and coital frequency was independent of demographic, health, marital or parental status.