A common stereotype is that smoking weed makes you lazy. A “stoner” is often portrayed as someone who sits around snacking on junk food and is too languid to do anything — including have sex.
But scientific research has pushed back on this cliché. According to one study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine last year and spotted by Forbes, marijuana use is associated with increased sexual frequency. In other words, people who used cannabis had more sex than those who didn’t — as much as 20% more.
The team from Stanford University in California analyzed data from more than 28,000 women and 22,000 men who were surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Results showed there was no basis in the idea that cannabis reduces your libido, as there was no link between its use and impaired sexual function.
“Frequent marijuana use doesn’t seem to impair sexual motivation or performance. If anything, it’s associated with increased coital frequency,” Michael Eisenberg, the senior author of the study and an assistant professor of urology at Stanford, said in a statement.
He said the study doesn’t establish a causal connection between marijuana and sex — that is, that smoking marijuana makes you want more sex. But the results hint at it.
“The overall trend we saw applied to people of both sexes and all races, ages, education levels, income groups and religions, every health status, whether they were married or single and whether or not they had kids,” he said.
Another study, published at the beginning of 2017, found that 68% of women who used cannabis before sex reported finding it more pleasurable.
According to the United Nations’ World Drug Report, as many as 238 million people may use cannabis worldwide. In the United States, nine states and Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana for recreational use for adults over the age of 21, while you can get medical marijuana in a further 30 states.
With the evolving international conversation about the drug, it may be more helpful to rely on the scientific evidence than the myths around what it does. For example, a 2017 study found that people who smoke cannabis may be among the most successful, dampening the idea that smokers lie around all day.
This is unsurprising considering some high profile people who have smoked in the past are Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, former US President Barack Obama, and Oprah Winfrey.
Cannabis is also being used more and more for medical purposes, but regulation of it still needs to catch up before real progress is made.
But whatever happens in terms of legalization where you live, you can be almost certain of one thing — smoking weed probably won’t hurt your sex drive.