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Young Cannabis and Alcohol Consumers Have Better “Sexual Function,” Study Finds

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Jan 20, 2022   
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Young people who frequently consume cannabis have better overall “sexual function” than those who don’t, according to a new study.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers behind the study surveyed 274 participants about their sex lives and their alcohol and cannabis use. Those who consumed cannabis prior to sex reported more satisfying experiences than those who refrained from the drug.

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Published in the journal Healthcare, the study was conducted by a research group from the University of Almeria, Spain, between January and June 2020.

All 274 participants were between the ages of 18 and 30 and the majority (185) were female.

After questioning the recruits on their alcohol and cannabis use, the participants were categorized as either having a “risky” or non-risky relationship with the respective substances.

According to the results of the questionnaire, the “risky” cannabis consumers of the group were significantly more likely to report higher levels of arousal and sexual function than those who consumed less cannabis or none at all.

These results were mirrored for the alcohol use and sexual function scores; those with a risky relationship with alcohol reported significantly higher levels of sexual function and arousal.

“The findings of this study revealed a higher score in sexual function, as well as arousal and orgasm, in subjects at risk of having cannabis-related problems and risk of addiction associated with alcohol consumption,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

What could explain this relationship? The researchers can’t say for certain, as the study was only observational. But they do posit some explanations.

Several previous studies, they write, have indicated that cannabis and alcohol can lessen emotions of anxiety and shame during sexual interactions. Cannabis’ ability to heighten perceptions, distort the perception of time, and relax an individual could also explain the observed improvements in sexual function.

To properly determine how cannabis affects the sexual function of young people, the researchers say, more studies will be needed, particularly studies with a larger sample size than the relatively small cohort in their study.

“The number of participants in this study was relatively small; therefore, the study findings should be interpreted cautiously,” the researchers write.

“Rather than concluding the issue, many questions arise from this study that need to be answered,” they continue.

“Future research could delve into cannabis and alcohol consumers’ perceptions of their sexuality to gain a better understanding of the issue, as well as the types of relationships (long-term, sporadic, unstable, etc.) that frequent drug users have and whether there is an association between their use and the type of relationship they have.”


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