While smoking pot can be great for relaxing, binge-watching and eating junk food—among other things—it may not be so great for reproductive purposes. A new study found that smoking weed regularly lower a man’s sperm count by about a third. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark found that sperm concentrations were 28 percent lower in men who smoked weed more than once a week, over men who did not. Researchers studied 1,215 Danish men aged 18 to 28-years-old. While they’re not exactly sure of the exact connection between sperm count and marijuana usage, other lifestyle factors could also play a role.
“We cannot exclude the possibility that the men who used marijuana generally have an unhealthier lifestyle and health behavior, which may also affect their semen quality and hormone levels," researchers said in the study.
According to the Pew Research Center, nearly half of Americans say they have tried marijuana. With that many people smoking pot, it’s no surprise that a dating app was created just for the sole purpose of matching those weed enthusiasts together.
So, from the studies alone, it’s safe to say that people like marijuana. People also tend to like sex. But just how well do these two things mix? Here are six more ways that weed can affect your sex life:
1. Cannabis = Libido-Killer…Sometimes.
Not all the time. Like alcohol, marijuana can help relax you, reduce your inhibitions, and make you feel like it’s A-OK to take those sexual risks. However, a report released by the University of California, Santa Barbara found that while some people may feel aroused after cannabis use, more often than not, they fall somewhere in between. Many users find that they’re either really aroused or are really disappointed with its sexual side effects. It all depends on their mood. According to the same UCSB report, many studies have shown that people also experience a substantial decrease in their sex drive when they’re stoned.
As Allison Dering-Anderson, a clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practices at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, told TIME last year, pot use can actually have “a significant negative impact both on libido and on ability to perform.”
2. But Smoking Weed Can Also Enhance Your Sex Life
In 2011, Michael Castleman, author of the blog “All About Sex” on Psychology Today conducted an informal study on sex and marijuana. Castlemen posed this question to his readers: How does marijuana affect your sex life? According to his findings, 67 percent of respondents said that marijuana enhanced their sex life. As one respondent commented, “Marijuana engulfs me in sex foam. I’m just pure sex on that stuff. It’s great. I could never feel that way sober or drunk.”
A more formal study conducted by researchers at the University of Kansas in 1984 surveyed college students on pot and its influence on sexual behavior. It was found that over two-thirds of respondents reported to feeling an increase in sexual pleasure and satisfaction because of marijuana use, while half of them felt in increase in desire for a familiar sexual partner.
Maybe there is something to it. As Dr. Randi Smith, a licensed psychologist and professor who works with couples to enhance their intimate relationships, told The Hemp Connoisseur last year, “there can be an enhanced physical pleasure for one or both of them that could heighten their physical experience and their intimate connection.”
However, since there’s no evidence that shows marijuana increases sexual desire, like alcohol, it shouldn’t be seen as an aphrodisiac. Marijuana’s effects include the slowing down the awareness of passing time, magnifying sensations, intensifying sounds and colors, and creating an overall sense of well-being. How could your sexual experience not be enhanced by that?
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3. Couples Who Smoke Together Are Less Likely To Engage In Domestic Violence.
According to a 2014 study conducted by researchers in the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions and Research Institute on Addictions, couples who regularly smoked marijuana together were less likely to engage in domestic violence. Researchers studied 634 couples over their first nine years of marriage and found that marijuana usage between partners was “predictive of lower levels of aggression towards one’s partner in the following year.”
4. Cannabis Users Have More Sexual Partners
A 2009 study of 8,650 people conducted by the Australian Research Center in Sex found that men and women who frequently consumed weed were more likely to report having more than two sexual partners.
5. It Can Make Your Orgasm Too Quickly
The same study even found a relationship between orgasming too fast and marijuana use in men. This actually goes back to point one, because men who said they consumed cannabis on the regular felt a dissatisfaction with the length of their sexual performance.
6. It Could Give You “Moobs”
According to the National Institute of Health, frequent marijuana use can cause gynecomastia in men. In simple terms, it can give guys “moobs.” Apparently there’s been a long reported connection between marijuana consumption and the over development of male breast tissue.
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