Forget the wine and chocolates this Valentine’s Day and opt for cannabis instead.
Wine is the considered a classic aphrodisiac because it has been shown to increase the testosterone in your bloodstream and increase sex drive. But too much of a good thing can lead to lack of sexual performance in both men and women. Still there are strong ties between drinking and sex. Many people lose their virginity while drunk and continue to associate booze and sex, according to Psychology Today.
While cannabis doesn’t affect the body the same way alcohol does, studies suggest cannabis can be good for more than just decompressing after a long day, it an effective aphrodisiac. A study of 133 women conducted at a gynecology office reported that about one-third used marijuana prior to sex and 62 percent of respondents believed that weed makes sex more pleasurable. A smaller percentage of women – 16 percent – cited cannabis-use specifically for pain-relief. Although not defined in the survey, it seems safe to assume the women surveyed were recreational rather than medical cannabis users.
Many women cited the benefits of cannabis including; reduced anxiety, increased relaxation and heightened sensory perception as reasons they chose to get high before being intimate. However, the survey did not disclose how much weed the women took or how they consumed it.
But women who used weed aren’t just enjoying sex more, one study suggests that they’re doing it more frequently. Data collected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 2002 and 2015 showed that women who smoked daily had sex, a little over seven times a month, compared to six times a month for non-smokers. Men who smoked also had sex more regularly averaging six times month versus an average of five and half times per month for non-smokers.
Even though pot smokers may be getting more sex-per-month, experts caution that people are less likely to use protection when high. A study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found that condom use was significantly lower among people who got high prior to intercourse and teens were the least likely to use protection when high. The authors caution this behavior may lead to an increased spread of STDs. The study made no mention of oral contraceptives (birth control) or other methods of preventing pregnancy.
Another related study conducted by an economist at the University of Connecticut, found an increase in birth rates in states where medical marijuana was legalized. According to the working paper, birth rate increased by approximately four births per quarter for every 10,000 women of childbearing age.
The authors postulate that the legalization of medical marijuana leads to a greater availability of recreational pot which means that more people have access to marijuana. The study suggests that using pot can lead to riskier sexual behavior, such as a reduced use of condoms, as in the study cited above.
Should pot be your go-to aphrodisiac? Cannabusinesses seem to think so. Companies are producing THC-infused lube, massage oils and other CBD-centric products, citing the pain-relieving and relaxation properties of THC. Many include other good-for-you ingredients like coconut oil and aloe.