As if you needed another excuse to party.
A recent study conducted in Almeria, Spain, has concluded that young people between the ages of 18 and 30 who consume cannabis and alcohol could enjoy improved sexual function. And, get this – better orgasms. But before dusting off your ‘Stoners do it better’ t-shirt, you might want to read a little further. This study is just observational. It (sadly) doesn’t conclusively prove a link between getting buzzed and being a black belt between the sheets.
Besides, despite this latest study’s findings, it’s still not clear whether or not cannabis and alcohol are a greater help or hindrance when it comes to sex. Many previous studies paint alcohol as a handicap on erectile function. And, as yet, there’s still no concrete consensus on weed’s role to either stump or supercharge sexual performance.
There’s also evidence that both substances affect men and women differently and that age can be a factor in responses. That’s why the study authors decided to narrow the field of research to young adults. It’s this group that typically consumes the most alcohol and cannabis and is the most sexually active. Ah, to be young again.
What The Study Looked At
The investigation began last year when 274 people aged between 18 and 30 were recruited to participate. They filled out questionnaires about their cannabis and alcohol consumption and sexual responses. Like, desire, arousal and orgasm.
The results showed that heavy cannabis users scored higher on arousal and sexual function than non-users. The same outcomes were reported by heavy drinkers compared to teetotallers.
The authors noted that men and women alike reported similar results. And went on to explain that “sexual function in young people who use cannabis and alcohol more frequently was shown to be better than in those who do not use either.”[i]
The study stopped short of identifying underlying factors that would correlate between substance use and improved sexual enjoyment. Still, the perceived sense of relaxation and reduced inhibition is a likely ingredient. Researchers stated that the use of these substances may lead to a “reduction in anxiety and shame, which facilitates sexual relationships.”
Impact on Sexual Function Varies
It’s a commonly-held belief that these substances give rise to what some people term ‘Dutch courage. Short lasting artificial confidence is gained from a lowering of any anxieties. Previous studies are split on whether they enhance or inhibit sexual performance, and there’s often something skewing the data.
Heavy alcohol use has been shown to lower testosterone in males and lead to erectile dysfunction. But older gentlemen are typically more often researched. In women, it’s been found that alcohol can increase subjective sexual desire and arousal (the term ‘beer goggles’ springs to mind). It can also decrease physiological arousal, and higher quantities may harm vaginal pulse amplitude. This would certainly curtail sensations during sex and at climax.
Weed, on the other hand, has been shown in some studies to lead to women reporting better sexual experiences, with women who smoke it before sex apparently 2.1 times more likely to enjoy satisfactory orgasms. A 2019 study showed that both men and women who used cannabis reported better sexual function. In males, there’s some suggestion that certain cannabinoids (THC and CBD) could theoretically play a part in improving erectile function.
Researchers from the Almeria investigation ultimately stated that wider testing is necessary to better understand how cannabis and alcohol impact sex. For now, we’ll file this one under ‘more research required’ – but we’re certainly happy to volunteer for future studies.