Instead, Eisenberg found that marijuana users are having about 20 percent more sex than people who abstain from the drug. Perhaps people who smoke have traits that make them more likely to have more sex.
Michael Eisenberg, an assistant professor of urology at Stanford University, told CNN that he saw a lot of patients who were struggling with impotency, and they often asked him if they should smoke less marijuana.
The investigators compiled answers to those questions for all years since 2002, when the survey first began collecting data on men as well as women.
A major new Stanford University study shows a link between marijuana use and sexual desire, suggesting that there may be science behind the age-old practice of using the drug as an aphrodisiac. He said this independence suggests the positive correlation can not be attributed to a general tendency of people with fewer inhibitions to indulge in both drugs and more sex than their peers. There are reports of erectile dysfunction in heavy users and reduced sperm counts in men who smoke it. He assumed that smoking pot would interfere with sexual performance.
To arrive at an accurate determination of marijuana's effect on intercourse frequency, Eisenberg and Sun turned to the National Survey of Family Growth, sponsored by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
He looked at data from the National Survey of Family Growth, which asked about 28,000 people who identify as women and almost 23,000 people who identify as men about their drug use and sexual habits. The researchers examined a four-week period in respondents' sex lives, asking them how often they had heterosexual sex and how many times they had smoked weed over the course of a year. The results came as a surprise to the researchers.
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For years, marijuana has been linked with lethargy and even impotence, with people claiming that regular marijuana users may have a more hard time having sex. For instance, if a patient is both overweight and smokes marijuana, he focuses on a strategy of weight loss rather than quitting marijuana use, he said.
He said more research must be done to better understand his group's findings.
Eisenberg said past research on human and rodent models has shown that marijuana use may generally increase arousal.
Moreover, Eisenberg said, the positive association between marijuana use and coital frequency was independent of demographic, health, marital or parental status.
But Eisenberg said he wouldn't recommend marijuana as an aphrodisiac without further follow-up studies to confirm these findings.