The impact of cannabis on female sexual function has always been unclear, but a study published recently in Sexual Medicine reports higher sexual satisfaction scores all round in women using it regularly.
The study is the first one to use a validated questionnaire— the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI)—to look objectively at cannabis use and sexual function in women. Previous studies have not used properly validated questionnaires, or used subsets of questions from them, resulting in inconsistent findings.
452 women, mostly in the 30 to 49 age group, were involved in the study, of which 72.8 percent used cannabis more than six times per week. They were recruited and invited to participate in an unpaid, anonymous online survey after visiting one of a chain of cannabis dispensaries.
Most of the women (81.6 percent) were in a relationship and 46.7 percent of the participants usually consumed cannabis by smoking flower.
What the research found was that for each additional day per week women reported using cannabis, the odds of them reporting sexual dysfunction declined by 21 percent.
Moreover, higher cannabis use was associated with higher desire and arousal, better organisms and more sexual satisfaction. Method of consumption of cannabis and chemovar type did not consistently impact FSFI scores or odds of sexual dysfunction.
The researchers, from Stanford University, say the exact mechanisms by which cannabis may increase sexual function in women is unknown. However, they add that the endocannabinoid system has been postulated to be involved in female sexual function, and that “prior studies have demonstrated that increased amounts of endogenous cannabinoids such as arachidonoyl ethanolamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol are associated with increased sexual arousal.”
It’s also possible that a marijuana-mediated reduction in anxiety could improve sexual experiences and lead to improved satisfaction, orgasm, and desire.
Interestingly though, a large Australian survey found that men who used cannabis were somewhat more, not less, likely to report impaired sexual function.