MEN’S HEALTH AND MARIJUANA
A summary by Dr. Lee
Today we are gathered to discuss men’s health and how marijuana affects it.
More and more people are using marijuana, especially young people of reproductive age. The best thing to do as health care professionals is to be clear and honest about its effects- even when its effects are not dope!
We have enough observational data to say that a) marijuana, in general, makes sex more enjoyable for people of both genders and b) marijuana is probably doing something bad to erections and semen and male fertility.
I think it’s actionable in current medical practice!
For instance, If a couple is having difficulty conceiving, then I’d want to know if the man is smoking marijuana, because the research we do have suggests that marijuana lowers male fertility. If a friend was tryna have a baby and struggling to conceive, then based off the info in this post, I’d tell him to stop using marijuana completely for a while.
That little bit of information might improve someone’s life, and that’s what we’re here to do.
MARIJUANA AND SEXUAL FUNCTION
First let’s start with some good news! The research shows that marijuana use can be a great way to improve a person’s sex life! Marijuana use has been linked to a higher number of sexual partners in men and women. [R, R]
Marijuana may also be able to enhance the experience of sex for both genders. Check out some statistics of a survey of 199 cannabis users [R]
- Eighty-two participants (38.7%) said sex was better, 34 (16.0%) said it was better in some ways and worse in others, 52 (24.5%) said it was sometimes better, and only 10 (4.7%) said it was worse
- 58.9% said cannabis increased their desire for sex
- 73.8% reported increased sexual satisfaction
- 74.3% reported an increased sensitivity to touch
- 65.7% reported an increased intensity of orgasms.
- 69.8% said they could relax more during sex
- 50.5% said they were better able to focus
MARIJUANA WOMEN’S vs MEN’S SEXUAL HEALTH
Ladies have less issues with marijuana and sex. We’ve previously reported that marijuana has been linked to higher enjoyment of sex and higher rates of orgasm in women. Even daily cannabis use hasn’t been linked to issues with side effects for women. [R, R, R]
Studies of marijuana and sexual function in men are mixed! Some studies have also shown that men that use cannabis report higher intercourse satisfaction and overall satisfaction with their sex lives. [R]
BUT it does seem clear that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Especially when it comes to marijuana and penises!
Higher amounts of marijuana use (daily use) is linked with difficulty reaching orgasm. Some men reported difficulty reaching orgasm at all, and some reported reaching it too slowly or quickly [R].
I’ll point out that this is dose dependent. Men that smoke more have more issues with orgasm. This is another reason to make tolerance breaks a part of your life! For a variety of reasons, all marijuana users should make a concerted effort not to smoke every day. Now we can add sexual issues in men to the list.
MARIJUANA, MEN’S HEALTH AND E.D.
Marijuana is also pretty convincingly linked to erectile dysfunction!
A 2019 meta-analysis combined five studies combined into research that had a total of 3395 male patients, which is pretty decently sized (and that’s what she said). [R]
What did the data show? Rates of erectile dysfunction are twice as high in cannabis users compared to controls. This study included groups of people from all around the world, and I think it’s fascinating that the average age of the men studied was 20.1!
Another interesting part of this is that all the studies examined smoked cannabis alone. Another thing we know about ED is that it’s generally related to vascular damage, or issues with blood vessels. Blood flow=good boners.
Cigarette smoke really affects blood vessels in a bad way, which is why it’s been linked to ED as well. Some research suggests that marijuana smoke affects blood vessels in a similar way, which is why it causes ED. This leads us to an interesting question: do edibles or vaporized cannabis do the same bad things to your penis? Time will tell! [R]
OTHER WAYS MARIJUANA MAY AFFECT ERECTIONS
Besides blood vessel damage, there are some other ways that marijuana may affect a boner. We know that penile tissue (in a body part called the corpus cavernosum) has endocannabinoid receptors. Some researchers have proposed that cannabis plays a direct role on erectile tissue through these receptors, decreasing erectile function. [R, R, R]
It’s also said that the brain is the biggest sex organ. There’s a specific part of the brain called the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. This part of the brain has been shown to be pretty closely linked to erectile function.
PLOT TWIST- It’s also been shown to have endocannabinoid receptors. This suggests that marijuana may either affect the penis, the blood vessels, or the brain- all possible ways in which weed may contribute ED [R, R].
MARIJUANA AND FERTILITY
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! Marijuana inhibits male fertility, in ways beyond the boner.
Marijuana is also shown to decrease fertility by decreasing sperm quality. Semen needs certain qualities to work properly and fertilize a lady- there needs to be enough sperm, and the sperm need to be strong swimmers. Marijuana probably affects both of these. [R, R]
Marijuana has been shown to lower sperm count and sperm concentration. One study in 2015 of 1215 healthy young men showed that even one smoke sesh per week resulted in a 28% drop in sperm count [R, R, R]
Marijuana remains a great way to improve your sex life!
But, overuse can cause issues with men’s sexual function, and it seems like any use can interfere with sperm quality and harm your chances of getting pregnant as a couple.
These are the things your doctor should be telling you, but you probably haven’t told them you smoke weed, and they probably don’t know that much about weed yet. Also I’m funnier and I love marijuana.
DR LEE OUT