Marijuana use is increasingly prevalent in the United States. Effects of marijuana use on sexual function are unclear, with contradictory reports of enhancement and detriment existing.
To elucidate whether a relation between marijuana use and sexual frequency exists using a nationally representative sample of reproductive-age men and women.
We analyzed data from cycle 6 (2002), cycle 7 (2006–2010), and continuous survey (2011–2015) administrations of the National Survey of Family Growth, a nationally representative cross-sectional survey. We used a multivariable model, controlling for demographic, socioeconomic, and anthropographic characteristics, to evaluate whether a relationship between marijuana use and sexual frequency exists.
Sexual frequency within the 4 weeks preceding survey administration related to marijuana use and frequency in the year preceding survey administration.
The results of 28,176 women (average age = 29.9 years) and 22,943 men (average age = 29.5) were analyzed. More than 60% of men and women were Caucasian, and 76.1% of men and 80.4% of women reported at least a high school education. After adjustment, female monthly (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.34, 95% CI = 1.07–1.68, P = .012), weekly (IRR = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.15–1.60, P < .001), and daily (IRR = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.01–1.32, P = .035) marijuana users had significantly higher sexual frequency compared with never users. Male weekly (IRR = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.06–1.41, P = .006) and daily (IRR = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.21–1.53, P < .001) users had significantly higher sexual frequency compared with never users. An overall trend for men (IRR = 1.08, 95% CI = 1.05–1.11, P < .001) and women (IRR = 1.07, 95% CI = 1.04–1.10, P < .001) was identified showing that higher marijuana use was associated with increased coital frequency.
Marijuana use is independently associated with increased sexual frequency and does not appear to impair sexual function.
Strengths and Limitations
Our study used a large well-controlled cohort and clearly defined end points to describe a novel association between marijuana use and sexual frequency. However, survey responses were self-reported and represent participants only at a specific point in time. Participants who did not answer questions related to marijuana use and sexual frequency were excluded.
A positive association between marijuana use and sexual frequency is seen in men and women across all demographic groups. Although reassuring, the effects of marijuana use on sexual function warrant further study.
Sun AJ, Eisenberg ML. Association Between Marijuana Use and Sexual Frequency in the United States: A Population-Based Study. J Sex Med 2017;14:1342–1347.