The legalization of medical marijuana leads to an increase in sexual activity in states where it’s allowed, a new study from the University of Connecticut and Georgia State University suggested.
Researchers, who looked at survey data collected between 1997 and 2011, found a 4.3% increase in the “likelihood of having sex once or more in the past month” after the legalization of medical marijuana and “an increase in sex beginning directly after the law change.”
The data used for the study is from the National Center for Health Statistics and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which asked young respondents “detailed questions about sexual activity and substance use.”
Furthermore, medical marijuana laws appear to be linked to higher birth rates as well. Researchers found 684 more births per quarter, or 2%, “for all women of childbearing range” where medical cannabis is legal.
“These results provide evidence that marijuana use has a considerable, unintended, and positive effect on birthrates,” the authors said.
Finally, the research published in the Journal of Health Economics also found that cannabis use makes users lower their guard regarding sexual risks, including the possibility of pregnancy, “resulting in decreased contraceptive use.”
“Jointly, both mechanisms suggest that behavioral responses may be due to increased attention to the immediate hedonic effects of sexual contact, increased willingness to engage in sex, as well as delayed discounting and ignoring the future costs associated with sex.”
Marijuana and sex appear to be quite the pair
Previous studies on the relationship between cannabis and sex include this one from 2019. This research looked at anonymous survey responses of 373 participants, a majority of which were white women.
“Among those who reported using marijuana before sex, 68.5 percent stated that the overall sexual experience was more pleasurable, 60.6 percent noted an increase in sex drive, and 52.8 percent reported an increase in satisfying orgasms,” the study’s authors said.
The impact of marijuana on people’s sex lives was also explored in this study from 2018. Cannabis use was found to increase sexual frequency, with daily users across all demographic groups reporting they had 20% more sex than non-users.