Research Roundup: women who use cannabis have better sex; pot is “reverse gateway drug”

Do women who use cannabis have better sex lives? One recently published study suggests that the answer is yes

women-who-use-cannabis

A new study shows that increased cannabis use by women is associated with improved sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, and overall satisfaction. Photo by Love portrait and love the world/iStock/Getty Images Plus

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Cannabis for better sex?

Do women who use cannabis have better sex lives? One recently published study suggests that the answer is yes.

Between October 20, 2019, and March 12, 2020, researchers invited adults who visited a single-partner cannabis dispensary’s locations to participate in an anonymous online survey.

According to the research results, published on July 23, the survey “assessed baseline demographics, health status, cannabis use habits as well as used the validated Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) to assess sexual function”.

A total of 452 women responded to the survey. “Our results demonstrate that increasing frequency of cannabis use is associated with improved sexual function and is associated with increased satisfaction, orgasm, and sexual desire,” the study’s authors wrote.

The researchers acknowledged, however, that they don’t know what accounts for this improved sexual function. They note that other researchers have suggested the endocannabinoid system plays a role in female sexual function.

“Whether the endocannabinoid system represents a viable target of therapy through cannabis for female sexual dysfunction requires future prospective studies though any therapy has to be balanced with the potential negative consequences of cannabis use,” the authors conclude.

A “reverse gateway” drug

According to a peer-reviewed research paper published last week in the medical journal PLOS One, “street-involved” young people use cannabis as a method of harm reduction.

Researchers interviewed 56 young people in Vancouver between 2017 and 2019. The majority of study participants engaged in “daily, intensive cannabis use”. During the same period, they cycled on and off alcohol, fentanyl, heroin, and other substances perceived as more harmful.

The authors write that most participants derived significant pleasure from the use of cannabis. However, no participants in the study described using cannabis for purely recreational purposes.

Instead, participants framed cannabis use as a form of mental-health and substance-use treatment.

The authors write that their findings demonstrate what one could refer to as a “reverse gateway effect”. Among some street-entrenched youth, “cannabis use was associated with the intermittent reduction, elimination or prevention of more harmful forms of drug use such as meth and opioid use.” 

In May, CannCentral reported on another study of cannabis use in Vancouver. It found that people who use cannabis for pain relief and other therapeutic reasons may be at lower risk of overdosing on opioids. That research also appeared in PLOS ONE.

Thanks for the tip

Have you read a recent study that sheds new light on the topic of cannabis? Are you a researcher working on a clinical trial? If so, send me a link and I might feature it in a future edition of CannCentral’s Research Roundup. Thanks!

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