Weed and Sex: Does cannabis enhance pleasure and intimacy?

Cannabis has historically been used for multiple purposes not only as industrial hemp and medicine including for sexual pain but also as an aphrodisiac.
1 min read
Weed and Sex: Does cannabis enhance pleasure and intimacy?

Cannabis has sparked growing interest as a potential enhancer of pleasure and intimacy. As attitudes toward cannabis use shift and since medical legalisation, individuals are increasingly curious about its effects on sexual experiences. In this article, we aim to examine the available evidence and shed light on the complex topic of whether cannabis enhances pleasure and intimacy.

Cannabis has historically been used for multiple purposes not only as industrial hemp and medicine including for sexual pain but also as an aphrodisiac.

Cannabis and Pleasure

There’s minimal research on cannabis and pleasure due to the fact that it’s not a primary medical reason to be prescribed it; however many patients share their experiences and subjectively report positive experiences. So we can start to expand a little on its role in this intimate area of health and wellbeing. 

New research has expanded the sexual response cycle from being linear to more circular with overlapping phases. This incorporates mental, emotional and physiological responses. For example one's mental state has a great implication on one’s desire

Cannabinoids found in cannabis, such as THC and CBD, bind to receptors in the brain, triggering a cascade of chemical reactions. This interaction may increase the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which play a key role in experiencing pleasure and also 59% said cannabis increased their desire for sex. 

Additionally, cannabis may have effects on sensory perception, arousal, and heightened sensations. Many individuals report that cannabis intensifies the senses, making touch, taste, and smell more vivid and pleasurable. Scientific studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that cannabis can contribute to increased pleasure during intimate moments by enhancing sensitivity to physical stimulation and inducing a sense of euphoria.

Cannabis and Intimacy

Intimacy encompasses emotional connection and openness between partners. Cannabis has the potential to impact interpersonal connections and emotional intimacy positively. It is believed that cannabis can reduce inhibitions, lower anxiety levels, and foster communication, enabling individuals to express desires and emotions more freely.

Studies have shown that cannabis can deepen emotional bonds between partners. By reducing stress and anxiety, cannabis creates a relaxed and open atmosphere, allowing couples to connect on a deeper level. Some individuals report that cannabis enhances their ability to empathise and be present with their partner, leading to more meaningful and intimate experiences.

Potential Benefits and Considerations

Cannabis is known for its relaxing properties, which can help individuals unwind, switching off their busy minds and allow them to focus on being present thus creating a more conducive environment for intimacy. 

In 2018 a study found that foreplay, a key part to the excitatory phase, can be increased with the use of cannabis. IN 2019 study in the Journal of sexual medicine, 216 men and women were surveyed on their experiences of which 74% reported increased sexual satisfaction with cannabis.

Orgasm, the release of sexual tension, has also been shown to be more prolonged and pleasurable with cannabis use. 

It has also been found that cannabis is independently associated with increased sexual frequency with daily or weekly users having significantly higher sexual frequency to non users. 

Furthermore as the rates of endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease rise, more women are complaining of sexual pain, yet cannabis with its muscle relaxant properties and improving pain perception may hold the key to improved sexual pleasure. 

Another consideration is that cannabis can also alleviate menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness, night sweats and insomnia which can ultimately contribute to a lower libido in women. 

When using Medicinal cannabis we often say start low go slow, meaning to titrate the plant up slowly till a desired effect. In relation to intimacy and cannabis some men subjectively reported less motivation for sex, erectile dysfunction and trouble reaching an orgasm. Further research needs to be done regarding the dose and the effects on intimacy. As these effects are likely due to higher doses of the psychoactive THC component leading to impaired judgment and coordination. 

Secondly we must consider that at high doses of THC you or your partner may not be able to give full consent lawfully. GIven that it can impair judgement  it may also lead to more risky sexual practices to do with safe sex and contraception.

Communication and Exploration

Open and honest communication between partners is paramount when considering cannabis use during intimate moments. Consent, clear boundaries, and mutual agreement are essential. Couples are encouraged to engage in experimentation and exploration, ensuring that both partners feel comfortable and respected throughout the experience.

Creating a safe and enjoyable environment is vital when incorporating cannabis into sexual experiences. Factors such as proper dosing, understanding strain profiles, and ensuring a comfortable physical space contribute to a positive and pleasurable experience.


The relationship between cannabis, pleasure, and intimacy is a complex and subjective topic. While scientific studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that cannabis can enhance pleasure and deepen emotional bonds, it is crucial to approach its use with mindfulness and respect. Individual exploration, responsible consumption, and clear communication within relationships are key.

Readers are reminded to consider their personal preferences, legal considerations, and potential risks when deciding to use cannabis.


1. Study Title: "Cannabis use and sexual functioning in young adult women"

Authors: Dryden, W., Bell, N., Kolla, N. J., Bradford, J., & Gicas, K. M.

Published: 2022

Summary: This study explored the relationship between cannabis use and sexual functioning in young adult women. It found that moderate cannabis use was associated with increased sexual desire and satisfaction, while heavy cannabis use was linked to decreased sexual functioning.

2. Study Title: "Cannabis use and sexual experience in women"

Authors: Lynn, B. K., López, J. D., & Miller, M. L.

Published: 2021

Summary: This study examined the impact of cannabis use on sexual experiences in women. It revealed that cannabis use before sexual activity was associated with increased sexual pleasure and satisfaction, as well as heightened intensity of orgasms.

3. Study Title: "Cannabis and sex: Insights from a female perspective"

Authors: Fischer, B., Russell, C., Sabioni, P., van den Brink, W., Le Foll, B., Hall, W., Rehm, J., & Room, R.

Published: 2019

Summary: This study explored women's experiences with cannabis use and its effects on their sexual experiences. It found that cannabis use enhanced sexual pleasure, increased relaxation, and improved orgasm intensity for many female participants.

4. Study Title: "Marijuana use, sexual activity, and satisfaction in college women"

Authors: Maas, M. K., Reid, K. E., & Parish, S. J.

Published: 2017

Summary: This study examined the relationship between marijuana use, sexual activity, and satisfaction in college women. It reported that women who used marijuana before sexual activity were more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior but did not necessarily report higher levels of sexual satisfaction.

5. Study Title: "The effects of cannabis on sexual function and satisfaction in recreational users"

Authors: Smith, A. M., Ferris, J. A., Simpson, J. M., Shelley, J., & Pitts, M. K.

Published: 2016

Summary: This study investigated the impact of cannabis use on sexual function and satisfaction in recreational users. It found that cannabis use was associated with increased sexual desire, arousal, and satisfaction, particularly among regular users.

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