Marijuana Alters Sperm? Erectile Dysfunction and Other Effects of Cannabis on Sex and Fertility
Sex on marijuana (Photo Credits: Pexels)

Sex on pot is probably the bee’s knees. For centuries, marijuana has been touted as an aphrodisiac, so much that the conservatives even blame it for loosening sexual morals and causing an “epidemic” of promiscuity. But in recent years, a wide body of evidence suggests that we may be reading too much into the sex life-boosting powers of the pot. Researchers from Duke University dropped a bomb earlier this week, claiming pot smoking can alter sperm quality. The chemical THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, like tobacco smoke, pesticides and flame retardants, can alter sperm cells, according to the study. It says that pot-smoking men should be aware that THC can change the genetic profile of sperm, which can even affect their progeny. But is that the only consequence of marijuana smoking on your sex life and fertility? Here’s what we should know about cannabis.

Lowered Inhibition

People who smoke pot before sex, say that it makes the experience better. There’s a connection between marijuana smoking and increased libido, right? Science cannot find a link, but there’s a theory behind it. Sex therapists believe that smoking marijuana lowers your inhibitions and relieves performance anxiety to some extent, which probably makes sex on pot better than regular sex. Users also feel relaxed while smoking pot, which increases their willingness to engage in sexual activities.

Increased Risk of STDs and Pregnancies

Multiple studies say that the risk of sexually transmitted infections and risky sexual behaviour go up with marijuana use. Preliminary evidence suggests that marijuana is a cofactor for elevated HIV/STD risks and high pregnancy rates in adolescents. Since smoking weed can impair decision-making skills and increase impulsivity, it can lead to mistakes such as unprotected sex.

Potgasm

Let’s give credit where credit is due. Many feel that marijuana-fuelled sex sessions are particularly pleasurable due to the intense orgasm or “potgasm.” Lioness, a company that produces vibrators, conducted a test on the intensity of women’s orgasms by measuring vaginal contractions. They were surprised to find that women who masturbated after smoking pot experienced their orgasm more intensely.

Lowered Fertility

According to a 2014 article published in the journal Human Reproduction, say that cannabis use can change the shape and size of the sperm cells, impairing their ability to reach the egg. The subjects of the study who were found to have less than four percent normal sperm were found to be heavy cannabis users. A 2016 review in Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, a 2006 study in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and another one in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology showed that long-term cannabis use could affect women’s menstrual cycle and reduce hormones involved in reproduction and fertility.

Erectile Dysfunction

Cannabis impacts the levels of testosterone in the human body, which can directly affect sexual performance. Studies on rhesus monkeys say that TCH reduces testosterone by 65 percent, the effects of which lasted an hour. Another review noted that sexual satisfaction had an inverse relationship with the dose of cannabis: greater the dose, worse the experience.

The jury is still out on the effects of cannabis on sexual performance and fertility. But as in any case, exercising moderation in marijuana use will mitigate the situation to a large extent.