Some news from the wild world of sex, drugs, and scientific research: People who smoke more pot, according to a study published today in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, also get it on more often.
The study authors analyzed preexisting CDC data from surveys administered between 2002 and 2015, focusing on two groups: people who said in the survey they never touched pot, and people who said they used it every single day. Both men and women in the second category, the researchers noted, reported “significantly higher sexual frequency” than those in the first.
By the numbers: On average, women who were frequent users had sex just over seven times per month, compared to six times for those who abstained from marijuana entirely; for men, those numbers were seven and 5.6, respectively. Or to spin them another way, as lead study author Michael Eisenberg, a urologist at Stanford University, explained to NPR: “What we found was compared to never-users, those who reported daily use had about 20 percent more sex. So over the course of a year, they’re having sex maybe 20 more times.”
A caveat: Correlation isn’t causation, and the study results don’t offer any insight as to whether marijuana actually makes people more interested in getting it on. It could be, for example, that something in their personality leads them to be more enthusiastic about both having sex and getting high, or that smoking pot helps put them in a sexy state of mind.
And as Joseph Palamar, a professor of public health at NYU, explained over at LiveScience, the link in the survey data between marijuana use and sex doesn’t necessarily mean that both were happening simultaneously: “Really, marijuana would need to be used shortly before or during sex to study its true sexual effects.” Another study for another time, perhaps.