However, one of the more interesting alleged effects of the good green herb is its ability to stimulate sex drive. Is this backed up by science, and how can you use it best in your lifestyle?
A Primer on the ECS
Before we can address whether marijuana is an effective libido enhancement, you need to understand a bit more about one of the most fundamental systems within the human body, the endogenous cannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is one of the oldest systems developed in animal evolution; every vertebrate animal studied has had an ECS, and many invertebrates like leeches and mollusks also have endocannabinoid systems.
Only discovered in the 1990s, researchers are only just beginning to unlock the secrets of the ECS. Primarily, it seems the ECS is concerned with maintaining homeostasis, which is internal balance despite a shifting external environment. As a result, the ECS is connected to almost every other bodily system, from the nervous system to the digestive system to the cardiovascular system — to the reproductive system.
Early studies indicate that the ECS has a much stronger link to the female reproductive system than the male reproductive system.
Endocannabinoids, or compounds created by the ECS, help to regulate the female reproductive cycle and manage the development of embryos during pregnancy. Women who suffer from infertility or low libido might have a malfunctioning ECS that produces too many (or too few) endocannabinoids.
Cannabinoids and Libido
The endocannabinoid system was discovered thanks to research on cannabis. The dominant compound within weed responsible for creating the feeling of being high is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which binds directly to ECS receptors in the brain and body. THC is almost identical in structure to an important endocannabinoid called anandamide, which means THC can trigger many of the same functions — including the functions within the reproductive system.
Informally, many women claim that using marijuana helps increase their sex drive and improve the experience of sex. There could be several reasons for these effects, particularly that marijuana already elevates mood and enhances sensory perception. However, the majority of formal studies on have found that THC does increase sexual behavior in animals and humans, indicating greater sexual receptivity.
Another prominent cannabinoid, cannabidiol or CBD, also may have an effect on libido. Though CBD does not bind to ECS receptors, it does seem to encourage the ECS to release more endocannabinoids as well as neurotransmitters than facilitate healthier, regular function in various systems. Most notably, CBD alleviates pain and anxiety, which might help libido to increase on its own.
Though the research on the connection between cannabinoids and libido is in its infancy, there are promising indications that cannabinoids can, indeed, increase sex drive — especially in women but potentially in people of all sexes.
Using Dope on Dates
Just because marijuana has been shown to increase libido doesn’t mean you should register for an Oklahoma marijuana card and load up on as much of the good green stuff as possible. After all, it is possible to overdose on THC — which will certainly ruin the mood. Though overdoses aren’t necessarily life-threatening, they do cause panic, intense nausea and rapid heart rate, among other symptoms that certainly don’t lead to a satisfying sexual experience.
What’s more, you shouldn’t try to force your dates into partaking in weed with the hopes of spurring their libido into action. Ideally, you will only use marijuana products with those who are comfortable with the substance in situations that are safe and appropriate. While it might be wise to have cannabis goodies on hand and offer them politely to those who seem experienced, it should go without saying that you should never coerce someone to use any drug, especially in the hopes of sealing the deal.
Weed is truly a wonder drug, and we are discovering more and more uses for it every day. If you find that marijuana does improve your sex drive, you shouldn’t be afraid to take advantage of this exciting effect. However, you should recognize that not everyone enjoys the good green herb, and you should be respectful of those who choose not to partake.