Did you ever catch yourself staring at an especially curvaceous bong? Do you think flamin’ hot Cheetos are an aphrodisiac? Have you ever paused in the middle of having sex to vape and/or take a bite out of a sandwich, a la George Costanza?
These may be extreme examples, but according to two academic studies carried out over the last eight trimesters, there is a link between medical marijuana legalization and a boost in the libido – and the birth rate.
According to “Sex, Drugs, and Baby Booms: Can Behavior Overcome Biology?” when medical marijuana is legalized in a state, there is a significant uptick in sexual activity and fertility rates.
The researchers who compiled the report stated that the evidence shows “that marijuana use has a considerable, unintended, and positive effect on fertility. This is in spite of the negative biological effects suggested by the medical literature.”
The results were gathered by examining the sexual activity of respondents in areas where medical marijuana was legalized. The study also cites prior academic research that indicates that medical marijuana legalization increases the probability of marijuana use by 14-15% over the mean.
While the report cites other studies that claim a link between cannabis use and reduced male fertility (it can reduce your sperm count, perhaps make them sluggish and fond of reggae too) and a suppressed egg production among women, it also found that “women who reported no marijuana use during the past 12 months reported having sex 6.0 times on average during the past 4 weeks compared with 7.1 times for women who reported daily use. Similarly, male daily marijuana users reported sexual frequency as 6.9 times on average in the previous 4 weeks compared with 5.6 times in non-users.”
Now, assuming the male respondents weren’t padding their numbers, what the study indicates is that daily marijuana users are having more sex on average than their counterparts. This may fly in the face of your own experience, or that of your daily toking, permanently-single roommate, but the researchers back it up with numbers.
You were born because they made weed legal
And since people are having more sex, and marijuana legalization lowers condom sales (by more than 4.3%, according to the study), the birth rate also goes up with medical marijuana legalization. As much as 0.40%, or about 4 births per quarter for every 10,000 women of childbearing age, and 6 births in states that also allow home cultivation of marijuana, according to the study. In a city with legal medical weed and 100,000 women of childbearing age, this could come out to about 16 new babies each year conceived in part due to marijuana.
(If you are reading this in the future, we salute our weed baby overlords)
This wasn’t the only research to get us in the mood though. According to a 2017 study titled Association Between Marijuana Use and Sexual Frequency in the United States, female and male monthly, weekly, and daily marijuana users “had significantly higher sexual frequency compared with never users.”
The clinical implications of the study couldn’t be clearer: “marijuana use is independently associated with increased sexual frequency and does not appear to impair sexual function.”
What’s our takeaway from all this? At the very least, smoking weed alone might not be the reason you aren’t having sex.
Furthermore, it draws a pretty clear cause-effect that’s easy to trace – medical marijuana legalization increases consumption, people who are stoned really like having sex, and it appears that they’re buying fewer condoms and maybe just forgetting to put them on sometimes.
So, if your partner comes home with a bong, it might just mean they’re ready to settle down.