Marijuana Mask
Women wearing marijuana leaf masks kiss at the 4/20 marijuana holiday in Civic Center Park in downtown Denver, Colorado, April 20, 2013. Reuters/Rick Wilking

If you consume marijuana, it may mean you have sex more frequently than those who don’t partake of the stuff, a new study has shown. Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine used data for over 50,000 adults, collected as part of the National Survey of Family Growth, to arrive at their conclusion.

There is no causal connection between cannabis consumption and frequency of sex that the study makes, which is to say, it does not say that the former leads to the latter, but it does hint at such a connection existing.

“Frequent marijuana use doesn’t seem to impair sexual motivation or performance. If anything, it’s associated with increased coital frequency. The overall trend we saw applied to people of both sexes and all races, ages, education levels, income groups and religions, every health status, whether they were married or single and whether or not they had kids,” Michael Eisenberg, a senior author of the study, said in a statement Friday.

Researchers used data for adults between 25 and 45 years of age, collected from the year 2002 till present, as part of the now-annual self-reported survey, which is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It contains explicit questions about intercourse with a member of the opposite sex in the past four weeks, as well as the frequency of smoking marijuana in the previous 12 months.

After excluding respondents who didn’t answer one or more of the relevant questions, the researcher was left with data for 28,176 women, averaging 29.9 years of age, and 22,943 men, averaging 29.5 years of age.

About 24.5 percent of the men and 14.5 percent of the women reported using marijuana. Women who didn’t use marijuana in the previous 12 months reported having heterosexual intercourse an average of 6.0 times in the preceding four weeks, while women who smoked marijuana daily had sex with men 7.1 times in the past four weeks. For men, the corresponding numbers were 5.6 times for nonusers and 6.9 for daily users.

That amounts to roughly 20 percent higher frequency of sexual intercourse for people who consume marijuana. Also, the higher the use of marijuana, the more the increase in sexual activity, suggesting a possible active role that pot may play in enhancing sexual desire.

Eisenberg also pointed out that the positive association between cannabis use and coital frequency was not dependent on other factors, including the use of other drugs like cocaine and alcohol. He said this independence suggests the positive correlation cannot be attributed to a general tendency of people with fewer inhibitions to indulge in both drugs and more sex than their peers.

But at the end of it, Eisenberg still cautioned that the study was not proof of their being a causal link, strong as the hints maybe.

“It doesn’t say if you smoke more marijuana, you’ll have more sex,” he said.

The study appears Friday in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.