Feel Great

Enjoy your bong hit—and flaccidity

by Gina Colonette, sexual health blogger

For years, men have said Maryjane increased their desire to have sex. A new study says Maryjane, weed, or good ol’ marijuana, can actually cause sexual dysfunction in men. It begs the question—is the blunt really worth it?

If you are reading this with a blunt in your hand, put it down. Marijuana’s effect on receptors in the brain is similar to its affect on receptors in the penis. Dr. Rany Shamloul, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Queen’s University, says the penis has the same receptors as those affected by marijuana in the brain. As a result, marijuana may make it difficult for a man to attain and maintain an erection-—see how far that will get you.

The active ingredient in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC goes from the lungs to the blood stream, and from the blood stream it easily makes its way to the brain.

In the brain, there are receptors that affect a person’s perception of pain and pleasure. THC acts upon the cannabinoid receptors which in different parts of the brain are responsible for memory, concentration, thoughts, pleasure, perception, movement and coordination—basically all the necessary functions needed for sex.

Anyone who has had a social smoke or two, you know marijuana’s affect on the brain or at least your body. It distorts perception, impairs coordination causes difficulty thinking, solving problems, and learning, and memory problems.

This study tested THC on penis cell tissues. If the cell relaxed when exposed to THC, that would be good for an erection. If it contracted, that would be bad, Dr. Shamloul says. When the THC was tested on the penis cells, they contracted and no erection would occur.

There have been numerous studies done on the effects of marijuana on sexual function, many of them contradicting each other. Some say it enhances sexual function while other say, absolutely not.

There is still a lot of research to be done on this subject as this study is still in the beginning stages. In the meantime, if you are planning on having sex, you need get-it-up—so put the bong down.