If cannabis gets you in the mood, you’re not alone — science says so. A study whose findings were recently released by the University of Connecticut and Georgia State University found that in states where medical marijuana was legalized, the rate of sexual activity went up.
The study’s co-author, University of Connecticut assistant professor David Simon, told Yahoo News that he wasn’t ready to comment on whether this finding was a good or bad thing but, “Regardless, we believe it should be something society/policy makers consider as part of the conversation on legalization.”
But wait, there’s more! In those same states with medical cannabis regulation, there was an uptick in birth rates by a mean of two percent, and a drop in the use of contraceptives while having sex.
Also — attention, please! — medical marijuana legalization may be associated with a year one uptick in a state’s gonorrhea rates.
The states that were studied had regulated medicinal cannabis between 2005 and 2014, and the study specifically analyzed the sexual and reproductive behavior of people in their 20s and 30s.
The increase in babies being born was enough to counteract what has sometimes been identified as a negative correlation between cannabis usage and the ability for couples to get pregnant and have a healthy neonatal period.
The study’s co-author, University of Connecticut assistant professor David Simon, told Yahoo News that the surge in baby-making could be due to weed’s positive effects on people’s lives. The academic said that cannabis “treats chronic pain, improves life satisfaction, and decreases opioid abuse, it could result in heightened libidos/improved sex life.”
These findings would point to cannabis influencing birth rates positively through behavioral effects. But the jury is still out on whether biologically, marijuana has a positive or negative impact on fertility. Some studies have suggested that using marijuana causes a drop in sperm count (though some have indicated the reverse) and can be a hurdle for couples that are already experiencing challenges with being able to have a baby. Some investigations have concluded that cannabis can make it difficult for people with uteruses to produce certain hormones that aid in the baby-making process. Others have found that CBD can be helpful to pregnant people.
Lack of scientific consensus aside, the US government has decided where it stands, at least when it comes to pregnant people. Last August, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams cautioned those with a bun in the oven to avoid using cannabis at a press conference. Joining him was Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar II, who told reporters, “This is a dangerous drug. No amount of marijuana use during pregnancy or adolescence is safe.”
But Simon has a slightly different take on cannabis and your reproductive health, particularly when it comes to recent market innovations in the area of marijuana-based lubricants and other sexual aids. “With the liberalization of marijuana laws there has been an increase in cannabis-based products designed to improve sexual wellness, including products that help remove anxiety or pain associated with sex,” he commented.
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