Sex lives and marijuana

Last updated 10:55 16/10/2009
Marijuana plants
Reuters
CAUSE AND EFFECT: A new study reveals a connection between cannabis smoking and sexual disfunction.

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Men who regularly smoke cannabis may be prematurely stubbing out their sex lives, Australian research shows.

Men who smoked pot daily were found to be four times more likely to have trouble reaching orgasm than men who did not inhale, according to the La Trobe University study.

Other daily male cannabis smokers experienced premature ejaculation at nearly three times the rate of non-smokers.

Professor Anthony Smith says while the habit often had a significant impact on a man's sex life, the effects were not always something the smokers would consider a "sexual health problem".

"The findings suggest that men are self-medicating with cannabis to delay orgasm," said Prof Smith from the Melbourne-based university's Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society.

"While many male smokers experienced sexual problems, they also reported more partners than non-smokers.

"Marijuana users were twice as likely to have had two or more sex partners in the previous year than men who didn't smoke cannabis."

The study took in more than 8,600 people, aged 16 to 64, who were surveyed by telephone as part of the Australian Longitudinal Study of Health and Relationships.

Participants were asked whether they had used cannabis in the previous year and, if yes, their frequency.

Overall, 8.7 percent said they had used cannabis in the last year, with twice as many men (11.2 percent) in the positive compared to women (6.1 percent).

People under 36 were more likely to smoke marijuana than older participants.

The research also found women who smoked cannabis daily were more likely to have had two or more sexual partners in the previous year.

They were also seven times more likely to have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection in the last year than non-smokers.

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- AAP

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