Sorry Guys, It's True. 'Weed Dick' Is A Thing.

By Zachary Siegel 10/09/15

Have researchers concluded that marijuana can cause erectile dysfunction?

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The dreaded “weed dick” has come under empirical investigation once again and the results may make recreational stoners think again about how well they perform in the bedroom.

Recent animal models demonstrate that cannabis may in fact have an inhibitory effect on male erections. It’s been found that certain receptors inside the erectile tissue of the penis are less responsive when cannabis is active in the bloodstream. These results are complicating the notion that weed enhances sexual experience and performance.

In a recent article that appeared in Playboy, sex researcher Justin Lehmiller wrote, "Consistent with the idea that higher doses of cannabis may be problematic, research has found that the prevalence of erectile dysfunction is three times as high for daily marijuana smokers compared to those who don't use it at all," he wrote.

With the possibility of confounding variables at play, it remains inconclusive as to whether it’s the marijuana in itself that causes erectile dysfunction in daily marijuana users.

Lehmiller highlights the many tropes found in men who anecdotally report their experience of being stoned in the sack. There are survey reports of increased sexual stamina, but Lehmiller posits it could just as likely be a warped perception of time. In this case, you’ll likely receive a more accurate account from the woman, that is, unless she was stoned, too.

"While this research suggests that marijuana is likely to be an erection inhibitor, the answer is probably a bit more complicated than this," he wrote. "We need a lot more hard data (pun fully intended) to understand why different guys report experiencing different sexual effects."

Lehmiller stresses that like with all drugs, dose matters. Similar to “whiskey dick,” which occurs when one is too drunk to perform, it could be that large doses of marijuana may too have this inhibitory effect. Yet, alcohol in small doses may lead to one being disinhibited and as a result more stimulated, small doses of marijuana may be similar.

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Zachary Siegel is a freelance journalist specializing in science, health and drug policy. His reporting has also appeared in Slate, The Daily Beast, Salon, Huffington Post, among others. He writes often about addiction, sometimes drawing from his own experience. You can find out more about Zachary on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.

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