Some Women Are Using Weed to Have Better Sex

Studies suggest women are using marijuana as a libido enhancer. Does it work?

Keren Landman, MD
Elemental
Published in
6 min readOct 28, 2019

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An illustration of three women surrounded by the cannabis plant all around them.
Illustration: Felicity Marshall

WWhen Becky Lynn got a call from a California police station that her teenage daughter was in a car accident, she ran out of the house in the clothes she had on: tie-dye shorts and a T-shirt emblazoned with the modern portmanteau, “Cannaboss.” Both were souvenirs from April’s National Cannabis Festival, where Lynn, a gynecologist specializing in sexual medicine, appeared on one of the panels interweaved with yoga classes in the festival’s wellness pavilion.

Her daughter was mortified by her getup, but otherwise fine. And while Lynn wasn’t worried about the medicolegal consequences of appearing in marijuana merch in public — especially in a state where it’s legal — she understood her daughter’s chagrin.

“It’s so not me,” she says. “I’m a physician, I’m a scientist — I’m not a stoner. But I dunno — your teenager is always going to be embarrassed by you.”

While she may not use marijuana herself, Lynn has a keen interest in how cannabis might help the women she sees in her St. Louis, Missouri office. Her interest was first piqued when several women confided to her that they used marijuana to improve their libido, and that they believe it helps them achieve otherwise elusive orgasms. “When I looked in the scientific literature, there really wasn’t much data at all,” she says. “I looked on the internet — it was exactly the opposite.”

The discrepancy led her to do her own study, and in March 2019, that study became one of the largest to describe how some women are using marijuana for better sex: of nearly 400 women completing her anonymous questionnaire,127 said they used the drug before sex, and reported better sex drives and more than twice the odds of satisfactory orgasms compared to non-users. Lynn’s study doesn’t irrefutably prove marijuana leads to better sex for women, but it demonstrates women aren’t waiting on proof to use it that way. “Women do think that it can improve the sexual experience, improve drive, improve orgasm, lessen pain,” says Lynn.

“I see so many women that come into my office that are really distressed by their low desire.”

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Keren Landman, MD
Elemental

Infectious disease doctor | Epidemiologist | Journalist | Health disparities, HIV/STDs, LGBTQ care, et al. | kerenlandman.com.