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Marijuana Use May Worsen Erectile Dysfunction

“Cannabis (Marijuana) is the most widely-used illicit drug globally,” says Dr. Shamloul, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. “It is also often used by young, sexually active people who are unaware of the hazardous effects it may be having on their sexual health and performance.”

A study published in the April in the Journal of Sexual Medicine identified negative connections between cannabis use and male sexual performance.

Previous studies have shown that cannabis affects receptors in the brain the new study shows the same receptors exist in the penis.  Cannabis may have the same depressive, and relaxing, effect on these receptors. This then makes it more difficult for a man to achieve and maintain an erection.

“These findings will change the current understanding of the magnitude of the impact of cannabis use on sexual health,” says Dr. Shamloul.

Previous studies examining the effects of cannabis use on male sexual function have been limited and many of these studies have produced contradictory results

. While some studies have indicated cannabis could have beneficial effects in enhancing erectile function, other studies have found the opposite.

Websites that maintain the benefits of cannabis in preparation for sexual encounter often suggest that it helps prolong the erection and ejaculation. Though it may be a factor in achieving an erection it may also have some benefit in prolonging an erection. Men with premature ejaculation may find benefit with its use. No doubt future studies will focus on this potential benefit and use of cannabis

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Dr. Shamloul's research appeared in the April 2011 issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.