Impact of cannabis use on male sexual health

J Sex Med. 2011 Apr;8(4):971-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.02198.x. Epub 2011 Jan 26.


Introduction: Cannabis (marijuana) is the most widely used illicit drug globally. Given the prevalence of nonprescription illicit drug abuse, there is a growing interest in the study of its potential effects on male sexual health. In this review, we discuss the effects of cannabis on male sexual health.

Objective: In this review, we discuss the effects of cannabis on male sexual health. METHODS AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Critical review of scientific literature examining the impact of cannabis use on male sexual health.

Results: Studies examining the effects of cannabis use on male sexual function have been limited in both quality and quantity. Most results of these studies are conflicting and contradictory. While some did outline the beneficial effects of cannabis in enhancing erectile function, others did not. However, recent animal and in vitro studies have identified potential links between cannabis and sexual health. It appears that cannabis may actually have peripheral antagonizing effects on erectile function by stimulating specific receptors in the cavernous tissue.

Conclusions: Given the prevalence of cannabis use, and the potential relationships between use and the development of potentially hazardous effects on male sexual function, we encourage renewed use of research resources to determine in-depth mechanistic knowledge, and new clinically oriented studies examining the effect of cannabis on male sexual function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cannabis / adverse effects*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / chemically induced*
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / complications*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sexual Behavior / drug effects*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*


  • Illicit Drugs