International Institute of Clinical Sexology
Co-authors: Jordan Tishler1
Objective: Research reveals that up to 41% of women have difficulty orgasming (Laumann et al., 2005). Research also suggests that women who regularly use cannabis are twice as likely to orgasm (Lynn et al., 2019). Women, more than men report cannabis’ sexual faciliatory effects (Gorzalka et al., 2010). The objective of this literature review is to explore three different theories that point to why cannabis may enhance women’s ability to orgasm. If data collection supports these theories, it follows that female orgasmic disorder (FOD) could become a condition of treatment for medical cannabis.
Method: Literature Review
Findings: The psychoactive chemical in cannabis, THC, alters consciousness. Altered states of consciousness were found to be strongly related to higher sexual responsiveness in women, and to a lesser extent in men (Costa et al., 2016). Altered State of Consciousness Theory proposes that women who learn to induce altered states of consciousness with cannabis are more likely to orgasm.
Women, more than men, need to be in a state of absorption to orgasm (Swartz, 1994). A state of absorption can be created with an intense focus on bodily sensations and/or the imagination, both of which are stimulated by cannabis. The State of Absorption Theory proposes that a state of “absorption” is essential for high sexual arousal and orgasm in many, if not all, women.
Cannabis reduces the activity in the amygdala, a part of the brain associated with hypervigilance and anxiety (Rabinak et al., 2020). A reduction in anxiety associated with a sexual encounter could improve experiences and lead to improved orgasm and satisfaction in women (Kosiba et al., 2019). The Amygdala Reduction Theory proposes that reduced amygdala activity can positively affect female orgasmic disorder.
Conclusion: It can be hypothesized that women who use cannabis more regularly may be more comfortable with altered states of consciousness that allow deeper bodily sensations. This altered state of consciousness may lead to enhanced ability to orgasm. The researcher is collecting data to explore how and whether the use of cannabis has any impact on women’s orgasmic difficulty.