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Cannabis, female orgasm, and female orgasmic disorder: Comprehensive Literature Review

Suzanne Mulvehill
International Institute of Clinical Sexology

Objective: This presentation will highlight a comprehensive literature review at the intersection of cannabis and female orgasm over the last century. Study participants reporting positive cannabis effects on female orgasm are numerous. Within these reports, one can also find occasional anecdotal mention from subjects who believe that cannabis helped in alleviating female orgasmic disorders as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, 5th Edition.

Methods: Comprehensive Literature Review

Results: Themes in the literature on cannabis and its effect on female orgasm include enhanced and more frequent orgasms and decreased sexual dysfunction. A few researchers found cannabis to be sexually inhibiting in women and one researcher found cannabis could be used to either enhance or inhibit sexual functioning depending on its intention for use. Recent research found women who use cannabis more frequently and used cannabis before sex were more than twice as likely to report satisfactory orgasms. No research was found to evaluate cannabis’ effect on women who have female orgasmic disorder.

Conclusion: Female orgasmic disorder as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, uses a broad definition and includes women who have never had an orgasm with women who have had orgasms and uses the specifiers of lifelong, acquired, situational or generalized to define the subtype of the disorder. This broad definition overshadows the fact that Directed Masturbation is the only empirically validated treatment for female orgasmic disorder and is specific to the specifier of “lifelong.” Acquired and situational orgasmic disorders are common yet research describes a less optimistic prognosis with treatments such as Sensate Focus and Directed-Cognitive Behavioral Approaches considered to be ‘probably efficacious’ but not empirically validated. Situational orgasmic disorders where found to affect the largest percentage of women with female orgasmic disorder. Research showing the percentage of women suffering from female orgasmic disorder has not changed in 50 years. The lack of validated treatments for female orgasmic disorder and the research on cannabis and female orgasm makes a convincing case to evaluate if cannabis could be a treatment for female orgasmic disorder.

Co-authors: Jordan Tishler 1

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