As marijuana legalization spreads and stigma recedes, older narratives claiming that copulation and cannabis don’t mix are falling by the wayside. Today, marijuana lube products fill internet storefronts, and there’s no end to claims that weed enhances sex, despite research that draws far more nuanced conclusions. Though it’s unclear whether cannabis goods really make sex better, bigger-picture studies suggest that the combination of sex and marijuana will have major implications for demographics and public policy.

The advice that marijuana will help with sexual issues is the opposite of what people once believed, says Michael Eisenberg, a urologist at Stanford University. The common hypothesis was that marijuana would lead to poorer sexual function, and some studies do suggest that marijuana can disrupt the menstrual cyclelower sperm quality, or make it harder to reach orgasm.

But there are plenty of testimonials from people who swear that cannabis lubricant prolongs orgasm and cannabis tampons will relieve period pain. “For many of the lubes, is it more hype or more true response?” asks gynecologist Melanie Bone. “The only way to know is to study it.” However, we have very few studies because it’s notoriously difficult to do research using marijuana. (For what it’s worth, weed lube creator Foria Pleasure is currently recruiting and paying for a study examining whether its suppository reduces period cramps.)

We don’t know who or under what circumstances these products might help, and even if they do work, it might be unclear why. For example, many weed lubes contain coconut oil, so how do we know that it’s cannabis and not the coconut oil that’s effective? Does using marijuana as lubricant really make it more effective than consuming it directly? The potential negative side effects are also unclear.

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