A woman who engaged in five hours of sex after using cannabis experienced spontaneous orgasms for five weeks after the event, doctors revealed in a new case study.
It is the first medical record of spontaneous orgasm induced by cannabis. The report, published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, describes the case of a 40-year-old woman in the Netherlands who experienced severe anxiety due to the persistent orgasms. They got progressively more intense throughout the night and made her worry during the day, said her doctor Marcel Waldinger, a neuropsychiatrist in private practice in the Netherlands.
The orgasms were usually triggered when the woman, known as Mrs A, was lying down but receiving no sexual stimulation from herself or a partner. They lasted up to several hours. She became alarmed after reading about a similar condition called Restless Genital Syndrome, Waldinger said. This condition can be life-long and have a disruptive and devastating effect on peoples' personal lives.
As part of the diagnostic process, Waldinger and his colleague Dave Schweitzer, a physician at the Reinier the Graaf Gasthuis hospital, watched a film that the patient recorded of one of the episodes of spontaneous orgasm. They came to the conclusion that the woman did not have Restless Genital Syndrome, which is typically triggered in a sitting position and often accompanied by restless legs and an overactive bladder.
Mrs A reported that the spontaneous orgasms appeared to be triggered by cannabis use.
"She said she continued to use cannabis alone and without having sex. Even after several weeks, only a small amount of cannabis induced spontaneous orgasm. When she took higher doses, she got spontaneous orgasms that she 'couldn't handle' any more," Waldinger told IBTimes UK.
After ruling out neuromas – a usually benign type of tumour in the nerve tissue – near the clitoris, the doctors concluded that the prolonged period of sex coupled with cannabis was at the root of her condition. The vigorous sex may have led to overactivation of a nerve, which made orgasms more intense, the doctors added.
"We need to know whether there are more incidents like this. So I'm interested in patients who will contact me if they've had the same sort of experiences," Waldinger said. "That is important, to find out whether this is a very rare phenomenon or whether it occurs more often."
Previous studies have linked cannabis use to a range of effects on sexual pleasure and activity. Indeed, the drug has often been linked to an inability to orgasm and can make sex difficult. Joseph Palamar of the New York University School of Medicine, who has researched people's experiences of sex on cannabis, said that the effects of the drug differ widely between individuals.
"Using weed can make your body and your sexual organs more sensitive to touch. Weed also relaxes you and can also reportedly lead to tingly or warm sensations," Palamar said.
"Orgasms on marijuana are often described as magnified, longer, and more intense. However, a lot of women find it hard to even achieve an orgasm while high on weed as they may become unfocused or paranoid. Many females have trouble getting lubricated after smoking weed – to the point of one of my interviewees referring to this as 'dry mouth, but down there'."
More research on the effects of cannabis on sex will be necessary to shed light on how and why cannabis can have such a big impact on sexual pleasure and orgasm.
"From a pharmacological point of view, this is very interesting," Waldinger concluded. "What part of cannabis is inducing sexual pleasure and function, and what part is inhibiting it? It is fascinating to know that there is a drug that has a specific effect on orgasm."