Impact of Cannabis Use on Male Sexual Health

Authors

  • Rany Shamloul MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Urology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    2. Department of Pharmacology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    3. Department of Andrology, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
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  • Anthony J. Bella MD

    1. Department of Urology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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Rany Shamloul, Civic hospital, Urology, 1053 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1Y4E9. Tel: 1-613-761-4500; Fax: 1-613-761-5450; E-mail: ranyshamloul@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

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. Shamloul R and Bella AJ. Impact of cannabis use on male sexual health. J Sex Med 2011;8:971–975.

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