Everyone by now has seen the propaganda image on the back of the tobacco packet that depicts a droopy cigarette, imitating erectile dysfunction. Cannabis has undergone a similar propaganda attack, with many people coming to believe that cannabis can make people impotent. This article shows that the truth, once again, is very different to what we have been told.
Like many things that the authorities want to forbid, cannabis has variously been blamed for pretty much everything that could go wrong in a person’s life. Cannabis causes psychosis, it causes cancer, it causes crime, and we’re also told that it makes people impotent.
Now, it’s certainly true that smoking things is not healthy. Smoking anything, cannabis or tobacco, leads to unhealthy lungs and worse circulation. It also leads to heart disease. All of this makes it much harder for smokers to get healthy erections, as this is a function of the health of the circulatory system.
It’s also true that not all cannabis users are healthy. Part of the reason for this is because they smoke things (as mentioned above), but most of the reason is that cannabis is a medicine, and medicines are not typically used by healthy people. People who aren’t healthy also tend to be sexually dysfunctional, for obvious reasons, so there’s a clear reason to expect the presence of a link between the two.
However, the simple facts are that cannabis does not make people impotent. In fact, like so many of the things that people have come to believe about cannabis on account of the propaganda, the truth is closer to the opposite of what we have been told. In fact, cannabis is an aphrodisiac, and has been employed as such for a very long time.
Indeed, cannabis has been known to be an aphrodisiac for millennia. There are references to it in Ayurvedic folk medicine from 2,500 years ago, and its use as an aphrodisiac may be as much as 3,000 years old. The efficacy of cannabis for such purposes is well-known among young and free-thinking people today.
There are several reasons for this, as any hippie could tell you. Most of the reasons are psychological, the most obvious being one that cannabis shares with alcohol: it’s an anxiolytic. People are often too physically anxious and wound up to be able to make love, because their bodies are in fight mode, and so being touched releases cortisol instead of oxytocin.
Cannabis can change that by putting a person into a calmer, more relaxed mood. It can have the effect of stopping runaway, neurotic or aggressive thoughts and replacing them with more placid and appreciative feelings. Cannabis has the ability to get people into the right mood for sex, probably a combination of its anxiolytic effects and the increased physical sensitivity it offers.
Another psychological obstacle to enjoying the sexual experience is deep religious brainwashing in childhood. Many people have been deeply conditioned, since early childhood, to believe that sex was evil and that enjoying the sexual impulse was an act of evil. For some of these people, it’s no longer possible to enjoy having sex while in a normal state of mind.
Yet another common psychological obstacle is previous sexual trauma. Many women who have been sexually molested or raped have difficulty letting go of the trauma enough to trust a man in bed. Likewise, many men find it difficult to achieve the desired level of responsiveness on account of previous humiliations. These kinds of prior traumas often make it difficult for a person to properly enjoy having sex.
Cannabis can help overcome all of these obstacles, thanks to the deconditioning effect that it has on the mind. Because cannabis is good for breaking down old thought patterns, it can break down the conditioned emotional response that occurs when a person is exposed to a stimulus that reminds them of a previous trauma.
One reason why cannabis has become associated with psychosis is because it makes people more open and more willing to explore. This is also one of the reasons why cannabis does the opposite of making people impotent. Sometimes a person is closed off to the idea of intimacy, and not because of trauma or any of the above reasons, but from sheer natural boringness. Cannabis can be what’s needed to open such a person up.
Of course, all this is part of the reason why cannabis was banned in the first place. It’s the basis for the “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men” comment that led to the prohibition of cannabis. The deconditioning effect of cannabis is a danger to those who benefit from the initial conditioning. Those brainwashers have a profound influence on our lawmakers.
Again, the correct approach must be one that maximises freedom while minimising new danger and risk. The apparent paradox that daily cannabis use can decrease sexual function, while occasional cannabis use can increase it, needs to be recognised. This can only become possible if our current dishonest approach to cannabis is replaced with an honest one.
From there, it will be possible to both get medical treatment for those who use too much cannabis, and to get medical treatment for those who have problems with impotency and who could benefit from cannabis. The humane thing to do would be to legalise it so that people can get the help they need, when they need it, without interference from the law.
This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.