While the entire world is abuzz with the news that marijuana industry is finally moving into new realms of respectability if not size, one of the most interesting parts of reform is how the drug is changing not only attitudes towards use, but how it can change attitudes about other things.
Take relationships for example.
There is increasing evidence that the couples who smoke together, stay together. The sex can be better and partners seem to be more trusting of each other. And that evidence is only growing.
For example, a University of Buffalo study of 600 couples from the mid-90’s found that those where both partners smoked pot were less violent and less likely to fight. Incidences of domestic violence were also sharply lower if only the male partner in heterosexual relationships smokes pot.
Promotes Greater Intimacy and Relaxation
There are multiple studies that also show that the sex is better – including the greater intimacy and relaxation created by firing up a joint. It also increases the intensity of orgasms for both men and women. This in turn leads couples to want to have sex with each other more – thus increasing overall satisfaction levels in the relationship. For men, THC ingestion also temporarily raises the level of testosterone.
Marijuana use between couples also creates more opportunities for intimate talk, which further increases not only conversations between partners but the intimacy of them. This in turn, of course, leads people to better understand their partners, and be more forgiving of them. It also leads to greater trust.
Marijuana also lessens overall levels of anxiety and depression. This in turn also has positive effects on relationships.
The impact of marijuana on overall creativity has also been seen to work its way into relationships. When couples can be creative – with each other or within the relationship, problems, fights and disagreements are more likely to be avoided and the underlying tensions that cause them dealt with in proactive ways. The fact that marijuana use also seems to impact both appreciation of art and music creates new paths and opportunities for people to share such activities with their partners, also increasing intimacy, desire and communication among couples.
Decrease Alcohol And Prescription Drugs Use
People who use marijuana also tend to drink less alcohol and take fewer prescription drugs.
Then of course there is the impact of having marijuana use as a joint hobby. Couples can bond over learning about and experimenting with the drug, reading up on different strains and talking about their mutual experiences while taking them to even taking cannabis-oriented vacations together.
The Negative Impact On Relationships
On the flip side of course, problem use of marijuana can certainly destroy relationships like any other drug. In situations where only one partner is using the drug and either hiding such use from their partner, or the other partner is opposed to such use may create problems that can destroy relationships just because of disagreements over use.
Marijuana can also have a negative impact on a relationship if one or both partners overuses the drug to the point of “addiction” – although this is a tough definition for a number of reasons. However there are certain warning signs to look out for, including turning to the drug as the first way of dealing with stress to the exclusion of other options (like exercise and a healthy diet). Overuse to the point that quitting causes severe withdrawal symptoms is also likely to cause strain on the relationship, including a lack of patience and irritability when quitting.
Cannabis Helps Build Intimacy But Not The Answer
Use of the drug in a situation where it causes social, financial and personal burdens will also create additional pressures on any relationship.
Use of marijuana when pregnant or with children in the house is also another place where use can place significant strains on a marriage or partnership. The lack of legislative protection for parents who use marijuana with kids is one of the largest areas of the law that has remained largely unaddressed despite other gains in the legalization battle.
In other words, in situations where there are underlying health issues, money problems, or other significant strains, marijuana is certainly not the answer.
That said, in otherwise healthy relationships, cannabis certainly is not the cure-all. However its calming effects, not to mention the opportunities to create more bonds, mutual time together and enhancing romantic experiences seem to be one key to maintaining healthier relationships overall.