Since cannabis became legal in Canada in 2018, more and more people, including couples, have used it, believing its effects are harmless when used properly. The substance is, in fact, second to alcohol for being Canada’s most commonly consumed substance.
Similarly, many believe cannabis can enhance your life, specifically creativity, concentration, emotion, and sleep. Some couples even attest sex is better after a few tokes.
But not everything about cannabis is positive. While cannabis consumption is helpful for the benefits mentioned above, it can also damage personal and professional relationships, especially when its use becomes uncontrollable.
So, is cannabis in Ottawa good or bad for a couple? Does it strengthen a relationship and help resolve conflicts more efficiently? Here’s what we know so far:
What Do Academicians Say?
Whether occasional substance use is good or bad for the health of your relationship has been controversial in academic circles and beyond. Some claim it’s associated with lower relationship satisfaction, higher divorce rates, and aggression. Others contend that its effects are harmless and may benefit a relationship’s health.
To look at every side of these claims, let’s take a look at what each research or study revealed:
Conflicts may be more difficult to resolve for regular cannabis users
A study by Rutgers and Mount Holyoke College published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence looked into how cannabis use is associated with how couples relate. They let 145 couples (featuring at least one cannabis user) participate in the study and measured each participant’s resting heart rate and breath.
The scenarios ultimately revealed that those who often use cannabis tended to display less parasympathetic withdrawal while talking with their partner. More frequent marijuana users were more critical and demanding of their partners and avoided full-on conflicts. This indicates they’re less equipped to let things pass and move on to more positive matters.
Also, according to the collaborative study, many cannabis users are unaware that there could be problematic dynamics in romantic relationships because they believe they are doing it better than they are.
Cannabis may affect relationship intimacy
Researchers from the University of Buffalo and the University of Houston let 183 couples participate in a 30-day diary study to know whether intimacy events coincided with marijuana use. They asked participants to keep track of all the times they used marijuana and all intimate events via a mobile app. During the test period, participants reported using marijuana 1 out of every 2 days.
The study suggests that solo marijuana use can positively impact relationship intimacy. Using two different methods of analysis, the authors found evidence supporting the positive effects of marijuana use on subsequent intimate experiences when consumed with one’s partner. Findings were identical for both male and female intimate partners.
Uncontrollable cannabis use has long-term adverse effects on the user’s brain
According to Dr. Robert Navarra’s study, since there are several indicators that long-term, heavy use of cannabis alters the brain’s mesocorticolimbic system (reward circuitry) and the dopamine neurotransmitter system (brain chemical associated with pleasure) for some individuals, out-of-control cannabis use can lead to addiction, resulting in more significant family and relationship problems.
Dr. Navarra suggests that couples considering cannabis should talk it out with their partners to explore each person’s feelings, reactions, and thoughts about any relevant information.
You can also refer to CCSA for more reliable studies about cannabis consumption. But if you’re stuck, consider talking it out with a third person, like a therapist for relationship counselling in Windsor.
Existing studies that determine the influence of cannabis on the quality of a couple’s relationship are short and inconclusive. However, a few of them suggest that the substance can boost orgasms and sexual satisfaction, decrease sex-related anxiety, and increase intimacy.
Even though some studies mark the potential benefits of cannabis to couples, especially in the intimacy aspect, it’s worth noting that correlation does not imply causation. More research in the future must be conducted so Canadians can fully understand how weeds impact their relationships.