couple getting stoned
Brittany Hambleton
Brittany Hambleton
July 7, 2020 ·  3 min read

Getting Stoned With Your Spouse Could Reduce Conflict in Your Marriage

When it comes to fostering healthy relationships, drugs and alcohol are typically viewed very negatively- and rightly so. Addictions and substance abuse can destroy the bonds you have with friends, families, and spouses, and tear relationships apart. A more recent study, however, has been published that suggests that marijuana use may not deserve the bad rep it has received. Researchers have determined that getting high with your partner may actually improve your relationship.

Getting High with your Partner May Improve your Relationship

Research suggests that couples who smoke marijuana together tend to have less conflict in their relationship, and show a decreased instance of intimate partner violence [1].

The study asked 634 married couples who had no history of violence to regularly complete mail-in surveys about various marital problems and conflicts over the course of nine years. They also answered questions pertaining to alcohol use, cannabis use, and acts of physical aggression to their partners. In general, the researchers found that couples who used marijuana more frequently experienced fewer instances of violence [2].

Benjamin Krasne, a physician and anesthesiologist, who was not involved in the study, said that this may be because chronic marijuana users exhibit blunted emotional reactions in threatening situations, which may also decrease the likelihood of aggressive behaviour.

“It does seem likely that couples who use cannabis are less likely to perpetrate intimate partner violence due to reduced stress and anxiety as elicited by the chronic use of this drug.” [1]

Dr. Jordan Tishler, who has worked as a cannabis specialist for more than 20 years, says that marijuana use does not have to be chronic in order to decrease anxiety, and even just occasional use can help.

Tishler does not believe that marijuana can solve marital problems, but he has seen low doses of cannabis help improve sex, intamacy, and the bond between couples.

“We may be getting reduced anxiety and greater intimacy, which are not the same thing, but it’s not surprising that cannabis helps enhance marriages,” he says [3].

Past Research Tells a Different Story

These findings are the opposite of what past research has found, which is that alcohol and marijuana use actually increases intimate partner violence. The difference, however, is that most of the past research in this area has used subjects with a history of previous violence, or individuals with past psychiatric hospitalizations [4].

The other problem with many of these studies is that it is very difficult to determine whether or not there is a statistical correlation between violent behavior and marijuana use, or whether the two are connected because of other confounding factors like socioeconomic status or other personality traits that cause someone to use marijuana more heavily [5].

Marijuana Won’t Save Your Marriage

It is very important to note, however, that marijuana is not going to fix the relationships of couples who are constantly experiencing conflict or violence. It is also worth pointing out that this study relied on self-reported data on drug use and aggressive behaviour, two topics about which most people will be less honest [1].

Married couples who do not have a violent history, though, may benefit from the occasional toke. Not only can it improve the marriage itself, but, indirectly, it can also improve the lives of the couple’s children, if they have any.

Krasne explains that children thrive in an environment in which their parents have a healthy relationship that is free of violence and conflict, which helps them to emulate good relationships in the future.

“If a medication can help achieve that goal, I don’t believe it should be shunned based on societal bias.” [1]