Does Smoking Weed Affect Relationships?

Does smoking weed affect relationships?
By Halla Mannering Updated June 18th

Fact-checked by Alexandra Arnett, MS

It’s no secret that relationships can be complicated. Smoking cannabis can add another layer to relationships, so it’s important to consider how cannabis use may be impacting those around you. 

Everybody has a different experience with cannabis, and it’s important to think about your own situation and how cannabis use impacts you individually.

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Does Smoking Weed Affect Relationships?

Smoking weed can impact the individual who’s using the substance, but does smoking weed affect relationships? In some cases, yes.

Everyone has a different experience, so it’s not possible to make definitive claims about the connection between smoking cannabis and relationships. However, there is some research to discuss how cannabis can potentially affect relationships.

One study mentioned that individuals who frequently use cannabis were more likely to negatively engage in their relationships, as well as be avoidant during conflict. Interestingly, the same research found that cannabis users weren’t as equipped to emotionally recover immediately after conflict. 

This study noted that while there were some significantly negative impacts on relationships where cannabis use was involved, cannabis users reported that their relationships were better when compared to other people in the study. 

Relationship perception is important to understand when discussing these types of studies. Research by Rutgers also found that cannabis users tend to misperceive how well their relationships are going. For example, the study found that individuals who used cannabis were less likely to recognize their own unhealthy patterns in relationships.1

The Gottman Institute is well-known in the psychology community for its work with couples and relationships. The Institute released an article that examined the topic objectively. Their argument was not that cannabis impacts conflict in relationships but simply that everyone has a different view of cannabis, and this can change the ways that people interact. The article suggests that couples have in-depth conversations about cannabis use, what it means to them, and what they feel comfortable with regarding this topic.

Does Cannabis Have Any Positive Impacts on Relationships?

Does smoking weed affect relationships positively?

While there are potential negative impacts that cannabis can have on relationships, there are also quite a few positive impacts as well.

Some people find that cannabis is great for their sex life. In fact, some people report that they have better orgasms and an improved overall intimacy experience when cannabis is involved. Using cannabis in the bedroom is a common topic, and it’s important to make sure that both you and your partner are on the same page. If you’re going to be using cannabis specifically for your sex life, ensure that everyone is aware and comfortable with the plan.

A 2019 study found that when both partners consumed cannabis at the same time, the chances of intimacy reports were significantly increased. However, the same study also found some positive benefits when only one partner used cannabis. This suggests that cannabis can play a role in helping people feel motivated or comfortable to be intimate.2

For some people, truly being in the moment with your partner can be difficult due to distractions and stress. Cannabis may be a helpful tool for you if you find yourself in this position. Some couples use cannabis as a way to focus on one another and achieve a deeper connection than they would have otherwise.

Are There Any Negative Effects of Cannabis on Relationships?

If you’re going to use cannabis, it’s important that you’re aware of some of the potential adverse effects on relationships that have been reported.

While the evidence is mixed, some research suggests it’s possible that smoking cannabis could affect someone’s ability to get pregnant. If you and your partner are trying to conceive, it’s important to have a conversation about cannabis use and what you both feel comfortable with. As always, speaking with your doctor about medical decisions and doing your own research is essential.

The majority of research available suggests that conflict avoidance and lack of repair are the two biggest concerns that can arise from cannabis use.1 While this can be a reality, there are also intentional ways that you can fix this and build a better relationship. It's important to think about your individual situation and the struggles that you may be experiencing due to cannabis use. And working with a qualified medical cannabis doctor or a cannabis-friendly therapist may help consumers find solutions tailored to their needs.

Which Consumption Method Has the Biggest Impact on Relationships?

Do edibles affect relationships more than smoking?

Different consumption methods work differently, and it isn't possible to claim that one method is always better for relationships than others. However, it’s likely that smoking cannabis isn’t the best option, as your partner could be impacted by secondhand smoke. If your partner doesn’t feel comfortable with being around cannabis smoke, consider an edible option.

While smoking may not be the best choice, there are also some cons when it comes to edibles. For example, edibles stay in your system for longer. Because of this, you’ll feel the effects for an extended period, which could lead to some of the avoidance tendencies.

If you’re going to be using cannabis for intimacy, there may not be a right or wrong consumption method. If both partners are going to be using cannabis at the same time, consider using the same method of consumption so that you’re experiencing comparable effects at the same time.

How to Manage Cannabis Use in a Healthy Relationship

To maintain a healthy relationship, one of the most important things to do when using cannabis while in a relationship is to communicate and check in with your partner. It's important to provide them with a space where they can discuss how they feel about your cannabis use. Consider sitting down and having intentional, regular conversations with them about this topic.

Research has found the most significant impact on relationships between those who use cannabis is differences in confronting conflict.1 If you do notice conflict in your relationship, consider making an intentional effort to deal with it in a healthy manner. If you’re under the influence of cannabis and dealing with conflict in your relationship, it may be best to ask your partner if you can save the discussion for a time when you’re sober.

Most people can agree that honesty is an important component of relationships. If you find that you’re hiding your use, that could have a significant negative impact on your relationship. In order to have the healthiest relationship possible, both parties should be aware of any cannabis use occurring. In the best-case scenario, both parties would also feel entirely comfortable with the level and consumption method of cannabis use.

It’s entirely possible to have a healthy relationship while using cannabis. Remember to be honest and open, as well as aware of your own habits and inclinations. If you know that you tend to shy away from conflict, be mindful so you know how to handle any conflict that occurs. Doing this can help you be more mindful and ensure that you’re not missing out on a chance to show your partner how much you care about them.

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  1. Haydon KC, Salvatore JE. Relationship perceptions and conflict behavior among cannabis users. Drug and alcohol dependence. 2022;237:109502-109502. doi: ↩︎
  2. Testa M, Wang W, Derrick JL, Leonard KE. Marijuana Use Episodes and Partner Intimacy Experiences: A Daily Report Study. Cannabis. 2019;2(1):19-28. doi:10.26828/cannabis.2019.01.002 ↩︎

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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