Cannabis Caused an Unwanted 12 Hour Erection

Most of what I put forth in the written word in this space seeks to educate and inform, including calls to action, product reviews, breakthroughs in cannabis research, and legislation pertaining to cannabis reform among other topics. Then, every once in while… not so much.

Dear reader, this right here is one of those times.

Marijuana Moment brings us the story of a very unlucky 32-year-old man who experienced what is believed to be a strictly cannabis-related 12 hour case of priapism. Priapism isn’t sexual attraction to Prius owners (because ha-ha… no), but rather, as the Mayo Clinic explains:

“Priapism is a prolonged erection of the penis. The persistent erection continues hours beyond, or isn’t caused by, sexual stimulation. Priapism is usually painful as it’s two main types involve an “erection lasting more than four hours.”

If left untreated, all that excess blood can result in damage to the oh-so-sensitive penile tissues, resulting (ironically) in erectile dysfunction (ED). Insert descending slide whistle noise here.

Treatment at home is done with ice packs applied to the problematic raging ramrod. And if that doesn’t work—and you really, really want it to work, please God, let it work, please based on this next sentence—a (hopefully) licensed medical professional will insert a needle into the erection to draw out the unneeded blood.

Good luck closing your eyes tonight, and thanks for coming to my “Treacherous Trouser Tentpoles” TED Talk.

Now, back to this unnamed individual who, based on the fact that the authors of the study are researchers from the Coliseum Medical Centers in Georgia, this story involves a severe steeple-afflicted Southerner—because of course it does. The South has risen, and, well..

The patient in the case study, published this month in the Journal of Cannabis Research, had been previously treated at the hospital for an erection lasting 12 hours. In a second incident described in the report, he arrived at the emergency department with an erection that had persisted for six hours.

He told doctors that he had been smoking marijuana several nights a week for the past six months and during that period experienced “four or more episodes of a persistent erection lasting close to four hours.” In each case, he had smoked within a two-hour period before the erection began.

The case study’s authors… call it “the first known case of cannabis-associated priapism in a patient where all other known causes of priapism have been excluded.”

Those “other known causes of priapism” include the good (Ecstasy), the bad (a toxic infection such as a spider bite or scorpion sting, hopefully not, but probably yeah, upon the penis itself), to the horrid (penis related cancers). Researchers said they ruled out these and other factors.

They wrote that the owner of the rogue missile told them that during periods of cannabis use between the ages of 16 and 17, he experienced such episodes which did not require medical attention. (That’s also known as “being sixteen to seventeen.”) The man stopped using cannabis in his 20s, and did not experience unwanted dealings with a Wonky Donkey lasting four hours or more.

In general, cannabis is used to increase the pleasurable aspects of sex, and as I wrote last April:

A new study published the Journal for Sexual Medicine (a periodical I only read for the articles, I swear now that Sexual Healing Monthly has folded) reports that women who use cannabis have more intense orgasms, an increase in desire, and overall are more satisfied with their sexual experiences. In other words, science has now proven that getting high provides a bounty of benefits for those getting down.

Insofar as every third commercial during sportsball games involves prescription medications to combat erectile dysfunction while middle-aged men gaze lustily at their partner while taking baths on bluffs, perhaps researchers will soon create a cannabis connected product that hits the sweet spot between Captain Floppy and a 12-hour Tube Steak Salute.

Josh Taylor is a well-known and successful entrepreneur in the legal cannabis space, producing B2B and B2C cannabis events, "Backstage Budtending" and upscale concierge services through his companies and His weekly syndicated newspaper column and features about cannabis ran for five years until March 2020.

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