One company's cannabis-based lube (and nationwide legal alternative) may elevate your O's to a whole other level.
As pot slowly becomes recreationally legal across the U.S. (eight states and the District of Columbia have passed lax legislation so far, but who's counting), ~weed fever~ seems to be taking the consumer product-sphere by storm. Example A: Whoopi Goldberg's line of pot-infused period products. Example B: cannabis-infused pain relief creams. Example C: weed-infused wine (yes, really). The list goes on.
If you've ever smoked pot and loved the repercussions for your love life (read: between the sheets), you're not alone. About 67 percent of users report that marijuana enhances their sex lives, according to one informal poll conducted by Psychology Today.Researchers have also found that the use of a topical cannabis oil resulted in an increased sexual response in women, according to a study done at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
That's why FORIA (the company behind the marijuana suppositories that promise to nix menstrual cramps) decided to tap into the powers of the cannabis plant to (literally) elevate the female sexual experience—without getting high from your head to your toes. Their Foria Pleasure product (or "weed lube") is a liquid coconut oil–based spray that contains purified pharmaceutical-grade cannabis oil, designed to enhance women's sexual pleasure.
"We weren't the first ones to think of this," says Mathew Gerson, cofounder and wellness director of FORIA. "Cannabis has a 3,000-year-old cross-cultural history of being used as an aid in the bedroom."
The results: feelings of enhanced warmth, increased blood flow, tingling, relaxation, and, quite possibly, your easiest or most intense O's ever. And while Gerson originally developed the product as an enhancement tool, it's also become a great option for all the women who have trouble reaching climax, says Jennifer Berman, M.D., a urologist specializing in female sexual health and medicine. (ICYMI, that estimate is close to 70 percent when it comes to traditional P-in-the-V intercourse.)
"As of early 2014, there were more than 26 sexual enhancement products to aid male sexual pleasure and zero options for women," says Gerson. "Foria emerged to address this 'gender gap' in the sexual enhancement space." Tackling the wage gender gap? Yas. Tackling the sexual gender gap? Double yas.
So how does weed lube work?
While the coconut oil base makes this a perfect lubricant, Foria Pleasure's main function isn't technically as lube; the company recommends applying it as a pre-lubricant at least 15 to 30 minutes before climax (versus just to keep things moving during intercourse). Then, you wait for the ~feels~ to kick in. Some women report waiting up to an hour after application for the best results. "This time period allows the active compounds of the medicine to be activated and absorbed," according to Foria.
You can credit two cannabinoid compounds for those extra intense feelings down low: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is responsible for the psychoactive effect of smoking or ingesting marijuana, while CBD is non-psychoactive.
"When THC is applied topically, or vaginally, it increases blood flow and nerve sensation, which is how it helps with arousal and orgasm," says Dr. Berman. Foria Pleasure contains both cannabinoids—but applying the THC won't actually get you high or make you feel mentally altered or impaired in any way, she says. "But it does help to enhance sensation arousal, lubrication, and orgasm in women." Translation: You get the perks of a high hoo-ha, without the mental fog.
Weed not legal in your state? No worries.
Until now, people outside of weed-legal state lines haven't really been able to take advantage. Enter: Foria's latest product, Awaken, a topical treatment designed to have a similar arousal- and pleasure-boosting effect using hemp-derived CBD (which has no legal limitations).
Although a CBD-only lube doesn't seem quite as sexy as getting your vagina stoned, it's actually quite useful in the health sphere. "Taken orally, CBD is being used to treat things like seizures, depression, Parkinson's, anxiety, and help with sleep," says Dr. Berman. Plus, it has an anti-inflammatory effect, plays a part in the endorphin system and in pain regulation, and increases blood flow (just like THC), she says.
And you might be surprised to find out that CBD isn't all that foreign to our bodies: "It's important to realize that our bodies make CBD intrinsically," says Dr. Berman. "We have CBD receptors in the cells in our bodies, so it is a natural, endogenously produced chemical."
The effects of CBD in the Awaken lube are bolstered by botanical products that are also associated with increased arousal and touted as natural aphrodisiacs: kava root, cinnamon, ginger, cacao, vanilla, and peppermint.
But are weed and CBD lubes safe?
Hell yeah. "You can't do damage or harm to yourself using any of these products topically as directed," says Dr. Berman. That being said, there are a few small things to keep in mind.
1. Neither lube is latex compatible, meaning it's not safe to use with your usual condoms.
2. Don't overdo it. "The thing about the Awaken is that it does have cinnamon in it, so it can be irritating or cause a burning sensation in some women if used in excess," says Dr. Berman. And because Foria Pleasure also helps to relax your muscles, if you spray too much on, "you'll have sort of a dulled sensation and a decreased sexual response," she says.
3. Be careful with oral. While the THC in Foria Pleasure won't get your head high, ingesting it (through oral sex or if you were to spray it in your mouth) might indeed have a psychoactive effect.