BY MARIA DEL RUSSO
Anyone who has ever had sex while a little high can tell you that things just feel better. Women especially seem to reap the benefits of a slightly stoned sack session. Folks report lower inhibitions, easier orgasms, and an overall greater experience if you have sex with just a slight buzz. But for certain companies, the goal is to skip the head high all together, and get right to the money shot.
“No one likes having sex too high,” says Kiana Reeves, managing director of Foria, a wellness company that specializes in CBD and THC-infused accessories for sex. She’s right about that—which is why Foria focuses on putting CBD and THC right where you can use it. The brand has a line of CBD and THC-infused lubricants and suppositories to help people experience maximum pleasure during sex. And while much of the sex accessories industry focuses on male pleasure, Foria is, surprisingly, vagina-focused (perhaps all the more surprising considering the brand was founded by a guy).
Foria is the brainchild of Mathew Gerson, who comes from a background in sexual wellness. After starting the condom company Sir Richards, a one-for-one model that donated condoms to areas without access to affordable birth control, Gerson started to explore the world of cannabis oil. “Coming out of the sex industry, the word ‘oil’ just meant ‘lube,’ to him,” Reeves says of Gerson’s initial context for cannabis oil. So he started researching, and found that cannabis has a long history of use in obstetrics, gynecology, and as a cure for menstrual pain. His research also opened his eyes to the fact that females were underserved in the sex market — a market that had dozens of pills for erectile dysfunction, but very few products that were geared toward women.
That’s where his two interests converged. “Looking at the endocannabinoid system, we’re able to see that females have a large amount of receptors in their pelvis,” Reeves says. And thus, Foria was born. The company aims to provide people with vaginas better access to orgasms, increased sensation, and decreased pain. Gerson actually mixed up the first batch of what would become the brand’s THC-infused lube, called Pleasure, in his kitchen and gave it to his girlfriend to try. She was, needless to say, extremely happy.
The company now has a range of products, from suppositories to pens. Their lubes are their most popular, however. Pleasure is infused with THC, so it’s only available in markets where recreational marijuana is legal. Awaken, however, was developed to reach a worldwide audience, since it contains CBD plus a mix of botanicals to mimic the effect of THC. Reeves assures us that they work basically the same way, so whichever version you choose is entirely about preference.
Since Foria came on the scene, the market for CBD and THC-infused sex accessories has skyrocketed in recent years. Brands like Quim and Kush Queen have rolled out their own versions of infused lubricants, while dosist offers pens such as Passion and Arouse that are specially formulated to get you in the mood. Reeves credits this uptick in products to a change in the way we think about sexuality. “The eyes and the gaze of our culture is more focused on female sexuality than it has been before,” Reeves says. “In that conversation and liberation and reclamation, there’s been more permission to explore.”
Since this is a newer discovery, there is no hard-and-fast scientific research on how or why cannabis works in such specific, intimate applications. The company is currently working on research into how, exactly, CBD and THC work on your genitals. But Reeves says that via studies on how CBD and THC are effective, along with Foria’s own case studies, the company has a pretty good idea of how the products do their thing. “THC is a vasodilator,” she explains. “What we believe is, through the vasodilation from the THC, you’re increasing blood flow to all of those erectile tissue beds.” Increased blood flow leads to increased pleasure and lubrication, which lead to better sex. CBD, on the other hand, is an anti-inflammatory. The company believes that this helps to relax the soft muscle tissue in the vagina, leading to more arousal.
The consensus, as the testimonials on Foria’s website detail, is that this stuff works—and not just for people with vaginas who are hoping to achieve orgasm. “We get emails from people who use the products for anal sex, too, as well as people for whom it helps with pain management,” Reeves says. “People have also emailed us letting us know that it helps with menopause, and with menstrual pain.” Pleasurable sex shouldn’t be a privilege—and companies like Foria are harnessing cannabis to ensure more democratic sex lives, for anyone and everyone.