In a rapidly changing cannabis culture where changes in legal status are attracting more first-time users than ever before, aversion to smoke has created a demand for products as diverse as chocolate bars, soft drinks and salad dressings. But while the cannabis edibles industry has boomed, it’s not surprising that after a century of stigmatization for the plant, one of the most rapidly-growing industries in the legal cannabis world is more, well, private.
Cannabis topicals, commonly found as massage oils, offer the healing properties of cannabis without any of the psychoactive effects—except in certain steamy circumstances, but more on that later—making them perfect for those users who are skittish about using what they’ve been brought up to think of as a dangerous drug.
Something that seems to be proving true for many first time users is that the intimacy of the bedroom provides the perfect backdrop for the swiping of one’s cannabis v-card. From rheumatoid arthritis to anxiety disorders, cannabis massage products can alleviate myriad ailments, but according to the makers of a product called Foria, the most productive application of cannabis topicals might be their ability to put some rhythm back into the no-pants dance.
“At the time of Foria’s inception, the FDA offered zero drugs to treat female sexual challenges and/or enhance sexual pleasure, as opposed to the one drug—Filbanserin (Addyi)—that was recently FDA-approved and is now available,” explains Brittany Confer, director of marketing at Foria. “For men, there are at least 26 drug choices created to increase male sexual pleasure, all approved and regulated by the FDA.” At this point, Mathew Gerson, formerly of Sir Richard’s Condom Co., decided to address the inequality in his own, green way.
“It was brought to my attention how unbalanced the FDA has been with regards to putting out safe and effective medicines for female sexual challenges,” says Gerson, founder and wellness director of Foria. “My personal use of cannabis as a sensual enhancer led me to research its historical use as an aphrodisiac, which dates back thousands of years. This is a plant that has been identified by countless cultures for its benefits to human sexuality and our quest for heightened pleasure and wellness." Gerson’s research led him to found Foria, which produces an eponymous sensual oil infused with cannabis meant to be applied directly to the labia.
“Living in the modern world we are dealing with some intense conditions that don’t make for easy access to orgasms for any of us, men or women,” continues Gerson. This is a problem that Foria hopes to solve this problem by, as Confer puts it, “invit[ing] sexually active women of all ages to dive deeper into the pleasure spectrum of possibilities.” She, along with her colleagues at Foria, are convinced that the futures of foreplay and leafy green are inexorably connected. “The primary intent of erotic massage is to relax deeply into one’s own sensory experience and cannabis is well suited to assist us in this practice of dropping more mindfully into our bodies and helps shut out extraneous distractions,” she says. What’s more, according to Confer, if ingested orally, Foria produces a similar effect to cannabis edibles, which gives boyfriends and husbands everywhere an extra incentive to go downstairs during foreplay.
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Cannabis and sex are incredibly logical bedfellows, and Foria represents the vanguard of a completely new fusion of the two long-repressed activities. “I see sexual health and orgasm as a part of the arc of wellness that we are all seeking in our lives,” says Gerson. “This seems to be the emergent trend within modern medical circles. Historically, sexuality was left out of the conversation on basic approaches to health and wellness and was something that had to be hidden from view.” With topical cannabis’s help, it’s ready to come out of hiding.