I am hardly a cannabis novice at this point, having tried a bunch of different products in my endless pursuit of chill as a decidedly un-chill person. From lubes to lotions to gummies to lip balms and skincare, I’ve found a number of ride-or-die products that use CBD (short for cannabidiol) that I’ve worked into my self-care rotation. So when I was sent Foria’s new Intimacy Botanical Vape Pen with CBD, a thoughtful relaunch of their beloved Flow vape pen, I knew the kind of effects I could expect from a solid quality CBD product: generally, in my case, that’s a relaxed (but not cloudy) feeling, ease of tension and (usually) an easier time putting my racing brain to sleep.
But I hadn’t really gotten a chance to try out vaping CBD before and, beyond knowing vaguely that it was a fast and effective way to feel the effects of CBD faster, I only knew that I wanted to be a cautious, conscious vape consumer and do it all the right way. Luckily, the folks at Foria were available to give me some extra information on their products and vaping CBD in general, which helped me avoid getting anxious about the product that was supposed to help me feel less stressed.
“Vaping is by far the fastest way to access CBD’s tension-easing, mood-enhancing effects. When CBD is inhaled, it passes to the lungs and then directly into the bloodstream. Oral solutions like CBD oil need to be processed by the liver, which can take a while — sometimes hours, depending on the person,” Foria‘s Chief Brand Officer Kiana Reeves tells SheKnows. “And topicals, which also bypass the liver, tend to stay where you put them. This is great for easing local discomfort and improving blood flow, less so for overall systemic balance. If you want to set a mood quickly, reach for a vape! (Though the effects won’t last as long; for longterm relief and overall wellness, we recommend supplementing with a tonic or tincture.)… it helps to know what’s going on in your body when you use CBD. Phytocannabinoids have a fascinating effect on the human animal, via a remarkable network called the endocannabinoid system. Our blog has some useful deep dives about how CBD works to enhance intimacy and wellness in body and mind, and knowledge is always power when it comes to our health — sexual and otherwise.”
All’s this to say, when you vape the right way and listen to what your body is telling you, you can get the benefits of CBD (which can include the anti-inflammatory, homeostasis-promoting effects on top of setting that soothing mood) in record time.
A bit about the pen itself: Even if you are new to vaping, the set-up is pretty simple and intuitive to use. Coming with a lithium battery (which functions as the end part of the pen), a USB charger and a cartridge (which contains the CBD oil), you’ll want to let it charge for a bit and then screw the cartridge on when you’re ready to use it. Available for $78 on Foria’s website, it’s sturdy enough to toss in your bag without worrying about it getting destroyed and holds a pretty decent charge over time.
As advised, I took one puff to start, inhaling for a seconds (they recommend anywhere from one to three) to get the first bit of vapor. The flavor is a really soothing and soft combination of vanilla, mint and cacao — it tastes good, obviously, but isn’t too sweet or overwhelming. I took about fifteen minutes to let my body feel out the dosage and I tried, as a person who is very bad at setting calming moods, to set a mood — I lit a candle, put my phone in another room and told everyone in my house to leave me alone with my vibes for a while (easier said than done.)
Within a 20 minutes or so, I did feel some of the usual effects I’d come to expect from taking half of gummy or a bit of oil. A few more puffs later and I found myself able to focus enough to do a bit of yoga and read (for fun) for a while. I’d say I wasn’t really any more stressed out than normal (hanging around the baseline stress of existing) but I did have an easier time winding down and going to sleep that night after some “me” time.
Since Foria’s products are developed with your sexual wellness in mind and I really love Foria’s Awaken both solo and with partners, I wanted to see what how the vape played in bed. I’m currently my own safest sex partner (thanks, pandemic!), so my hand and I took it for a spin. I did notice similar effects to when I use a CBD based lube or oil — the same intense orgasms (and soothing post-game float-y feelings) but obviously without the product actually on my body. I could see this working particularly well for people who want the calming, anxiety busting effects of CBD during a sexual encounter but maybe don’t need too much extra lubrication (or if you or your partner want to use a different lube or want to use toys or condoms that is aren’t oil safe, this lets you bypass any unfortunate errors that might cost you a beloved sex toy.)
The next time I used my vape, I’d had a long busy day and was more in the grumpy, stressed, why-does-my-lower-back-always-hurt-I-hate-everything kind of headspace and thought it might be a useful way to try and get out of it. I can’t say it was all the pen’s doing, but I was asleep after three puffs and 2.5 episodes of Murder, She Wrote. (To be clear: that’s a wholehearted endorsement for a perfect evening in my book.)
How to Vape Responsibly, According to the Pros
If you’ve read any of our coverage of 2019’s vaping illness, you might be a bit hesitant to introduce vaping into your own self-care routine. (Which is totally fair! Listen to your body and follow what feels good to you!) But the key to vaping safely is to make sure you are aware of how each given product is meant to be used, how it is not meant to be used and have a solid understanding of how they source their ingredients and create the thing you’re putting in your body (duh).
“Always, always, always do your research before you purchase a pen,” Mathew Gerson, Foria‘s Founder and CEO, tells SheKnows. “Although the available evidence suggests that vaping is much less dangerous than smoking, all vapes aren’t the same — by a longshot. Too many are cheaply made, with questionable hardware. Dangerous additives are far too common, like propylene glycol and the vitamin E acetate implicated in the 2019’s rash of vaping illnesses. In fact, we were motivated by the prevalence of shady vapes when we designed ours. We believe that people shouldn’t have to endanger themselves to enjoy the benefits of CBD. Our hardware is top-of-the-line, extensively tested glass and ceramic, and our ‘juice’ has always been all-natural, free of propylene glycol, vitamin E and synthetic additives.”
(And, as Hudson Valley native who digs our planet, I loved seeing they sourced their USDA-certified organic hemp from regenerative farm Hudson Hemp in New York.)
Gerson adds that while the pen is as safe as it can be “there’s no getting around the fact that inhaling anything other than plain air isn’t good for your lungs.” So even though it tastes great and you enjoy the feeling, it is not designed for you to be hitting it all day or absentmindedly.
“We suggest using it mindfully, to create a moment and establish a mood. Start with a puff or two and keep careful track of how you feel. Since vaping is so quick and efficient, you should notice results right away. Many people who experiment with plant allies for wellness support like to keep journals of their experiences, a practice we endorse,” Gerson says. “And if vaping feels bad in any way, that’s your body trying to tell you something! Try smaller puffs and inhaling more shallowly, and when in doubt, stop.”
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