We may be on the downturn of peak CBD product — there are CBD toothpicks, dog treats, and suppositories now.
It’s tempting to add CBD lube to that list. The concept isn’t new — and, in fact, there are even THC lubes in legal states — and after discussing it with a friend who used both THC lube and CBD lube in the past, I was a bit skeptical. Weed lube, according to this friend, had a heightening effect during sex, while CBD lube felt like any other one.
This tracked with my experience with CBD vs. THC products in the past, but when I heard about , I couldn’t help but be intrigued. For one, their lubes have a higher concentration of CBD than the more well-known : 200 milligrams per one ounce of TOCA lubricant versus 200 milligrams per four ounces of Foria lubricant. Perhaps because of this, TOCA’s usual price point is higher than Foria’s: $48 for one ounce versus $50 for four ounces of Foria.
TOCA’s two lubes, TOTO and QULO, are especially made for vulvar and anal use, respectively. (Though according to its website, either can be used interchangeably.) Given its high potency and specificity of the products, I decided to give them a try.
How does CBD lubricant affect genitals and sex?
While CBD isolate won’t do anything for you in this department, full-spectrum CBD (a whole plant extract as opposed to just an isolate) will, according to Anne Louise Burdett, TOCA’s co-founder and CEO. “This is in part because we have co-evolved with the cannabis plant for so long that our bodies and cannabis have a common language, the endocannabinoid system,” Burdett told Mashable. In addition to co-founding TOCA, Burdett is a clinical herbalist. She’s been working with plant medicine for 20 years and has run her own clinic for almost 10 years. While there is no industry standard for what “full-spectrum CBD” is, it does mean there’s more than one cannabinoid present and can contain traces of THC. TOCA’s lube contain less than 0.3% THC per container.
The helps maintain homeostasis in our bodies. This means that when it’s in check, we feel safe and present as opposed to anxious or ready to take fight or flight. “This is a big deal with sex and our genitals,” said Burdett, “because we store so much emotion and meaning in that part of our body, and for many, trauma.”
How CBD will make you feel is unique to you, but there’s evidence that CBD can act as a vasodilator, meaning it opens blood vessels. This research supports Burdett’s claim that when full-spectrum CBD does comes in contact with genitals, blood flow in the area increases — which happens when we’re turned on as well — which increases sensitivity and pleasure in the area.
At the same time, CBD can reduce inflammation. Just as CBD can ease your mind when ingested, it can have a similar effect on your body if used topically. As Burdett claims, “CBD will also be decreasing inflammation, decreasing pain by both acting directly on pain receptors while also acting on your body’s relationship to pain, so you will actually feel less pain, and you will notice the pain response less overall.”
CBD oil can take 10-20 minutes on genitals to reach full effect. So plan your sex life accordingly.
The difference between TOTO and QULO
When I received both TOTO and QULO, I noticed they had similar color and texture. I wondered how the ingredients differ considering one is made for vulvas and the other for anal play.
The main difference between the two CBD lubes, according to Burdett, is the fact that anal play requires lubrication as anal tissue doesn’t produce any itself, unlike the vulva and vagina.
“The QULO lube is designed to open and dilate and tone the tissue, reducing unwanted friction, and allowing for bright and tingly sensations and lots of potential for exploration and play,” said Burdett. “The TOTO lube for vaginal sex is designed to help reduce any inflammation or pain that can result form various conditions, and to really allow maximum engorgement of the tissues and healthy blood flow.”
In addition to being a sexual lubricant, TOTO and QULO can be used as a massage oil for the body or as a face oil. Neither of their lubes are safe for use with a latex condom.
TOCA’s spray bottle design
Another unique factor of TOCA is its design. While many lubes have either a pump top or squeeze bottle, TOCA has a mister, like the spritzer of a perfume. Burdett said the spray allows you to control how much lube you use and thus be able to measure how much you’re using or need to for the desired effect.
“You can spray it in your hand if you want to apply it to yourself or partner that way, but you can also spray it directly onto the tissues and it adds to the delicious and erotic experience,” she said.
The actual TOCA experience
While I used both lubes, I’m going to focus on TOTO here, because I didn’t engage in any of the anal play that QULO is specialized for. I did experiment with QULO on the vulva, however, and found it the same as TOTO.
Their smell and taste is reminiscent of both coconut (given that the first ingredient is MCT coconut oil, this makes sense) and hemp. I enjoyed this, but if you’re not a fan of one or both, this may be a turnoff.
On first use, I sprayed some of TOTO in my hand (the instructions recommend 2-4 sprays to start), but some droplets landed on my comforter; the same happened when I sprayed it onto a vibrator. The design thus leaves something to be desired for me, but it’s certainly favorable to the dropper of Foria lube as if it’s a tincture. Neither are particularly sexy, but the latter even less so.
I also prefer gel lubes, because in my experience they last longer, but I didn’t have a problem with TOCA’s liquid consistency. One incidental effect I had was due to my dry hands, a result of eczema and incessant hand washing. When I put TOCA on my hands or fingers for penetration, my skin absorbed the lube before I could use it for its intended purpose. The coconut oil in TOCA is moisturizing, which is a plus, but if I don’t want to use lube as hand lotion.
I found the best experience with TOTO — and what I recommend — is to spray it directly onto your genitals.
So let’s get to the good part. First off, as with all CBD products, you won’t have the same sensation as with THC. This also isn’t something to rush, as Burdett clarified that it takes 10-20 minutes to reach the full effect.
But I did notice a distinct difference in clitoral stimulation with the lube than without. I felt heightened sensation, and even found that touching parts of my vulva that weren’t the clit brought more pleasure. The lube was more of a “slow burn” when used vaginally, but the area was more relaxed whereas sometimes (without this lube) the pelvic floor can be tense. I wasn’t aware of the wait when I initially used TOCA’s products, but once I passed that learning curve every experience afterwards was better and better. It’s difficult to describe the sensations other than “great,” but they were great.
While TOCA lubes aren’t perfect, they did change my mind about CBD lubes (and proved my friend wrong). I prefer it for solo play as I can take all the damn time I please, but you and your partner can take an extended foreplay session for the CBD to reach full effect. The company is working on a third lube to add to its line — but for now, TOTO and QULO are great options for anyone who has time on their hands and wants to try CBD lube.
The information contained in this article is not a substitute for, or alternative to information from a healthcare practitioner. Please consult a healthcare professional before using any product and check your local laws before making any purchasing decisions.