Long before Alicia Rose was ever discussing soft tissue absorption or describing the potency of cannabis-fueled orgasms, she was shopping at Bay Area dispensaries and leaving disappointed. One item she bought — marketed as a topical intended to stimulate sensuality and arousal — resulted in yet another eventual letdown.
“I bought it,” Rose says, “and I was like, ‘Wow, this must be magical because it’s so expensive.’ I got it home and I used it a couple of times, but it really didn’t do anything for me.”
Frustrated by the lack of available options, Rose decided to create her own products. The result is Quiver, a sensual pleasure oil that combines organic coconut and essential oils with a micro-dose of THC. As the founder of HerbaBuena, the Napa boutique cannabis company behind Quiver, Rose now often finds herself serving as a defacto expert on the relationship between pot and sex.
One thing that Rose feels makes Quiver stand out from competitors is the fact that the oil features strain specific, full-spectrum extraction.
“Every extract has an effect,” she explains, “whether you smoke it or apply it topically. There are a lot of people that will argue with me about that, but at least anecdotally, I have determined that this is 100-percent the case.”
Testing each batch on a small circle of friends and family and sourcing mainly from sativa strains that feature terpenes known for enhancing stimulation, Rose also adheres to a standard of using only full-term, sun-grown plants for her products. She feels these efforts are well-rewarded each time someone decides to give Quiver a try and experience the results for themselves.
Applied to one’s vagina or scrotum, the oil absorbs immediately through soft tissue membranes, leading to a range of encouraging and sometimes profound results.
Rose delights in sharing some of the feedback she’s received from customers, including stories of waning sex drives being reinvigorated. She’s also heard from individuals who feel her cannabis oil has awakened something sexual inside them that they feared would never return.
“As a woman, when you apply it, there is a general, overall relaxing sensation,” Rose explains. ”It’s not psychotropic, but it can have a really relaxing and ethereal feel. It is not psychotropic when you apply it to your sexual organs — only in your anus.”
Why a special dispensation for one orifice? As Rose notes, the anus and colon are remarkably bioavailable to THC, so while application elsewhere may lead to tingles and pleasure, the anus remains our only conduit for catching a classic buzz from Quiver. If you aren’t familiar with the concept of “boofing,” just ask U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh what it’s all about (spoiler: not flatulence).
While increased arousal and longer orgasms are certainly appealing reasons for women to explore the product — Rose notes that Quiver has benefits for all genders — it also has less intercourse-specific value as well. Applied daily over an extended period of time, some have noted that cannabis oil has helped to make their vaginas feel more toned.
“Cannabis isn’t estrogenic,” Rose notes, “but it mimics the effect of estrogen. So when used as a daily topical, it can actually help revitalize soft tissue.”
Further, Rose is eager to encourage curious parties to consider Quiver as they would a daily wellness supplement. In the days before Proposition 64 made on-site consumption events illegal in California, she recalls offering one-on-one consultations with women interested to learn more. Rather than finding it difficult to broach the potentially illicit subject of sex, it was talking about pot in the first place that was the tougher stigma to thwart.
“Once you break the taboo of admitting you’re even interested in cannabis, all of a sudden everything that’s taboo is on the table,” she says. “It was a really cool way to be like, ‘We’re already talking about the fact that you smoke weed, so let’s start talking about putting it in your pussy!’ ”
Of all the questions Rose regularly entertains, the one she feels she gets asked the most often is to clarify whether Quiver qualifies as a medical cannabis product or is best considered a recreational item.
“‘We’re actually neither,” she offers. “This plant is therapeutic, full-stop. This plant doesn’t care what you’re using it for. It’s about you being able to find the therapy that you need on a particular day for your particular health needs. This plant has the ability to provide that answer.”
As cannabis continues to infiltrate the mainstream, we may soon find ourselves having this conversation more often. While history has viewed medical cannabis largely through only the most dire extremes — cancer, seizures, AIDS — Quiver speaks to an emerging middle ground. It suggests that one need not be seriously ill, or even ill at all, to find potential relief in cannabis.
Does that make it medicine? Perhaps, but as Rose sees it, it definitely makes cannabis something she can no longer live without.
“That is the beauty and the magic of cannabis,” she says. “Plus, when your pussy is high, it’s really hard to feel depressed.”
Zack Ruskin covers news, culture, and music for SF Weekly.
email@example.com | @zackruskin