If things go according to Lindsay Wynn's plan, the key to better sex will soon be available at your local weed store.
At this point, there's something for almost everyone at the average pot shop: hundreds of strains for flower connoisseurs, edible options for every palate, enough alternative rolling papers to wrap Lady Liberty. But when it comes to more sensual applications, most dispensaries keep a single intimacy oil in stock, if even that.
Simply put, the cannabis sphere hasn't had much to offer vaginas. But with her new line of Oshihana topicals, Wynn aims to change that.
"About three years ago, I found myself looking back on a decade of work in the commercial beauty world as a photographer and was feeling pretty unfulfilled," says Wynn, 30. "At the same time, I was experiencing new and recurrent issues with conditions such as UTIs, yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis, and growing exceedingly exhausted with the lack of natural, effective products in the 'feminine care' industry."
Over-the-counter products just didn't work. With more research, she found that commercial medicine for such conditions often put women at a higher risk of repeat infection, and that many circumstances—genetics, diet, clothing, exercise, menstruation, menopause—can throw the natural rhythms of a vagina out of whack.
"No products or companies had reasonable solutions for these very common and often debilitating symptoms," Wynn says. "Oftentimes, they make you feel ashamed for even having them."
So last spring, Wynn—who now splits her time between Portland, Brooklyn, San Diego "and airports"—traded her career in commercial beauty photography to make something better. She co-founded the brand Momotaro Apotheca with Taylor Samuelsen, offering a product line comprising a salve, oil and spray pH crafted to nurture vaginal wellness.
It wasn't long before cannabis—and its anti-inflammatory, sensory-heightening and overall stimulating properties—entered the conversation.
"A couple months into developing Momotaro, we knew we wanted to experiment with cannabis in our products," Wynn says. "We had read a ton about the medicinal benefits and felt like it would absolutely lend itself to a vulvo-vaginal wellness product."
Unlike many intimacy-minded cannabis products, Oshihana takes vaginal health seriously first and foremost. Working with chemists, pharmacists, gynecologists and naturopaths, Wynn figured out which formula would best treat surface irritation, pH balance, and symptoms of yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis—while also making the best lube during intercourse. She found out that, in either case, more is not necessarily better. The human body can only process so much cannabis before the receptors overload and sensations fizzle.
Once they reached a confident point, Wynn sent 40 samples of her most promising formula down to a women's retreat in Palm Springs. Participants reported getting "the wettest they had ever been."
The Japanese-inspired name came from the combination of an inspirational trip prior to the founding of both companies—"Momotaro" is the name of an iconic hero in Japanese folklore, while Oshihana is a combination of words meaning "tasty" and "flower." It was also inspired by Wynn's desire to rebrand vaginally focused products with an evocative word that didn't have anything to do with vaginas.
"'Feminine' and sexual care brands often have names that are clunky and awkward," Wynn says. "No one wants to use products that point to personal issues they may experience surrounding scent, pain, moisture and libido. We looked to create a name that had no previous connotation surrounding these issues. Taking ownership of your sexual health should be empowering, not embarrassing."
Wynn's goal is for women to have it all—feel good, have good sex, and feel confident about getting what they need to achieve both.
"Cannabis and sex are often misunderstood," says Wynn. "They are both inherently taboo. We believe we can help lift stigmas around cannabis and sex, as well as what it means to enjoy them together."
FIND IT: For information on where to buy Oshihana products, visit oshihana.com.