Quim Rock is Evolving the Conversation About Weed, Sex, and Vaginas

What's better than the cannabis-and-sex combo? A product made by women, for women, that promotes vaginal health AND sexual pleasure through the use of cannabis; simultaneously, it breaks down the stigma associated with openly talking about vaginal health and sex, while promoting body positivity. Can we get a round of applause?

Civilized interviewed Cyo Nystrom and Rachel Washtien, two power women behind Quim Rock, about their brand's intimate oils, and its unapologetic attitude towards vaginas and sex. Not only taking women on a new type of love affair, Quim Rock is also turning heads in the cannabis industry — toward a conversation more of us were were afraid to have, until now.

In this Valentine Special, Nystrom and Washtien share their stories and inspiration behind Quim Rock, where they think the narrative between sexual health and cannabis is heading, and why cannabis is integral to a healthy vagina and sexual pleasure.

Hi ladies, absolute pleasure to be talking to you both! Can you tell me the story behind Quim Rock — how did it all start? Did you have prior experience in the cannabis industry, and what made you think about using cannabis with lube?

Nystrom: It all started with two women and their vaginas… But really, these products were born out of our own need for products that weren’t readily available to us. I struggled for years in a cycle of UTI-yeast infection-UTI, and couldn’t find the proactive vaginal health solutions I needed. So I started making my own! As the head of sales at [cannabis delivery platform] Meadow, I gained invaluable insight into the cannabis industry, working closely with the regulations and forming important relationships with the cannabis community. I quickly saw that the need and desire for cannabis-based vaginal health products were there, and knew this was a product we had to bring to the masses. What started as tinkering around in my kitchen making “weed lube” for myself and for friends, morphed into a bigger vision of conversation and product creation.

Washtien: I had just gotten back from a little traveling sabbatical from life and work and was looking for my next project/adventure. I wasn’t experienced in the cannabis industry but came from a finance and business management background. The combination of our skill sets was perfect for getting Quim Rock off the ground and continues to be one of our biggest strengths. We’re truly opposites in the way we problem solve and we’re incredibly grateful to have such a complimentary partnership!  

Did you ever think you’d become successful businesswomen in the cannabis space?

Nystrom: I always knew that I wouldn’t be fully satisfied with my career until I was at the helm of my own ship. But for me, “success” in an entrepreneurial endeavor isn’t just calculated in financial terms. It's about the connection we have with our consumers. It's about bringing conversations to the forefront that for far too long have either not occurred at all or happen in whispers and shrouded in shame and innuendo.

Washtien: Nope! Like Cyo, I always knew I wanted to be my own boss and be part of a meaningful project from the ground up, but didn’t have experience in the cannabis industry before starting Quim Rock. If you’d told me four years ago I’d be a co-founder of a plant-based vaginal wellness company working primarily in the cannabis industry, I’d probably have thought you were nuts!

When you were pitching this idea to potential investors, can you tell me some of the reactions you encountered?

Nystrom: Oooh man, this one hits close to home! One of the biggest challenges we encountered while fundraising was the fact that many of the people we were pitching didn’t have vaginas and couldn’t relate to the health issues we were trying to address. Because historically people haven’t talked openly about vaginal health (especially in “mixed company”), there was a lot of educating people on how pervasive these issues were — even if their spouses weren't talking to them about it.

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There are other "weed lube" products on the market that focus on sexual pleasure, but Quim Rock products also addresses sexual health too. Can you tell us why you wanted to focus on the combination of the two, not just one or the other?

At Quim Rock, we see vaginal health as a precursor to the pursuit of pleasure. In a time of sexual empowerment, we’ve found that vaginal health has been left out of the conversation. While people are becoming more willing to talk about their fetishes, sexual needs, and desires, there is still significant shame around the vaginal health issues that so many of us experience. If your vagina feels irritated, (extra)tender, or smells off to you, relaxing during sex (a must-have for me to enjoy myself and/or orgasm) can become a Sisyphean task. Physical comfort leads to emotional comfort leads to physical ecstasy leads to emotional ecstasy — dream big y’all.

As a female reading this, I love your brands tone of voice, and the very fact that you used the word Quim (oooo so controversial) projects empowerment and helps dissolve the shame that is associated with talking openly about sex, vaginas and sexual health. So in five years from now, what would you like the narrative to be surrounding sex, vaginas and cannabis?  

Honestly, I think in five years we’ll look at cannabis as merely one of many powerful plant-based active ingredients in our products. With national legalization, we anticipate cannabis moving much further into the mainstream. We also hope to see a lot more research being done on the long and short term effects of topical cannabis.

I think we may have a longer road ahead of us as far as it relates to bringing conversations on vaginal health and femme sexual empowerment to the national forefront. Just look at how Dan Bilzerian's company Ignite Cannabis is allowed to put up billboards of naked women’s body parts throughout California, but companies like Thinx and Unbound Babes get their comparatively PG ads pulled from NYC MTA [subway] for being lewd or inappropriate. Or how SESTA and FOSTA are not actually providing greater protections to sex workers but pushing them further into the shadows even when its PROVEN that when you take away sex workers' access to platforms that allow them to control their business independently, you greatly increase the likelihood that they’ll become victims of violence.

What are the unique benefits of your products?

Our Night Moves Intimate Oil has not only shown to increase libido through cannabis and damiana, but can be helpful in preventing UTIs and yeast infections through our use of tea tree oil (an amazing natural antifungal and antiseptic).  

Our Oh YES! Latex-Safe Serum is unique in that it’s a latex-safe cannabis lube (hard to find!), and uses an aloe vera base that is naturally pH balancing and non-irritating in a vaginal environment.

Our Happy Clam Everyday Oil (now available for nationwide shipping!) acts as the perfect post-sex solution for pain or discomfort, incorporating the same proactive vaginal health components as our Intimate Oil (and more!).

What is the potency of your product and what's the recommended usage?

Night Moves: 350 mg THC, 50 ml — 40 servings

Oh YES!: 200mg THC, 30ml — 30 servings

Happy Clam: 50mg Full Spectrum Hemp-CBD, 30ml — 30 servings

Does the lube have different effects when used on men?

This question is hard, as our products are vaginal health-focused, rather than gender-specific. We have testimonials from a number of trans men, like Buck Angel, who’ve had amazing experiences with our THC-infused products and who have helped educate us on the benefits our product can have for someone on a hormonal regimen. As for folks with penises, the product will not have the same effect when applied to the penis as it will the vulva, clitoris, and vagina. Anal application is a whole other story though! We’ve gotten some great reports from both men and women using the product anally.

Do you think creating a product using cannabis, which was once a taboo subject, is helping de-stigmatize the conversation around sexual health and vaginas?

We sure hope so! Here’s what we know: We know that ever since 45 was elected president, there has been a huge influx of companies addressing femme self-care. We also know that California is currently the largest adult use cannabis market in the world and has garnered the interest of journalists internationally. We know that it’s been easier for us, as a cannabis-infused vaginal health company, to garner the attention of mainstream news outlets like The Atlantic, Forbes, and Viceland, than it has for many other small or new brands in the state and I think that’s because we’re speaking to issues that folks have historically shied away from.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you, and did you follow it?

Nystrom: The founders [of Meadow] taught me so much about what it means to be a value-based organization, the importance of doing well by doing good, and that your team is your most important asset.

Washtien: For me, the most important advice is the advice Cyo and I give each other every day: “Baby, we’re riding a snake, not a train!” It’s a reminder that on this journey there are no regularly scheduled stops and established tracks. We’re on a far more slippery and erratic ride…  Our strength comes not from being able to anticipate every bump and turn, but in cultivating a culture of resiliency. This attitude guides us in moments of hardship and reminds us that with the lows come so many highs.

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs trying to get into the cannabis space?

Solve a problem that matters to you. If it doesn’t grip your heart and soul and get your ass outta bed every morning, it won't be strong enough to sustain you through all the ups and downs of running a business in a nascent and highly regulated industry.

What’s next for Quim Rock?

Definitely an expansion of our CBD product line! Expansion of our cannabis line to Nevada and Canada! Partnerships with like-minded brands! More fun stuff for your vag!

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