meet Tessa Knudson, the hemp witch, p*ssy witch, dirty herbalist + CBD whisperer

Tessa got tired of overpriced, mass-produced, poor-quality CBD products so she decided to wildcraft and handcraft her own.
Spend a few minutes talking to The Hemp Witch and self-proclaimed “dirty herbalist,” Tessa Knudson and you know immediately that she’s one part mad scientist, one part weed researcher, one part sexy forager, one part information addict, one part manufacturer extraordinaire, one part creative genius — math’s not our thing, but let’s just say she’s the sum of a lot of magical parts. Her passion and attention to detail when ethically harvesting, formulating and manufacturing herbs is second to none. Her handcrafted CBD and herbal products are a backlash of sorts to the mass-produced, heavily processed industry offerings that didn’t live up to their promises, nor the inherent nature of Mother’s Nature’s most powerful whole plants. 
We’ve road-tested everything from her pain-relieving CBD salves and lip butters to her soaking salts and lubes (confirmed, they do get your pussy high) — and we’re believers. Her methods and remedies work. 
Also her product names (“spliff happens”) are dope (see what we did there). Hit her up for all of your CBD and brand-naming needs. In the meantime, check out what she has to say about using CBD to amp up arousal, pleasure and orgasms. Thank us later. xxx

"Cannabis-based products, both CBD and THC,
can have a tremendous impact on how people have sex.
I personally like to smoke a little one-to-one joint of hemp and cannabis. 
It just relaxes my whole body and mind before I take it down to pound town." 


So you make CBD lube that, for lack of a better term, gets your pussy high. Do tell…
tessa knudson (tk) CBD is one of the most heavily studied cannabinoids to date, because it is non-psychoactive and it's federally legalized. It has a pretty broad range of therapeutic effects. It's most known across the cannabis community for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-anxiety effects. But when we apply the CBD in the water-based lubricant to the highly absorbent mucous membranes of our genital tissues, the CBD can actually soak right into the bloodstream, providing us with both localized and systemic effects.
So how does that translate to pleasure town? CBD acts as a local muscle relaxer in just a few minutes, so it doesn't take super long to work its magic because it’s soaking right into the bloodstream. And by relaxing the muscles and reducing tension, from being more physically relaxed, we can also relax mentally, as a result, which just translates to being more open to receiving pleasure. It's also really great for anybody who experiences pain or discomfort with penetrative intercourse, lives the high-stress lifestyle or simply struggles with relaxing enough to enjoy or receive pleasure whether it's foreplay, masturbation, intercourse. It's just going to relax the physical body and the local tissues, and then in turn just the person will feel less tense and stressed out, which, of course, is always going to heighten our pleasure.
Another really exciting benefit to using a CBD-medicated lubricant is that the CBD will also stimulate blood flow in those sensitive areas. So to the local tissue, it's going to increase circulation, and better circulation is going to lead to increased arousal, reduce time to arousal, and there are even reports of increased intensity of orgasm, which is really no surprise when we're talking about better blood flow, better circulation in those areas. And that can be for both people who own penises and people who own vaginas. I do try to make the lube as inclusive as possible. I try not to gender it, if I can, because I like it to be for all partners and pleasurable for anyone and everyone, regardless of how you identify.

So then how is your CBD lube different than others on the market?
tk Usually you don't see water-based lubricants infused with CBD or cannabis products because of insolubility issues with the actual cannabinoids themselves. They would not mix in normally to water-based lube, so a lot of companies use oil-based lubricants to infuse, which can pose some issues. They're obviously not condom-safe, and they can also lead to, especially for vaginal tissue, a lot of irritation. There's going to be a little more friction going on. They're going to conduct heat, which may cause discomfort for some people. I use a water-based lubricants that are free from all the top irritants found in a lot of lower-quality, water-based lubricants. So there's no parabens, no glycerin, no oil and no silicone, all of which can be highly irritating to vaginal tissue, in particular. So it means that it's also safe to use with toys and considered to be hypoallergenic, which is super fun… And I only work with minimally processed, true full-spectrum CBD. I do not fuck with Nano CBD, water-soluble CBD, isolate CBD, or any other heavily processed or standardized extracts. It's just pure ethyl alcohol extract. And that we'll leave all out for another rainy day.

Given all these benefits, I’m curious about whether you can use it in other areas, like your erogenous zones, to heighten your sex drive?
tk Yeah, definitely. And because the lubricant is water-based, it can be used anywhere and everywhere that you enjoy stimulation, especially on erogenous zones, like nipples. Technically, if you'd like to get down to business in the backyard, silicone-based lubricants are more ideal for anal penetrative intercourse. But I always just like to let people know that if you're not a collector of many varieties of lubricant, any lube is better than no lube if you're going to be partaking in anal sex.
But what’s fun is that, because it's water-based, if you're using it all over in all kinds of areas and you’re doubling up for the butt, and you’re just kinda using a lot of it, it's not going to stain your sheets, it's not going to ruin your lingerie, it's not going to stain anything because it's not oily and it's not silicone. It literally washes right out. You can even just sponge it off your sheets afterward, which is so nice, because nobody likes to have a bunch of crazy, messy sex and then all of their sheets have oil stains for the rest of forever.
So what are some other ways we can use CBD and CBD products, not just the lube, to have a more powerful orgasms or better sex?
tk Cannabis-based products, both CBD and THC, can have a tremendous impact on how people have sex. I personally like to smoke a little one-to-one joint of hemp and cannabis. It just relaxes my whole body and mind before I take it down to pound town. It just can take you down enough to shift your perspective. You can just let go of the day's stress, become more open to receiving pleasure. And, again, it can be really important for people who suffer from any type of chronic pain that might distract or limit their ability to focus on their pleasure, because of the pain-relieving properties of both THC and CBD.
Some strains, obviously, get you horny, so just sharing a smoke with somebody…
tk Some people get horny off of any weed that they smoke and I feel like I might be one of those people. Weed just gets me horny every time and so it's fun for me. Some people don't have that experience and so hemp could be a really good alternative, because hemp flowers are not going to be psychoactive, but they can still just relax all your muscles. We're all just tense all the time, all day and we don't even really realize that we're clenching our jaw or our shoulders are tight. All of the day's stressors can really interfere with our ability to be open and willing and able to receive pleasure and experience it fully. So even just using something that's like, "This is just going to wind me down. I'm going to feel so relaxed and now I can really focus on my pleasure."
So then how about CBD-lube laced with THC? Is that different?
tk This could be a really fun experience and it would be a different experience. So as I mentioned, when we’re applying drugs or chemicals or anything to our mucous membranes, which would be anything in the mouth, the vaginal or penile tissues, anally, they’re going to absorb those things, because they have so many tiny little capillaries and blood vessels. And so a THC-medicated lubricant would actually soak into the bloodstream via the genital tissues and act as a transdermal, which is the type of products that’s applied topically and provides a user with systemic effects, so it can affect the brain, essentially. If it was appropriately dosed, a THC lubricant could actually cause a user to become intoxicated. I think it could be a really euphoric, transcendent experience, because I think it would just come on slowly, and that would be the actual epitome of getting your pussy high.
Because you're going to experience those localized effects first... stimulating blood flow, increasing arousal, and then you're just slowly getting a little bit high, while it's all soaking in. So I'm actually going to go try it out on my own. I'll be right back.

Okay… can you report back on the ratios and the recipes...
tk Yeah, yeah, yeah. Totally.
...And we're back... soo you mentioned quality and potency… there are a lot of BS and claims out there, what should people look for when they're shopping?
tk One of the main things that I focus on with my business is education through empowerment, so people can become informed consumers so that they don't have bad experiences. Something that I really like to share with people is to look for the extract type. I think an ethical company should be mentioning what their extract solvent or type is on the label or they should disclose it if you contact them. My personal preference for a high-quality extract is going to be very, very different from somebody who does not have an herbal background. What I look for is a true, full-spectrum extract, which would be an ethyl alcohol extract. And that's the only type of extract that's going to really represent all of the phytochemicals found in the cannabis or hemp plant, as opposed to what people in the industry are getting away with by saying that CO2 extracts are full spectrum.
And the reason that they are not is because they only selectively extract for the cannabinoids in the plant. So there may be multiple cannabinoids present in a CO2 extract, which is great and fine, but it's not going to extract any other molecules of the 500 chemicals available in the plant. It's only selecting for one group of phytochemicals. And, to me, as an herbalist, that is not a whole-plant extract. So the main way to tell the difference is color, taste and smell. So this is called “organoleptic” testing where we use our senses to suss out different types of herbal medicine. How does it smell, how does it look, how does it taste, sometimes how does it feel? All of those things can come into play when we are looking at these types of concentrates in cannabis products. And so the main thing we're going to see with a real, true, full-spectrum, full phytochemical profile in an extract or cannabis or CBD product is going to be the color. It's going to be really, really rich.
The extract I use is almost black. It is heavy, heavy, and chlorophyll, flavonoids, cannabinoids, terpenes. It's really got everything going on in there, as opposed to a distillate, which is what a CO2 extract is called. A distillate is going to be honey-colored. Anywhere from honey to golden, to a little bit yellow to clear. And that's because it's so processed. It's very selectively extracted, and so, to me, the easiest way to get that point across to a consumer is what does it look like? Look at the company's most basic product, their CBD oil. Ask if you can look at it, if they have a sample, if they have capsules you can look at it. If it's honey golden in color, it is not a full-spectrum product. But 99% of companies on the market that are marketing distillate products are claiming that they are full-spectrum products. So I have a bone to pick with those folks. And I don't think it's intentional. I think it's very just misguided…  but, unfortunately, it's still misinformation and it's pervasive in the entire industry. So if it's an isolate, I would say just don't even go near it.

So let’s go back, you talked about THC, smoking a joint, as foreplay, but is there more to this playbook?
tk I really like to tell people who purchase this lubricant to take some time with it by yourself if you are going to participate or partake in partner sex or partner intimacy. To use a lube by yourself first. First of all, we want to make sure, especially for the very first time ever, we want to make sure you're not going to have any reaction or any discomfort, because then that would just ruin the whole experience for two people or three people, whatever you're into. But another reason is to get to know the lubricant. I tell people, "Slather it on and just let it hang out. Just hang out with yourself and let the lube start soaking into the membranes. And I'm not even exaggerating when I say that I can nearly skip the foreplay, because it just arouses me on its own. It just does. It does the work.
No, I don't want to skip the foreplay, because I enjoy that almost more than actual sex. So, obviously, it's not something that I would say like, "You should skip foreplay." Nobody should skip foreplay. However, it really does such a good job of intensifying and heightening your arousal, that that's really just such a good tip. Slather that bad boy on there. Be really liberal and let it start soaking in and experiment with yourself a little bit and get to know the lube and get to know like, "Oh, this is how it feels." Like, "Oh, this is how it's making my body feel. This is how it feels on my local tissues." Because I feel like that in itself can be such an arousing experience. And then you can be like, "Okay, partner." Or even with your partner, you can both do that same experience together where you are both just applying the lubricant individually to your own bodies, and then just engaging in self-play together to just experience and really be able to focus. Because I think when you're having penetrative sex, it's a little harder to focus on what exactly it feels like.

Exactly.
tk It might just be like, "Yeah, it kind of just feels like lube. Maybe I did have a more intense orgasm. I don't really know if it's from the lube." Whereas if you try it for yourself and by yourself and you're patient with it and you get to know it, I feel you can start to feel the experience and get the real experience of what it's going to do for you.

You talked a little bit about flavor and scent, and how it matters and can heighten the experience. 
tk I don't work with flavors or fragrances in the lubricant itself. I don't know, as a dirty herbalist, I like the taste of my herbs. I like the smell of weed. I like to know the nature of what I'm working with and so the lube is going to taste kind of like weed. But, to me, I'm like that's the sign of a really good-quality extract and product, as opposed to covering up or masking that flavor with fragrance or scent. Because scent, in general, can be such a huge determinant in arousal. Some people can smell something and be like, "Oh my God, that smells that one time I had weird sex with this person on Tinder. I hate it."
And so, for me, I'm like, I don't really want to go anywhere with the scent, like, "Oh, my God that smells like the strawberry condom that I had in my mouth when I was in college." And personally, I think that never has anybody had a flavored lube and been like, "This is delicious." If anything I'm like, "This is fucking distracting. Why does it smell chocolate? Is something wrong here? Why are we fragrancing..." ... especially when we talk about how synthetic fragrances and flavors are endocrine disruptors. I just stay away from flavors and scents and anything like that. Mine tastes like weed and lube.

"And because the [CBD] lubricant is water-based, it can be used
anywhere and everywhere that you enjoy stimulation,
especially on erogenous zones, like nipples."

So you make so many yummy, witchy products, any others heighten your sex life?
tk Again, so I would say that indirectly there are definitely other products that are going to create a better experience sexually for people. And so I have a couple of different ideas, and it's going to sound like I'm reaching here, but it is how it works for some people. For somebody who has pain or chronic pain that's preventing them from focusing or even experiencing pleasure, using pain products, like topical stuff, on their painful areas prior to having sex or prior to masturbation is going to help them wind down and relax, because they're not just sitting there throbbing and aching. Similarly, I make some really nice anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety joints called Go the Funk to Sleep. Those are really yummy. They're a blend of two types of hemp flowers, some anti-anxiety herbs, some lung-soothing herbs, a little lavender for flavor.
And those are incredible, again, for pain relief and inflammation. In addition to people who live a really high-stress lifestyle, people who have really high anxiety that they can't stop their mind from racing and their thoughts from circling and then they're not even present while they're attempting to experience pleasure. And they're non-intoxicating, which is nice for people who don't like THC. So I think of pain products for people who struggle with receiving or experiencing pleasure due to pain or anxiety, types of products or people who have obsessing circling thoughts like, "Oh, my God, I don't even have time to be having sex right now. I need to be working or I need to be doing this or that," and I am definitely one of those people that I just need to shut my brain up and just get present, focus on what's at hand, what's happening. Otherwise, I'm in la la land.
So those are just the primary ones and, of course, I think of my skincare even for people who don't have a lot of self-confidence, due to potentially feeling uncomfortable about the condition of their skin, or having outbreaks, or things like that. Any way that we can increase or enhance how we feel about ourselves and our confidence in ourselves, even if that's through something just having clearer skin, I feel like that's going to bring a lot to the table when you're having a pleasure experience. Because you're not going to be overburdened and overwhelmed and over-focused on those things that you maybe have self-confidence issues with.

Obviously, we're a lingerie brand. And you, obviously, like sex. So what's your go-to piece of lingerie and why?
tk Shockingly, I only own one piece of lingerie at the moment that I very recently obtained. And I'm actually on this journey back into myself and back into my sexuality after recently exiting a pretty toxic relationship. R.I.P. to that phase of my life. And so I'm slowly adding to my collection of toys and lingerie in a new, empowered, self-care kind of fun way. But my current piece that I own is a black teddy, one-piece with green and gold, of course, plant details and lots of straps.

With your lube, it won't be on for long, I guess. Last q, what should I be asking you and what is the answer? 
tk This is a hard one. I want to just touch on some of that DIY lube stuff that people do.
Because I’m a huge advocate for vaginal health. I am very anti-bath bombs, because of the pH of them, the way they're made with baking soda, which is why they're fizzy. Really, really throws off the vaginal pH, which then completely throws off our microbiome. And then leads to bacterial vaginosis and candida infections. And so throughout my product line, I try to focus on making sure anything someone's going to use vaginally or sit in a bath is going to be pH-balanced. So one of the things that I see all the time and I think all of us are guilty of doing at some point is using coconut oil as lubricant. Are you guilty of this.? Have you ever done it?

Yes. Yes, I have.
tk I think every one of us has done it, because we see all over the Internet, "Coconut oil is antifungal. It's antimicrobial." We should shove it up our vaginas and rub it all over our whole bodies. And it's so good for every single thing. Let's drink it, and swish it, and eat it, and put it in our eyes and all. It's such an all-purpose thing that people are really infatuated with. And I think that's great... for most of our uses, it's going to be pretty benign. But I will say it is one of the few, if not one of the only, oils that has a pH, because pH can only be measured in something with a water content. And it gets this praise for being a do-it-all oil, but it can actually cause vaginal infections by throwing off your pH, because, again, it's very basic. And so when we put it in our vaginas, especially when we're introducing someone else's microbiome into the equation, it's pretty much a recipe for disaster.

Well, thanks for that. And then last question, because we like to spell fuck F-V-C-K, what's your favorite V word and why?
tk Oh, man. I really like pussy. I feel it's really empowering… and everybody does have such a different way of referring to her. Is that what you mean? What's my favorite word for vagina?

Oh, that wasn't. I was thinking of the word that begins with the letter V, but I actually like your interpretation of it better.
tk And it's funny, because I recently learned the history of what the word “vagina” means and I may be wrong here, but I am pretty sure that it translates to “sheath for a sword.” That's where the word came from. And so there are women who are like, "Excuse me, my body is not just an object to be accepting a penis into.” Why is the vagina named for being something that holds the penis? And so there's these women now that are like, "Uh, uh. We don't call it that. She's my pussy," or like even, "my cunt." They will come up with words that have been used in derogatory ways, but, realistically, the word vagina is the one that could be a little more derogatory, so just food for thought, a fun fact.
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