Marijuana

Scottsdale Company Wants to Give Your Love Life More OMG

Joseph Verdone snuggling up with some of his OMGX lubricant.
Joseph Verdone snuggling up with some of his OMGX lubricant. Sharon Newbill

Looking to spice up your love life this Valentine’s Day? Some sexy cannabis-infused lube could be just the ticket.

First up is Verdone Wellness's OMGX, a water-based personal lubricant that contains CBDA along with all of the natural cannabinoids and terpenes found in the hemp plant.

For Joseph Verdone, the Scottsdale-based founder of Verdone Wellness and creator of OMGX, the need to get more involved with the medicinal side of CBD and THC ramped up in 2010. Battling cancer, the 63-year-old devised a proprietary way to dissolve all the active ingredients of pot and hemp in water to help relieve his symptoms.

During a meeting with women survivors of various types of cancers, including cervical and ovarian carcinomas, they shared how painful it was for them to menstruate or have sex.

Verdone started thinking about what could be done with oils containing CBD and THC to help the women, and he began working on a gel to share with them.

After doing the necessary research to determine the best method of absorption into the vaginal walls, Verdone came up with his lubricants. He shared his early results with some of the women he had met, and they “overwhelmingly replied,” says Verdone.

Not only did his product help with their pain, they reported, but they'd also had some of the best orgasms they'd ever experienced, Verdone says. Not surprisingly, OMG stands for “Oh My God.”

An early OMG prototype is not publicly available because it contains THC. Unless he partners with a dispensary or licensed kitchen, Verdone cannot create or sell the lubricant for public use.

The OMGX variety contains only CBDA and is currently only available on Verdone's website. Priced at $60 per 15 mL tube, OMGX is costlier than other lubrication products like those from Foria ($44 for 112mL), Quim ($48 for 30mL) or Stoney Yoni ($25 for 15mL).

According to Verdone, OMGX is manufactured in an FDA-approved facility, but this does not mean OMGX has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Because he uses hemp and is not extracting the CBDA from cannabis, he is legally able to sell OMGX in the United States.

It's important to consider how such products work. Foria, for example, has two products, Awaken and Intimacy, that can contain CBD. According to the Foria website, Awaken is designed for women, and Intimacy is for anyone. Both are safe to use externally or internally, as long as they're not used with any latex products.

Quim's Smooth Operator, on the other hand, is safe with latex and calls itself a "serum," according to its website. Like OMGX, the CBD in this product is also derived from hemp, and the serum contains aloe vera, as well. Stoney Yoni's Intimate Oil is for topical use only, and not to be used as a lubricant.

At Marigold Dispensary on Dunlap Avenue, Douglas MacKenzie is offering a 15 percent Valentine's Day discount on the store's MÜV intimacy product, Ease. This is also for external use only, and not safe with latex products.

MacKenzie notes that Ease is "not a huge mover, but it does contain 150mg of THC [per package]."

Email inboxes are flooded these days with similar offers for subscribers to dispensary news — like Curaleaf's "Pleasure Season" promotion, which gives freebies to people who buy a tin of the fast-acting intimacy pill 1906.

Regardless of the product you choose, how the CBD and THC compounds enter the bloodstream is key to your satisfaction.

“It’s all about the absorption. If you compare it with the same dose administered orally because, the vaginal mucosal walls are filled with blood and lymphatic vessels, which allows OMGX to absorb into the circulatory system. OMGX is a girl’s next best friend,” says Verdone — and he's not the only one saying it.
click to enlarge Joseph Verdone experimenting in his kitchen. The Scottsdale-based inventor introduces OMGX to the CBDa lubricant world. - SHARON NEWBILL
Joseph Verdone experimenting in his kitchen. The Scottsdale-based inventor introduces OMGX to the CBDa lubricant world.
Sharon Newbill
Verdone’s neighbor in North Scottsdale — let's call her Lauren — was not the typical user of a personal lubricant with CBDA. A relative novice in the cannabis/hemp world until her 60s, Lauren was reluctant to try OMGX at first, but came to Verdone for a different type of help initially.

“Two and a half years ago, I had breast cancer, and I had two surgeries and 38 rounds of radiation,” she said, adding, “I told [Verdone] that I had cancer and I was just getting over the effects of radiation. He said, ‘You know, I have some water that would help you. Just call me anytime.’ I'm thinking, I'm not going to call, but then it wasn’t too long after that I did call.”

Lauren tried his infused-water product, which she said helped her feel much better after her radiation treatments by restoring some of her appetite.

Then one day, she confided in Verdone.

“I told him about my lover, who was very good, and he told me about OMGX and said, ‘This is the best — go try it.’ So I did, and it was equally as great. I can imagine if you had OMG and a partner, it would be really good, but I have not experienced that. But solo play is very, very good,” says Lauren.

“That’s my story, though, and it’s kind of embarrassing to say that I’m getting myself off on a regular basis," Lauren says, laughing. "If you have a strong sex drive, you’re going to have an orgasm, but if you have OMGX, you’re going to have multiple orgasms solo. It’s good. I enjoy it, but if you had a partner, you would need all of your children to be out of the house, because there's going to be some screaming on her end."

Another satisfied customer who wished to be known only as Don, 72, reports that he and his wife had not had sex in over two years because of some health issues, but that OMGX was “amazing.”

“It was probably one of my wife’s more pleasurable experiences, and she’s 69 now," says Don, noting his wife did not experience any pain afterward. "She doesn’t talk about it, but whatever it is, it’s magic with an old lady.”

The person who gave Verdone his OMGX tagline — “It’s a mind-blowing experience” — was Valley native Bill Deihl. Deihl wanted to see for himself what Verdone’s products were like and volunteered to give OMGX a try.

“[Verdone] asked me how it was, and it was like turning on a water fountain. Actually, she [Diehl's partner] said it ['a mind-blowing experience'], and I just remembered what she said. It’s a very powerful process to help with intimacy. It’s awesome," says Deihl. "It made it into a more intense situation."

Verdone has been ramping up his production and will soon be able to put tens of thousands of tubes of OMGX on the market. He's also working on his website, omgxforeplay.com, and collaborating with Priscilla Martinez, who is part of the sales team at XR Brands, an industry leader in fetish, kink, and BDSM gear. According to Martinez, her company “has become the go-to source not only for quality products, but also expertise for how to sell and promote these in-demand items.”

“Being in this industry, I've tried it all and have some ultimate favorites, but OMGX was an instant five stars and became my new best friend," she relates. "As a busy mom of three, finding time or energy to get intimate can be challenging. So I grabbed OMGX and my favorite vibe, and let me tell you...it was a totally different experience. As you know, with age, chemo, medication, or just dealing with personal dryness, we tend to lose our natural moisture. OMGX gives you that wetness and more."

Chelsea Mulligan of The Open Dør and chelseamulligan.com is an expert on getting dispensaries up and running, and has seen her fair share of interesting and novel products in the cannabis world. She thinks, though, that Verdone may have something consumers will enjoy.

“I’ve actually used lubricant in the past that was medicated — not for sex purposes, but because I have horrible endometriosis and I vomit for twelve hours every month when I start my period. So I’ve used [medicated lubricant] in the past as something to calm that area as an internal and topical thing, and it worked, so beyond orgasms and pleasure, he may have some efficacy there for actual pain relief for women’s issues, which I know people are searching for heavily,” says Mulligan.

But if Verdone wants to extend his product line to involve THC or THCA, he'll need a license that allows individuals or companies for processing and manufacturing, and that can get expensive. According to Mulligan, it can cost over $60,000 per month to obtain space at a facility with proper licensing to create cannabis products.

Perhaps for Valentine's Day 2023, Verdone will be able to offer his THCA version of OMGX, but for now, only the CBDA version is available. Still, there are a number of choices for your Valentine's fun, some of which come from right here in the Valley of the Sun.
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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon