Spotlight Series: Christa Schadt, Bliss
Christa Schadt is the founder of Bliss, a BC based company specializing in an all-natural lubricant designed to enhance and heighten female sexual pleasure. Made from organic cannabis-infused coconut oil and cocoa butter, Bliss was created for the benefit and well-being of all women.
Whether you want to rekindle your passion, or just heighten and intensify your sensations, the therapeutic and aphrodisiac properties of Bliss will soon send you to that place.
Tell me about the lube that you make. I understand that this product came about after you were experimenting for your own use…
We have had a license to grow for about 10 years now and over the years ended up with a lot of bags full of shake. Originally we were sending it out to someone to make bubble hash and they would get part of it as a trade. Then I started experimenting with it myself by infusing it in coconut oil, which usually turned out a dark green!
I had been reading about the benefits of using Cannabis topically and came across an article about using it to enhance your sex life. As I had already been going through an early menopause starting 18 years ago, I was pretty desperate. So, I started using it and found out that it was relieving almost all of my menopausal symptoms, except the hot flashes.
I then thought that maybe I should share this with my friends. I got them to fill in questionnaires about their likes and dislikes etc. and started reading about making lotions and creams, and experimenting with different types of oils, while researching their effects. The major criticism I had was the colour and the fact that it would stain people's clothes and sheets, so I looked into extraction methods and found one that suited. At this point I also started testing Bliss, so the product would be consistent. (Editor's Note: Learn more about testing cannabis products by checking our interview with Keystone Labs founder Jodi McDonald)
I had been reading about the effects of Cannabis on women and sexuality and found out that there is a certain point where the plant actually has the opposite effect of turning a woman on. This is the reason I decided to use a lower dose of THC than a lot of other topicals out there.
So after a lot of experimenting and testing I have come up with what I think is the perfect recipe!
I know that many Her(B) Life readers will love that you use only ethically sourced oils, why is that important to you?
I use organic oils because I personally would not consume or put anything into or on my body that wasn't. I have a very strong reaction to anything chemical. For example, all of the commercial lubricants out there cause me to break out in a rash. Anything that contains glycerin causes yeast infections, so I steer clear of that as well. If this kind of thing happens to me, I am sure it happens to others as well. Hence I wanted to make something that wasn't going to cause more harm. The only problem I have had with this approach is that oil based products do not work well with the latex in condoms, causing them to deteriorate, not a good thing if you need to use a condom. I decided not to compromise though, and found out there are condoms out there that work fine with oil based products, so it all worked out!
How long have you been making Bliss? When did you decide to sell it?
I have been making Bliss for about 4 years now and for me personally, I wish I would have thought of making it sooner! I have been selling it for about 2 years.
The website points out that vaginal dryness/tightness can lead to sexual dysfunction, how common is this problem? How does Bliss help relieve that pain?
By looking at a lot of research, I have found out that over 40% of women, over the age of 25, suffer episodic or chronic pain and discomfort from sexual activity! It sure has been a major problem for me personally. After starting to sell Bliss, those statistics have been confirmed, as a lot women have contacted me with the same issues.
Bliss is applied directly onto the genitalia, which have many cannabinoid receptors. When this happens, it slows down signals to the muscles and causes them to relax. It also creates an ultra concentrated sensory pleasure.
Bliss is a product for women, specifically. What are some of the challenges unique to starting a somewhat niche based business?
Obviously at this point you are really only selling to half the population, making it, like you said, a niche based business. My personal challenge is actually selling it. I love making it, and I loved designing the packaging, designing the website, learning about Cannabis and learning about what the different kinds of carrier and essential oils do. Selling, not so much, which is not a good thing when you are trying to start a business.
Also, because I am selling mainly to women, I have to be very picky about where I might be able to sell it. It would not be easy for a woman to come into a dispensary and tell someone that they are having sexual difficulties, especially if the person behind the counter is a young man. I have started to do a "Tupperware" style of party, where women come together and talk about sexual issues, and have found this to be extremely rewarding.
Then there is the fact that what I am doing is still very much in the grey market, which means you have to walk a very fine line - don't be in the spotlight too much, but still try to sell - quite a difficult thing to do.
Would you say that men could benefit from your lube too? How else could it be used?
The main reason a man would benefit from using Bliss would be that he would very much make a woman happy. Plus it is edible, which could give him quite a buzz and make a woman even happier! The only way Bliss could affect a man would be if he used it anally, where it could be absorbed. But then again because dosages affect men differently than women, I doubt very much at the dosage I am using, it would do very much good.
You branched out last year and began offering a lip balm. I have one, and its hands down, my favourite lip product ever! The colour payoff is perfect and never gets dry or goopy. Why did you decide to add another product?
Thank you for the nice compliment! Yes, I still have the lip balm, but I now carry it in 3 flavours; peppermint, watermelon and rose. I have also created a high CBD, low THC (100:20) suppository for pain caused by menstrual cramps and diseases such as endometriosis. Right now, I am testing it out on various female volunteers, but it will be on the website soon. Eventually, I will be adding a sensual massage oil and a high CBD tea for cramps as well.
Another thing I have been making is Bliss Balls, which I am just starting to sell. Again, I am trying to make them as healthy as possible, using only organic ingredients and little to no sugar and no gluten. I will be offering them in 3 sizes; 50mg, 25mg and 10mg and various flavours all covered in dark chocolate; shredded coconut and agave, cashew apricot, chocolate hazelnut, chocolate orange, and chocolate ginger. I will be posting them on the website soon.
What is your vision for the company going forward?
Because I am quite isolated where I live I have been working on building my company on my own. This means things are going much slower than I would hope. My husband has been helping, but because this is a women's product, there is only so much he can do.
That said, since starting to attend the Women Grow meetings in both Vancouver and on Vancouver Island, I have met a whole group of amazing women who are interested in the same things I am, and live fairly close by.
I have already started working on some projects with 2 other women. So, with one of my friends we are starting a clone business and with another we are starting a 3D printing business making things like pipes and stash boxes.
So yeah, I am building my empire! But only because I really like working on things like this with other people and this is the only way I could think of doing so.
We are also in discussion with some investors, so I will be able to hire someone to do the marketing for me.
A couple of weeks back, we interviewed Jay Marin from Cannabis Life Conference. I know that you are a pro networker - thats how we met! Would you say that attending events like conferences is beneficial?
Pro networker! Ha! I have been very good at covering it up, but I am actually quite shy and introverted. Attending events like conferences are enjoyable to me because a) I am making new friends, who, like I said, are interested in the same things as I am, and b) because I am learning about all kinds of new things.
It is also beneficial because I have created a network of people who might be able to help me out with various aspects of my business. Things like finding out who does extracts, or where to order the cheapest packaging, who is good at marketing, or even finding a good lawyer.
What advice would you give to a woman who is looking to enter the cannabis industry?
Find your tribe. Develop your relationships within that tribe. Be honest. Have integrity. Keep an open mind. Keep learning. And, keep going.
Connect with Bliss
You can enter to win one of two prize packages from Bliss by making sure you follow them on Instagram or Facebook and tagging a friend in the contest image image.
Prize package #1
One single package of Bliss and one Lip Balm
Prize Package #2
2 25mg Bliss Balls