That's amoré

HERBWISE: Getting high on love with the new cannabis aphrodisiac

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Stoned and sexy: ad for a San Jose cannabis aphrodisiac.

caitlin@sfbg.com

HERBWISE The ever- unfolding swath of life's problems that can be solved by cannabis has been extended the length of an aphrodisiac shot made from cannabis, cane syrup, glycerin, citric acid, and other supplements. Product name: Amoré. Don't worry, it's locally made.

Amoré is the brainchild of a one Ed Silva, a gregarious medical industry product developer (think defibrillators and glucose monitors) who started up his San Jose dispensary Sensi Herbal Care in November 2010. It sells topical cannabis treatments, lemonade, chocolates, and buds, but Silva says its "flagship product" is its insomnia-fighting cannabis shot called Indi.

"That product has literally helped thousands of people with their insomnia problems," he told the Guardian in a phone interview. The dispensary also stocks an energy formula, of course Amoré, and has a pain reliever in the works.

Recent legislation posed at the city level in San Jose, where regulations that would limit the city's number of dispensaries (now hovering around 900) to 10 businesses. Paid campaigners and volunteers say they turned in 48,598 petition signatures last week to halt the process. They only needed 29,653 to initiate a referendum on the new guidelines. The United Food and Commercial Workers union Local 5 donated $5,000 towards supporting the referendum to stop them.

The city's new policies, an employee who answered the phone at Sansi said, could have shut down the dispensary — and community access to the Viagra of the cannabis world — down. Later, Silva sounded triumphant when he informed the Guardian reporter on the laws' impending curtailing.

Without a medical background — besides developing defibrillators — Silva was a bit vague about his methods of creating cannabis formulas, but was confident in the way customers responded that they were doing their job. He'd submitted the product to lab quality assurance testing and informal focus groups.

The optimal way to use Amoré? Silva cautioned that the drink's effect would vary among individuals. "It doesn't work for everyone, that is true for every medication out there," he said. But generally, "45 minutes before." It was further clarified that he meant pre-sexual escapade.

Our Guardian tester, who took the "for her" variety of Amoré, found its power varied, a.k.a., got turned-on, then slightly nauseous, then turned-on. Tastes like a particularly gnarly 5-Hour Energy Drink, fades fast. A mixed bag. On a small "caution" panel, the label of Amoré prohibits the contents being taken with alcohol, other supplements, and heavy machinery.

When asked about one of the label's more esoteric ingredients, the fo-ti root (also listed are dodder seed extract, kudzu root, and tribulus fruit), Silva semi-helpfully explains "It's also called sho-wu. It means 'black-haired Mr. Hee.' It means that in Chinese, it's a Chinese herb. That's a name from someone in an old village in China. You can research that on Google, there's a story behind that."

So of course we do, and sure enough, it tends to be used to restore graying hair. So that's fo-ti. But why is it in this cannabis aphrodisiac shot, whose silver hard plastic bottle clearly states "for her"?

Says Silva: "It's also known as a happy herb. It has the effect of making you happy, which is always a good thing. There's a few people who I'd like to give that regularly, like every hour." Which left us still unconvinced regarding Amoré, but still a big fan of Silva.

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