Carlson is one of more than 100 testers who tried Foria before its introduction to the public. Gerson didn’t need social media or Craigslist to find testers. After asking a couple friends to try it, they told other friends who requested samples and their friends told even more friends. The testing process taught Gerson and his colleagues how to best present Foria. Here is Carlson talking bluntly about her Foria ritual:
“When I’m almost ready for bed,” she said, “I spray it in my genital area. I aim it toward the clitoris area and rub it in — not heavy rubbing, but I make sure it’s in the area. In 15-20 minutes it starts feeling warm and I can feel it entering my body and I start feeling aroused. I’ve even started laughing before, because I felt happy — which was odd for me.”
Foria comes in two sizes — 5 milliliters and 1 ounce. The 1-ounce bottle costs $88 and includes 360 milligrams of activated THC — the oil of which is blended into a liquefied coconut oil known as MCT oil.
“We know it’s safe because we ingest it, we smoke it, we eat it,” Gerson said. “We spoke to as many physicians and OB/GYNs as we could who could give us their opinions off the record. Uniformly their insight was that this is introducing a safe, non-toxic compound in a substrate carrier oil to the body. Coconut oil is known as being a great way to fight off yeast infections. People drink MCT oil as a form of energy. It has a nice viscosity, and it’s almost odorless.”
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It rounds out to around 2 milligrams of THC per spray. Based on their experience with test groups, Foria recommends trying four to eight pumps per session.
“I’ve tried three, and I felt minimal effects,” Carlson said. “Four works perfect for me. I haven’t felt the need to try any more. I have a friend who sprayed it in her mouth, and she loved the feeling of feeling sensual all day long. I tried it myself in the evening, in my mouth, and it’s a different feeling than spraying it in your genital area. It’s more of a body-relaxing, comfortable feeling.”
Gerson encourages experimentation with the product and said he’s heard reports from testers that their partners benefited from Foria too.
“We’re still focusing on the female experience, but in the context of partners, if the individual is gay or straight, the partner has an opportunity to experience it as well because it’s edible. I’ll leave it up to imaginations on the various uses, but it’s fun.”
Gerson is very comfortable talking about the sex space as it relates to commercial products, and he should be as the co-founder of Boulder-rooted Sir Richard’s Condom Company. Gerson came to Colorado in 1992 to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder and later Naropa University, and he considers the state and his many former hangouts in Nederland and Telluride his primary home.
“(Sir Richard’s) grew up pretty fast and moved back to Boulder, and I stayed in L.A.,” Gerson said. “Being in that space for a few years, it provided me some insight in the human sexuality space and the imbalances that were persisting through time and the sex-positive movement and the acceptance that was on the rise across all of these different positions and outlooks on pleasure.
“But the one place where people were dragging their feet: Medical solutions driven around females’ pleasure. Last I heard there was 24 FDA-approved treatments for sexual dysfunction for males and zero for women, so it’s a pretty big chasm there between the two — and there are all sorts of reasons behind that. But what’s at the root? Is it only culture, philosophical, religious and physiological differences?
“I’d been thinking on it for a while, reading some interesting books in that vein, including ‘What Do Women Want: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire.’ He gets into some of the issues here, including sexual satisfaction for women in monogamous relationships and how a lot of time they’re suffering through relationships.”
Gerson hopes Foria catches on — and moves on: “We’re looking toward opportunities in Colorado and Washington.” He also brings up how a common use of marijuana is also driving women toward the product.
“A lot of women reported an ease of being able to sleep at night,” he said, “and that’s really important for women who were perimenopausal or menopausal who have a challenge of getting a good night’s sleep.”
But because of Foria’s basic, easy-to-obtain (in Colorado) ingredients and its limited availability, how does Gerson feel about people trying to recreate his product themselves? I looked up the ingredients on a popular Denver-based marijuana-infused tincture and it read: Cannabis oil, organic alcohol, glycerin and natural flavorings.
“I’m all about DIY culture,” he said warmly. “Just be very sensitive to know what’s in that product. Is its base an oil or alcohol or carrier oil? Make sure you don’t have any allergies. Contact the manufacturer and your primary care physician. And experiment safely and freely.”