• Estrella Jaramillo

These Founders Are Challenging Pharma With CBD Based Sexual Wellness Products

The last few weeks have seen increasing public controversy over Silicon Valley-based telemedicine company Hers (a spin-off of Hims) advertising campaigns directed towards women. Criticism has been centered around the easiness with which the company seems to advertise the prescription fibanserin*, also known as Addyi, to help women “increase their libido”. Addyi is an antidepressant and it directly works on a woman’s brain, contrary to Viagra which increases blood circulation in the genital area. Additionally, it has proven to be only marginally effective or beneficial.

First, this presents an ethical conundrum: Should an antidepressant with low effectiveness for the condition be prescribed without a strict medical assessment and follow up of the patient’s mental health?

Secondly, a significant fraction of the medical and wellness community expressed frustration with the continued oversimplification of female sexuality, and emphasized that often patients diagnosed of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (SHDD) are experiencing more complex environmental or circumstantial factors, such as emotional dysfunctions in the relationship, sexual trauma, conflicting beliefs about sexuality, other hormonal imbalances, and stress, among many others.

The Business Of Cannabis Based Sexual Wellness Products Is Here To Stay

Several wellness companies are looking at cannabidiol, or CBD ― the non-psychoactive ingredient in the marijuana plant ― as the heart of sexual wellness products that improve symptoms related to the female sexual experience. From helping vaginal dryness or pelvic inflammation to awakening erotic feelings, CBD based products are capturing a forward-thinking female public with high acquisition power.

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