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  • Post Time Posted March 07, 2019
As the brainchild behind one of the world’s first cannabis-based sexual health lines, Antuanette Gomez is no stranger to innovation. Her company Pleasure Peaks is currently developing 16 products in the category, treating everything from sexual anxiety to cancer symptoms. We caughtup with the Toronto-based entrepreneur recently to discuss her mandate in the space, the importance of female sexual health, and the meaning of International Women’s Day. The following is an edited transcript of that conversation.

In the context of women’s health, what ailments can cannabis help with?

We’re finding that it’s incredibly effective if you’re having sexual anxieties and it’s effective if you have dyspareunia, which is pain during intercourse. We’re also finding it effective for rape survivors with PTSD, for cervical cancer, endometriosis and menstrual pain, and so much more.

Is it important for you to get that message out?

The potential here is giving back to women a quality of life. I started working at a chronic-pain clinic and that’s when I noticed that there was a gap in the market when it came to medical products for women [over] men. But when women use the cannabis products that have so far been developed, they’re able to have a healthy sex life again, without pain or anxieties.

How important is the topic of cannabis and sexual health?

Cannabis and sexual health go hand-in-hand. If you’re not having a healthy sex life, you’re not having a healthy life, so I really appreciate all the medical benefits that cannabis can offer us in that area. When we talk about medical applications we don’t necessarily think about women’s sexual health like PMS, endometriosis or cervical cancer - but we should. There’s a huge misunderstanding when it comes to sex; that products could only be sold for pleasure, yet women today deal with a lot of sexual issues that are not being addressed in healthcare and frankly women are fed-up.

Can you tell me about your company Pleasure Peaks?

We’re positioning ourselves to be the staple when it comes to pharmaceutical sexual health products. The majority of women who have cervical cancer or endometriosis aren’t having sex with their partners, and if they do it’s incredibly painful. With our range of personalized products you’re able to have a pleasurable experience again. It breaks my heart that endometriosis affects 10 percent of women, this is the same statistic as cancer - yet everyone knows what cancer is. Women are also diagnosed at the early ages of 16-24, being told they will never be able to bear children. There needs to be something better and Pleasure Peaks is passionate on spearheading research in this field.

Did you always hope to cater exclusively to women?

Yes, it’s time. Most [cannabis] lubricant companies are owned by a male, with a male dominated board and a fully male executive team. When you look at the advertising and the messaging, it’s always about pleasure, rarely ever about the female’s health and it shows when we look at the ingredients that most companies use. Pleasure Peaks is run by women for women, in all levels of the business because we understand exactly what the needs are for women. The market is also showing us this by the growing lack of interest in women using pharmaceutical IUDs and generic tampon brands.

Are you working on any other projects?

We’re hoping to release an oncology line right now dealing with cervical and ovarian cancer. We’ve recently closed a $60-million round and we’re going to be starting clinical trials this year, which is really exciting. We all know that cannabis works, there’s so much anecdotal evidence and data out there, but when it comes to firm clinical trials and claims, there’s simply nothing there. Particularly when it comes to women’s sexual health.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It means that we get to celebrate all of the women who have been paving our history to get us to where we are today. It means that women still deserve to be acknowledged, and that we too deserve a seat at the table. I’m a huge admirer of many of the women in the cannabis industry particularly as they have broken every barrier possible to get where they are today.

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