Put Your Action Where Your Passion Is
How Moxie Meds’ Founder Built the Brand and Team Behind one of California’s Most Successful Medical Tinctures
Jessica Peters just wrapped up a long session shooting with Green Flower Media where she shared her cannabis research and her story before she hopped on the phone for this interview. Though she’s tired, her energy hardly seems diminished; she speaks as passionately about medicinal cannabis at the tail end of a Friday as she did on stage at the “Celebrate Women of Cannabis” conference in August. She’s calling me from her Oakland home, and her two rescue birds — Hank and Billie — keep chiming in from the background as we talk.
Peters launched Moxie Meds in 2015, a brand of cannabis tinctures that are grown, produced and designed for women, by women. She is a cannabis clinician, and a cannabinoid and terpene specialist with over seven years of professional experience in the cannabis industry.
How CBD Saved Her Life
Peters’ period had always been a struggle. She started missing school due to cramps and pain, then she started to miss work. By her early twenties, she was hospitalized for severe cramps and vomiting; the piercing pain and the wild hormonal swings could no longer be explained away.
After many expensive tests and incorrect diagnoses, Peters said she was finally diagnosed with endometriosis, a.k.a. “Endo,” an often painful condition where tissue that should line the uterus instead grows on the outside of it or on other pelvic organs. Low-ball estimates say endometriosis affects one in 10 women in the U.S., according to the ENDO Study Working Group. However, not much is known about what causes it or how to effectively treat it.
“I [believe] in attempting to address medical problems from a preventative and natural, more holistic approach versus jumping right into pharmaceutical and surgical options,” Peters said, “so I have been searching for better solutions ever since.”
CBD changed her entire perspective on the state of her condition. She said she felt a difference in her cycle the first time she smoked a CBD-dominant flower. This was in the early days of CBD discovery, before Peters really understood what it could do. That fueled her passion to learn the intricacies of cannabis, and led her to find a treatment for her endometriosis.
“Now I am asymptomatic because of CBD,” she said. She brings her experience navigating the medical world, along with her cannabis research, to her work as a cannabis clinician. This allows her to help patients find the right cannabis medicine based on their doctor’s recommendations without as much trial and error as she went through.
From Prohibited to Approachable
Moxie Meds is the go-to cannabis tincture for many women and men in California. Their website is full of testimonials from real people who have used the tinctures, including herself, to help comfort newcomers who are on the fence.
“I think realistically there’s so many people who are unlikely to engage in something that is a) illegal or b) taboo,” Peters said. “Those of us who are currently in the industry, we’re not afraid of something based on the law. I don’t decide morality based on legality.”
She wants to reach people who could sincerely benefit from the medicinal properties of cannabis but are afraid.
“Cannabis is for health and for wellness, and has the longest [research and development] of any medicine on earth,” Peters said. “It’s just such a disservice what we’ve done to this product. You have to be approachable or the public would never get a chance to try these. I’m looking toward the woman in Ohio that needs to hear this information so she can figure out options for herself. It’s not fair for her to not know.”
Building the Moxie Meds Team
Peters is quick to point out that she was not alone in building Moxie Meds. None of this would be possible without brand ambassador Nadia Winstead, who Peters said played an integral role in introducing her to CBD.
“If Nadia wasn’t engaged in this topic, […] I could still be having endo attacks,” Peters said. “She is a core member of the team and why this has all gone on. I wanted someone to be educating, to care, to help patients even if they couldn’t use Moxie Meds.”
“That’s the kind of people I have on my team. Everyone is not just a patient first; it’s a team made up of people who are generally left out by the larger cannabis industry: women, people of color, queer people and transgender people,” Peters said. “[That’s an] important component because this plant has been used to vilify people and put them in prison. I’m heartened to see more people of color, more women, more queer people involved in the cannabis space. I want to be a part of making sure that’s the direction we continue to go.”
Hope for the Future
Legalization is lurching forward nationwide, and Peters is looking forward to a more informed consumer base — one that recognizes cannabis for all of its potential.
“To someone who doesn’t know anything about cannabis, this is not one medicine. This is thousands of thousands of medicines, and we need to be really cognizant of that in relation to how we move forward,” she said. The more these things are lumped together, the more confusion there is.
Medicine should come with lab results and instructions, said Peters. “Getting closer to that is a positive in every way. [But] it’s certainly going to be a herky jerky experience. I hope we continue to support and create space for small businesses. The moment it starts with $1 million start up costs, more women and people of color are left out.”
“A game changer in our thought process on this topic.” The more Peters looks at certain ailments that are common to women like fibromyalgia and endometriosis, the more she comes back to the idea that “the reality is the more medical research goes on, the more we seem to click into this idea that many of the diseases we face might be in fact endocannabinoid-deficiencies.”
What does that mean? That our bodies may actually have certain conditions because of a lack of cannabinoids. Not just that cannabinoids provide relief from an ailment, but that the physical lack of them is what is causing the ailment in the first place.