Lots of praise is given to men in the cannabis industry, most industries really, but what about women in history, specifically, cannabis history? Have you heard the rumor that women have a better connection to cannabis and therefore make better cannabis growers? We can’t confirm or deny that but can point out a few women in history that have consumed cannabis for women’s health, and helped break stigmas because of it.
Women in Herstory and Reasons They Consumed Cannabis for Women’s Health
Women and cannabis go back to the beginning of time. Herstory states that Queen Victoria consumed cannabis oil for cramps in 1890. Before that time, herstory shows that women in 11th century England applied cannabis ointment for swelling and swollen breasts. Mayan and Aztec women soaked in cannabis baths for menstrual relief.
Women’s Health Herstory, Conditions and Cannabis: Labour, Uterus, and Menopause
Cannabis herstory in Egyptian medical texts dating back to 1500 BCE, state that cannabis has been given to women in active labour. Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian herbal doctor, describes cannabis as medicine for active labor. In the 17th century, Muhammed Riza Shirwani, was treating uterine tumors with hemp seed oil. In 1889, J.W Farlow, a boston doctor, published recommendations for cannabis to treat symptoms of menopause: irritability, pain, and hot flashes.
Present Day Women and Cannabis for Health
A women’s health study, conducted by the Oregon Health and Science University (OSHU) in Portland surveyed 1,011 women in the U.S and found that 1/3 of the women consume Cannabis for gynecologic reasons: cervical dysplasia, menstrual disorders, pelvic pain, uterine fibroids, and urinary incontinence.Other reasons women consume cannabis for health: hair care, breast cancer, weight loss, sexual health, endometriosis, and others.
Women in History and Their Contributions to Cannabis
- American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead: you may remember her speech at a senate hearing in 1969.
- Author Louisa May Alcott: you may remember her 1868 best selling novel- Little Women.
- Brownie Mary, legal name- Mary Jane Rathbun: you may remember her from the 80’s and 90’s- she made infused cannabis brownies and would hand them out to patients.
Though male dominated, women definitely have their hands in the soil and growing magic. Many reports say that we will see women in cannabis as employees and executives. We see it here at Plain Jane and many other cannabis businesses in the industry. Here are some statistics:
- 43.4% of all surveyed companies had a majority of women employees, with 7out of 166 businesses having all-female teams.
- Wurk’s, a human resources cannabis software company, reports that their staff is 56% women.
- Green Thumb Industries reports that women make up 40% of their executive team.
While these figures are great, there is still some work to be done. Forbes reports that in 2015, 36% of cannabis C-suite positions were filled by women.But in 2017, that figure dropped to 27%.
Women break through glass ceilings everyday. More ceilings will be broken in cannabis and we will see the heads of women peeking through the wreckage. While we wait, we can help! We can nominate more women, share the work of women making a positive impact, and continue to have the necessary conversations that create change; like the women in cannabis history and those to come.