The Femininity of Cannabis
The power of cannabis lies in its femininity. Only female plants produce the cannabinoids responsible for the physical and spiritual effects of cannabis. All crops are kept female through flowering the female clones of one plant, called the Mother. In order to bloom, single female flowers must come together in clusters to form buds.
Women were the first to discover cannabis and the secrets of plants in hunter gatherer societies. Some active compounds of marijuana have molecular resemblance to the female hormone, estrogen. Cannabis seeds contain rare gamma linoleic acid, found only in spirulina, two other rare seed oils, and human mother’s milk.
Cannabis use has been associated with Goddess worship in many cultures throughout history. Kali-Ma, the Mother of Life and Death, is strongly associated with cannabis use, and devotional ceremonies to her involve cannabis use. Scythian women used cannabis in funeral rites. The Near Eastern Goddess Ashera’s cult focused on the use of cannabis and icons dedicated to Ashera have depictions of a "sacred tree" that is considered a cannabis reference. In Medieval times, over a million female practitioners of the older Goddess religions were burned as witches for using cannabis and other plants in their “flying ointments.” Even Joan of Arc was accused of using cannabis to guide her.
Historically, cannabis has been used as a treatment for many women's health issues, including childbirth pain, PMS, and complications from menopause. The Sotho women of South Africa make a paste from hempseed to wean their babies off breast milk. Modern products like Foria and Whoopi and Maya further suggest that cannabis can help women in a variety of ways. Organizations like Women Grow were started to help women both "influence and succeed in" the cannabis industry. Women Grow now has thirty nationwide chapters of women who want to lead cannabis.
Cannabis has been a boys club for far too long. The industry has been dominated by male farmers, business owners, investors, and users who have perpetuated the false perception of who uses cannabis and why. As the movement to towards national legalization continues, women have the unique opportunity to reclaim their power over the plant and return cannabis to its nature-nurturing purpose, while creating healthy products for everyone. According to Marijuana Business Daily, women make up about 36 percent of executives in the legal-marijuana industry, compared to about 22 percent of senior managers in other industries. As an entirely new industry, women can create the gender norms and standards of cannabis business, serving as an example for future and existing industries. .
Cannabis could be the first billion-dollar industry run by women.
I started Cannabis Feminist to encourage women around the world to pursue cannabis as a gateway for a new feminism where women create the values for an industry we control. Together we can shape the gender norms and culture of cannabis and build new standards for business and health.