Weed and Women's Health
The steadily increasing growth of the cannabis industry comes along with the need for diverse professionals to sustain and transform it over time. Despite the lacklustre numbers in terms of women in leading industry positions today, the history of women and cannabis dates back incredibly far. The Ebers Papyrus - one of the ten medical papyri of Ancient Egypt - references the use of hemp and birth control and pain relief during childbirth.
A study conducted by headset.io states that in addition to making up 60% of cannabis consumers, men also spend more on cannabis than women on average. Despite this, the study established that women dominate more when it comes to purchasing products containing CBD - particularly those most closely associated with wellness such as topicals, tinctures, capsules and edibles. This is unsurprising when you consider the many health benefits of cannabis.
Historically, as seen in the Ebers Papyrus, there have been many cases of women turning to cannabis and taking charge of the use of the plant as a natural alternative to traditional medicine in the treatment of menstrual cramps, endometriosis pain, arthritis, etc. To cope with these kinds of pain, women are typically prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other over the counter drugs, or surgery in extreme cases, but there are some women who report that these prescribed traditional forms of medicine do little to ease their symptoms. Increased research and knowledge on the healing properties of cannabis have made the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial benefits of cannabis publicly known, allowing attention to turn towards the plant as an organic alternative. CBD has been scientifically shown to increase anandamide, the main cannabinoid produced by the human body which can reduce pain and inflammation.
These anti-inflammatory properties alleviate the searing, consistent pain of not only menstrual cramps, but also the stiff aches of arthritis, and even the redness and swelling of acne, psoriasis and eczema. When applied topically, CBD is able to provide targeted relief of pain that promotes stress reduction. Besides the women of Ancient Egypt, Queen Victoria is another famous historical name to reportedly have also used cannabis to alleviate the pain of her own cycle under doctor’s recommendation. This shows that cannabis has had a role to play in the reproductive and physical wellness of women for centuries, and the rise in popularity of the plant’s products as a legitimate medicinal tool is not an altogether unexpected one.
Neither is the rise in the number of women entering the industry to start businesses or climbing the ranks to leadership positions in various companies. Women’s historical link to cannabis for wellness, commerce and reproductive health, means there is a unique perspective that they can contribute to the growing industry. EKS’ own origin is tied to the experience of co-founder Ashley who, after being diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2011, turned to cannabis oil to manage the significant pain caused by her symptoms. Ashley’s unique experiences led her to utilise cannabis for all its benefits and create her own topical that would ease the constant pain and chronic inflammation.
Through this desire to uncover a topical that was natural, clean and sustainable all while effectively managing pain and inflammation, EKS topicals were born.
Years later, EKS is a leading force in the cannabis industry, and is preparing for the launch of SHINE - the new herbal CBD salve is sustainably made with Marigold, St John’s Wort and Plantain for an all-natural self-care experience. With the combined benefits of CBD and THC, SHINE soaks into the skin to provide relief without any psychoactive effects. The mission at EKS has always been to provide accessible high-quality, all-natural cannabis products to support your wellness journey and we are extremely pleased to be able to do that in a time when even more women are taking on prominent roles in the modern cannabis industry.
It’s been established that the cannabis industry, though popular and much-discussed, is still growing. This allows the opportunity for focused, passionate and driven women to find space for themselves in meaningful roles. Pioneering women like these include Ashleigh Brown, founder and CEO of SheCann Cannabis the country’s largest and most engaged community resource for medical cannabis patients and Sabrina Ramkellawan, who began her career as a registered nurse and now serves as Cannabis educator at The Michener Institute of Education at UHN.
The growth of female leadership and increased diversity within the cannabis industry can only benefit businesses, producers and consumers alike. The unique perspective on wellness and the professional expertise women offer cannot be overlooked or undervalued. To stay innovative, it’s very important that the cannabis industry afford women equal respect and opportunity to contribute in significant ways.