History of Cannabis Women

Notable Women in Cannabis, Past and Present  

As we look back at the history of cannabis, it is no surprise that we find great women pushing for medicinal use and legalization every step of the way. As with many areas in society, women’s role in the progress made in cannabis use has been underplayed by many people. Exhale Dispensary of Las Vegas, Nevada, is here to give you the true history of women and cannabis. Learn about some of the most notable women in cannabis, past and present.  

The Women Who Made Cannabis History 

You probably didn’t read about the women who made cannabis history in your high school textbooks. As in so many fields throughout history, many of the most notable women have been given less credit than they truly deserve. Some of the most remarkable women in the field of cannabis include:  

  • Pharaoh Hatshepsut

    One of the earliest recorded proponents of medicinal marijuana use was a woman, Pharaoh Hatshepsut. She was one of the very few female pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. She used the Ebers Papyrus, a medicinal text at the time to encourage the use of cannabis for the treatment of menstrual pain and to ease discomfort during childbirth. 
  • Hildegard von Bingen

    Some of the earliest scientific studies conducted on cannabis and CBD were performed by Hildegard von Bingen, a nun, physician, scholar, and seer. Much of her research printed in her health guide,
    Physica (1158), has been replicated and confirmed today. 
  • Margaret Mead

    The world-renowned anthropologist in the 1960s, Margaret Mead, was undoubtedly ahead of her time in issues of race, women’s rights, environmental concerns, and nuclear proliferation. She was also so adamant about the legalization of marijuana that she testified in favor of it in front of the United States Congress in 1969. At the time, she was 68 years old. 
  • Allyn Howlett

    For a long time, no one really knew how cannabis worked on a physiological level. Allyn Howlett found the key factor in the mechanisms that make weed work, the CB1 cannabinoid receptor in the endocannabinoid system. Her work helped the medical community fully understand how marijuana helped patients, leading to the eventual medicinal use laws in many states.
  • Mary Jane Rathbun

    During the AIDs epidemic in the 1980s, Mary Jane Rathbun was a volunteer nurse who became known as “Brownie Mary.” She heroically gave cannabis brownies to patients to help relieve chronic pain from terminally ill patients. She was arrested multiple times for her actions, and her martyrdom gave her a platform to push through the legalization of medicinal marijuana in California. She was even part of opening the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club, the first legal dispensary in the country. 

Why Is the History of Women in Cannabis So Important? 

As you can see, many of the most important contributions to the field of cannabis have been made by women. That makes it crucially important that we acknowledge the role women play in cannabis. By heralding the women in cannabis in the past, we can help encourage the industry to elevate the women in the field today. Our team does more than just celebrate the women who helped make cannabis what it is today. We also know that the future of cannabis needs the intellectual horsepower provided by men and women alike! 

What Is the Future of Women in Cannabis? 

Cannabis has historically been a counterculture phenomenon, suppressed by the people in power. Women have similarly struggled to have their true benefits recognized by the structures that make up society. However, things are changing. Today, many leading farmers, distributors, manufacturers, CEOs, and budtenders are women. While gender disparity still exists, it seems to be on the downturn with extraordinary female leaders in the marijuana industry like Jane West, Cyo Nystrom, and Madeline Martinez.  

Las Vegas, Nevada’s Top Budtenders Are Women! 

At Exhale Dispensary, we know that women and cannabis have an integrally connected past, present, and future. From the scientists to the cultivators, women help us bring the best flower, edibles, and cannabis products to the world. Most importantly, many of our finest budtenders are women themselves, like Angie which is the Budtender of January, and Patrice, Dakota and Rene H. Exhale Brands sure have their own women of weed. Come by the store, meet them, and Shop with us today! 


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