In contemporary pop-culture, representation of women in cannabis ranges from occasional flashes of Rihanna accessorizing a joint (probably a Miss Grass mini), to some of our favorite tv series and film characters avidly smoking. But unfortunately, Hollywood and mainstream media have done little justice to show the true and growing relationship between women and cannabis today. With the stigmatization surrounding cannabis slowly fading, room is made for the re-education of it’s holistic benefits for the lived experience of women. As Women’s Month approaches, we aim to lay out an up-to-date and authentic expression of how this plant serves women especially, on a day-to-day basis.
For decades, the mental health epidemic has loomed heavy within the US- with one in five women suffering from mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression and PTSD, according to the U.S Office on Women’s Health. Now with the added strain of the global pandemic, the urgency for aid and relief from mental health related symptoms has risen to an alarmingly high rate amongst women. The ongoing pandemic has caused a societal push for awareness around managing stress and seeking professional help.
The world of psychology is undergoing a shift in the growing therapy and treatment related to nervous system dysregulation. Simply explained; our body is made up of neural networks, and when one experiences any degree of trauma, parts of our network fire in overdrive while others shut down completely. Thus, causing dysregulation from our regulated state of being. Severe symptoms of nervous system dysregulation include insomnia, appetite/digestive issues, migraine headaches, brain fog, muscle tension and low libido. Cognitive functions are also impaired which influences behavior and decision making. All then contributing to the emotional distress of an individual.
As research on cannabis use grows, so do the findings that it’s properties can help in the relief of many symptoms associated with certain mood and mental health issues. In relation to cannabis, nervous system dysregulation can contribute to the loss of endocannabinoids, another neural network that acts as a checks and balance system for our body to remain in homeostasis, or our natural and regulated state. It has been proven that endocannabinoids deficiencies when paired with cannabis-derived cannabinoids, can have therapeutic effects. Research also highlights the anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing), antidepressant, and antipsychotic properties of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in the flowers of the cannabis plant. CBD helps in erasing fear based memories, which typically are the base for PTSD and anxiety disorders alike.
THC when taken within low-to-moderate doses can also mirror the relief of CBD, though the effects can lessen when introduced at higher doses. Starting off with low-dose edibles, such as PETRA mints with 2.5mg of THC, can be a great way to introduce THC to alleviate levels of anxiety and soothe waves of depression. Such products will not act as a cure for mental or mood disorders but work best when applied with talk-therapy, mindfulness practices and especially social support.
With the Body
Cannabis has historically been used through herbal medicine by women to neutralize the pain levels that come with menstrual cycles and menopause. Symptoms across the board have been found to be significantly reduced when cannabis is involved. For extreme cramps, patches over the lower abdomen work best when applied directly on the site of pain. Papa and Barkley’s variety of Releaf Patches are available in different doses, for personal preference and symptom severity.
Growing research has also begun to show that there is a direct link between female pleasure in sexual activity and cannabis use. The arousal of desire, lubrication, orgasm and lessening of pain or discomfort of women during sexual activity, is based on the plants natural ability to lower anxiety and tension levels throughout the body. Therefore, leaving room for relief and overall satisfaction. Intimacy and natural sexual expression is significantly healthy and can contribute to ones greater wellbeing, self-esteem and sense of self. To explore sex-related products visit our live menu.
For the Soul
As we see Eastern medicine practices gain momentum as an alternative to traditional Western medicine, there is a growing emphasis on the importance of holistic wellness. With cannabis having healing properties for both the body and mind, it can be argued that the same is true for the essence of who we are. By association of relief on a physical level, to an emotional one- the same must be said for our individualized sense of identity.
Cannabis for many women has become an essential part of daily routine and self-care. Whether it be a few drops in the morning from your favorite tincture like Yummi Karma’s Mood Magic or eating a few Camino Sour gummies when hanging out around home, they all work to recharge our internal battery. This carved out space to feel relief, mindfulness and even self-reflective- builds on the mind-body connection essential for healthy self-esteem. The habits and details of one’s day have a physical and chemical effect on our being, determining our overall emotional state.
Those same themes of mind-body healing through the use of cannabis have been present within the pharmacopeias of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Persia, China, Israel and so many others. The Ancient Egyptian Goddess of all-knowing wisdom and knowledge, Seshat, is portrayed by being physically connected to a cannabis flower. Perhaps that has been the draw for women all along; cannabis acting as a gateway to align connection with our bodies and sense of self.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Nothing said, done, typed, printed or reproduced by Torrey Holistics is intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat or take the place of a licensed physician.
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“Office on Women’s Health.” Womenshealth.gov, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 6 Jan. 2021, www.womenshealth.gov.
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