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From Queen Hatshepsut to Brownie Marie: Women Who Made History with Cannabis

Many women have contributed to making history with cannabis, as a result their names have ended up associated with the plant, having used it or contributed to its cultivation and promotion. But, the contribution of women to the spread of the plant has been overlooked, ignored and forgotten.

Writer Nola Evangelista in her book "TOKIN' WOMEN A 4,000-Year Herstory" documents women's relationship with cannabis, from the stories of some ancient gods in Egypt who brought the "sacred herb" to the thirsty masses to the women who had the courage to rebel against societal norms. Through a vivid chronology, Nola showcases 50 "powerful" women associated with cannabis, including ancient goddesses, some bohemian writers, jazz singers of the 1960s and modern women. The reader would be sorprised with some names in the book, such as actress Jennifer Aniston, who has stated on more than one occasion that she likes to consume cannabis "in moderation." It also explores the role of other strong women who decided to live their lives under their own rules, some resorted to the "plant" for its use, and others to give "legitimacy" to this substance that relieves patients' pain and helps them overcome difficulties.

The ancient Egyptians consumed cannabis regularly. This plant was not restricted to men only, but allowed to female figures who played an important role in Egyptian society. Among them were: Bastet, identified with a cat's head, goddess of fertility and the home; Seshat, goddess of wisdom and knowledge, and Hatshepsut, the first woman to reach the throne in Egypt, known for her glamorous beauty and sharp intelligence. On the other hand, Ishtar represented the gods of love, sex and war, loving, seducing, betraying and avenging. There is no certainty to her association with cannabis during the third millennium BC, a period during which the gods worshipped the plants as the "magic medicine" for all illnesses.

In ancient Egypt, cannabis was the "faithful friend" of a woman about to give birth, as papyrus documents show that ancient medicine was based on mixing the plant with honey and inserting this mixture into a woman's vagina during childbirth to relieve uterine pain.

Women Who Made a Difference in the Field of Cannabis

Historically, cannabis has been considered an inspiration in creativity and pleasure for women. American writer and novelist "Louisa May Alcott", in 1869, approached the subject of this plant in an interesting way. Alcott related in a short story the experience of an American girl immersed with friends in a whirlpool of cannabis and narcotic substances, who described how "cannabis indica brings wonderful hallucinations".

At the end of the 1980s, the city of San Francisco, in the United States, suffered the AIDS crisis, hospitals were full of patients who would die in a few months, and a solution was needed to help them endure their pain. In her small kitchen, "Mary Brownie" began to prepare this delicious dessert by adding small amounts of cannabis. She distributed the sweets free of charge to patients to alleviate their suffering; by virtue of her own experience, she realized that this plant ican relieve pain.

Today, women continue to make their mark in the cannabis field. Researchers surveyed people in the cannabis industry and found that 57% of workers in this field work in companies run by women, while 30% say that some have full ownership of these establishments.

Women have a significant and effective role in the use of medicinal cannabis in both ancient civilizations and the present era.

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