Updated: Mar 13, 2019
Lately, there has been a rise in women using CBD hemp products for multiple uses. From skincare, dieting, razor bumps, rosacea, cramps, pain, and other ailments, Hemp Oil is becoming a hit in the female population. Little do people know, is that women have been partaking in hemp for many years.
Offerings to Ishtar
The Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar, worshiped about 5,000 years ago, was said to demand offerings that included the healing herb cannabis. At that time, writes Komp in her book, societies were matriarchal and there were few prohibitions on women’s activities. Among the many roles women played in the society was herbal healers, and cannabis was one plant in their therapeutic arsenals.
In addition to using weed medicinally, women ingested it in temples smoky with marijuana incense burned in tribute to Ishtar. That is, until they, and the goddess, lost power around 2600 BC with the advance of Semitic culture and patriarchy. In the Bible, prophets repeatedly warn the Hebrews to stop burning incense to Ashtoreth—Ishtar’s biblical name.
Mayan women in what is now Mexico took baths full of herbs, including cannabis, for menstrual relief.
In other parts of the world, weed continued to be grown and used medicinally by women. In the fifth century, Mayan women in what is now Mexico took baths full of herbs, including cannabis, for menstrual relief. This tradition later continued with the Aztecs.
Meanwhile, in 11th-century Europe, women used a cannabis ointment to reduce premenstrual breast swelling. Hildegard of Bingen, the 12th-century German Christian mystic and medical expert, noted hemp’s effects in her book on herbal medicine, The Physica:
"Its seed is sound, and it is healthy for healthy people to eat it. It is openly gentle and useful in their stomach since it somewhat takes away the mucus. It is able to be digested easily; it diminishes the bad humors and makes the good humors strong. But nevertheless, whoever is weak in the head and has a vacant mind, if that person will have eaten hemp, it easily makes the person suffer pain somewhat in his or her head."
About 700 years later, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt and some of his French troops encountered hashish there, became fond of the stuff, and brought it back home with them when they returned to France.. They introduced hash to Europeans artists and intellectuals, who also quickly took to the stuff. Apparently Harriet Martineau, the 19th-century a social reformer, novelist, and the first female sociologist (and great-great-great-grandmother of Princess Kate Middleton), wrote of happy encounters with the hash pipe on her exotic desert travels. She noted that, as a service to Jewish neighbors, Arab women blew cannabis smoke in their faces on the Sabbath, an example of what is now known as “shot-gunning.” In 1890, Queen Victoria of England reportedly used a cannabis tincture to ease the pain of her cramps.
Soon after, though, marijuana developed a bad rap. Thanks largely to early 20th century propaganda like the film Reefer Madness, it was made illegal in the US (and also in England, France, and other European countries).
CBD Fights Multiple Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome
Women who deal with the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome know exactly how awful they can be, from excruciating cramps and headaches to irritability and sleeplessness.
The good news is that emerging evidence suggests CBD is an effective treatment for multiple symptoms of PMS, both physical and emotional. Research shows that CBD can improve mood, promote relaxation, and regulate sleep patterns.
CBD also treats the inflammation that causes many of the physical symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, including cramps and headaches. While researchers discover more about the specific mechanisms that make CBD an effective treatment for PMS, many women are doing their own research at home and successfully treating their PMS symptoms with cannabidiol.
CBD Offers a New Weapon for Women with Autoimmune Diseases
Experts estimate that 1 out of every 5 adults in the U.S. suffers from some sort of autoimmune disease, and 75% of these sufferers are women. These autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes.
While each disease comes with its own symptoms and possible treatments, they share a common thread: inflammation. Cannabidiol is proven to fight inflammation, and with it, the symptoms of the autoimmune diseases.
A 2010 study speculates that this may be due to CBD acting to suppress cytokine production, which alters the immune system response. Women suffering from rheumatoid arthritis have been using CBD for years to treat both the short and long-term effects of the disease with excellent results.
CBD Helps Soothe Anxiety in Women
While anxiety can strike anyone, women are twice as likely as men to suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety can seriously impair your ability to enjoy life and reach your goals, and prescription anxiety medications often come with a slew of negative side effects.
Fortunately, numerous studies have demonstrated that CBD is an incredibly effective treatment for anxiety. For example, one study looked patients who suffered from anxiety when faced with public speaking. The individuals who consumed CBD before giving a speech reported less stress and a better performance than those who took a placebo.
CBD is also effective at treating an underlying anxiety disorder, especially for women who have not been helped by other treatments.
CBD and the Future of Women’s Health
Research into the powers of CBD is just beginning. Scientists are now looking at the potential of CBD to treat migraines, breast cancer, depression, eating disorders, and diabetes.
Without a doubt, new cures and treatments will be developed from the cannabis plant, especially from cannabidiol. Meanwhile, revolution on a smaller scale is taking place, as patients are taking their health into their own hands.
Millions of women who have been frustrated with aspects of conventional medicine are turning to CBD and finding out exactly how it can help them live happier, healthier lives.
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