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On the occasion of today's April 20th, the most important day of the year in cannabis culture, we tell you something about the special connection between women, weed, and of course music!

Photo by Kym MacKinnon on Unsplash

First of all, we would like to focus on the meaning of today's date: 420 is a codeword for the regular use of cannabis in the US. Traditionally cannabis is consumed on any day at 4:20 PM. On April 20th, not only in America but all over the world, festivities around the green plant take place, and the date has over time become an unofficial international celebration of cannabis culture.

Today, the use of cannabis containing THC is completely legalized in only two countries: Uruguay and Canada. In the USA, in some states, as in California, it is allowed for recreational purposes, but in most states, it is reserved for medical use only. What many people do not know, even in the Netherlands, cannabis is not completely legalized, but only tolerated by the government in some regions. But strict regulations regarding the consumption of the green wonder plant were not always like this. The cultivation of cannabis has far-reaching roots in history, and criminalization is a relatively new historical phenomenon, as the plant has long been part of medicinal and spiritual practices.

The cultivation of Cannabis can be traced back at least 12.000 years.

Throughout thousands of years, womxn have played an important role in defining cannabis's uses and benefits, finding a place and purpose for every part of the plant. From seeds (food and oil) root (medicine) and stem (textiles, paper) to flowers and leaves (medicine and recreational use). One notable aspect is that marijuana and matriarchs have always had a shared reputation for healing, and that marijuana fell from favor due to racism, bad press, and a prohibition PR machine. But let's go back in time: in the 3rd Millenium BC, when the Sumerian goddess Ishtar was associated with cannabis, and people were burning the green plant to honor her.

ph: Ishtar via Wikipedia

In ancient Egypt, cannabis was ground and mixed with honey to introduce contractions and ease childbirth. Mayan and Aztec women took baths in cannabis herbs for menstrual relief. In ancient China, Taoism valued the magical herb in having its own goddess, Magu. In Europe, in the 11th century, premenstrual women used cannabis to reduce breast swelling. In the 7th century in India, cannabis was mixed with milk, water, and spices to create a potion that enhanced sexual feelings. Even German composer and philosopher Hildegard von Bingen was aware of the sanctifying effect of cannabis and cultivated it in her garden. Writer Isak Dinesen experimented with hashish and refers to it in her story "The Dreamers".

The connection between women and weed goes back thousands of years and has grown from a variety of traditions.

Furthermore, in the 20th century, the green plant found numerous followers among the ladies. A very prominent example is Billie Holiday: she drew a connection between smoking marijuana and recording her hits like "He Ain't Got No Rythm" and "This Year's Kisses". The popular jazz singer began to smoke marijuana in the early 1930s when you could buy a couple of joints for twenty-five cents. At that time, Miss Holiday, just like the jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams, was part of a famous Café Society in New York City, who met regularly for marijuana sessions. Billie Holiday later became one of the first prominent drug war victims, as she was clearly taking a stand for herbs and other drugs. She was hunted down by Harry J. Anslinger, the first and longtime drug czar who engineered laws and international treaties banning marijuana.

To this day, the list of marijuana consumers among female musicians is long. Artists like Madonna, Lady Gaga, Joan Jett, Janis Joplin, Joss Stone, Barbara Streisand, Norah Jones, Alanis Morisette, Pink, Rhianna are just some of the A-list names among the line-up. Marijuana has helped countless people around the world to cope with various diseases - and yet it remains a controversial drug. An increasing number of people believe that the plant helps to achieve medical victories, two-time Grammy Award-winning singer Melissa Etheridge is one of them. In addition to her artistic vocation, Melissa works to change the way the world views marijuana. She started using medical cannabis in 2004 after being diagnosed with breast cancer, using it to alleviate the collateral damage of chemotherapy, that was when she felt, "OK, this is medicine". Since then, she has been researching it as medicine. Melissa founded "Etheridge Farms", a brand of cannabis-related articles. From the beginning, she had the original idea of facing the world with a brand that could understand cannabis first as medicine, arguing that all the things pharmaceutical companies have tried to make drugs for have alternatives in the cannabis category.

I’ve got a keen direction toward middle-aged women who are discovering, ‘Hey, I don’t want to take an Ambien every night. I don’t want to have to drink wine every night to relax, because I know those things aren’t good for my body.

Melissa Etheridge

As is well known, Miley Cyrus has always been a woman who was not afraid to showcase her authenticity, both on and off stage. Since her teenage years, she has shown off herself as a faithful cannabis user, a practice she also shares openly with her family. Miley has no shame in showing it off on her social networks. However, between 2017 and 2018, she confessed to having stopped smoking and drinking alcohol. Sometime later, in December 2018, she told a British newspaper that her mother, Tish Cyrus, introduced her to cannabis again. Miley has confessed on more than one occasion that her mother smokes a lot of weed - and the spark seems to have passed on from mother to daughter.

The commercialization of marijuana in the United States generates significant economic income due to the regularization of recreational marijuana in five states of the country.

As a result, well-known artists are taking advantage of expanding their commercial businesses to this sector, such as Barbados singer Rihanna. She has never made a secret of her marijuana use. In fact, on several occasions, she has uploaded images to her Instagram profile where she can be seen quietly smoking a blunt. She has always been in favor of marijuana use and legalization. Some time ago, she began marketing a line of cannabis products called "MaRihanna". Some of the varieties offered are Karibbean Kush, Haitian Haze, and Jamaican High Grade. "It's the first mainstream branded marijuana in the world and I'm proud to be a pioneer." said the popular singer. Since 2016, the Rihanna weed can also be purchased in Amsterdam.

In conclusion, it becomes quite obvious that the relation between women, weed, and music is one of great heritage and history, and shows many exciting facets. We are very curious where the journey of the green wonder plant will lead us, and in which parts of the world the legalization of the THC-containing flowers will take place next. Over the last few years, cannabis has been able to establish itself more and more positively in the minds of the general public thanks to the rapidly growing market for CBD products, and the comeback of hemp, from which not only textiles can be made - but even entire houses can be built. #weed #marijuana #420 #rihanna #mileycyrus #billiholiday



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