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The History of Women In Cannabis

Throughout documented history, there has been a recognizable pattern of men represented as commanders of our governing bodies and industrial affairs, while women were often portrayed primarily for managing the home and for caring for their families. No longer are we accepting this limited and outdated outlook. Women have achieved historic strides toward equality in our society, but of course, there are still challenges we face. In order to appreciate the progress we have accomplished, let’s take some time to discover the history of women and cannabis, as well as, acknowledge a handful of the inspiring women who persisted in the face of adversity and ultimately helped develop the cannabis industry we know today. 


Anecdotally, women seem to have a long withstanding relationship with the cannabis plant. For thousands of years, numerous cultures worldwide have been integrating herbal remedies, including cannabis, into their medicinal practices as a natural source to promote healing. According to some historians, women have been using it as a botanical agent for a reprieve, with the most noted uses pertaining to reproductive health conditions. For instance, the earliest evidence of women’s use of cannabis dates back to Ancient Mesopotamia in the 7th Century BCE and theorizes women created herbal beverages consisting of saffron, mint, and hemp seeds to improve menses and difficult labor (Russo, 2002).


“Woman Sleeping in a Landscape with a Letter” by Bernard Gaillot (French, 1780-1847) is marked with CC0 1.0 


There has also been evidence to suggest that women from Ancient Egypt, Persia, and Ancient China ingested and applied cannabis topically as a therapeutic remedy for migraines and uterine discomfort (Russo, 2014). Moreover, historians speculate cannabis was implemented into ancient Arabic traditions as an aphrodisiac and to alleviate pain. In the 11th Century, women in European culture were first noted to use the cannabis plant for soothing their tender breasts during their cycles (Russo, 2002). Not to mention, sources chronicle that in the nineteenth Century Queen Victoria used cannabis prescribed by her physician to ease her menstrual cramps (Timeline: The Use of Cannabis, 2005).


The history of women in cannabis

“A Picture by Hishikawa Moronobu: Woman with a Set of Poem Cards” by Totoya Hokkei (Japanese, 1780-1850) is marked with CC0 1.0


Until a cultural perspective shift in the early 1900s, cannabis was widely used medicinally and industrially, even within the United States. Following this paradigm shift, the plant was feared, stigmatized, and forsaken. Unfortunately, the claims about the cannabis plant were unfounded; there was no evidence either way to support or refute the effects of the cannabis plant. The popularity of the plant arose in the late 1960s and regained the interest of the scientific community in the 1970s after more studies were conducted speculating possible benefits (Russo, 2014). 


In 1988, Allyn Howlett, a biochemical neuropharmacologist, revolutionized medical science and our understanding of cannabis today. She made a breakthrough in cannabis research and pioneered the discovery of the CB1 receptor, one of the types of cannabinoid receptors in the Endocannabinoid System. Her research contributed to a greater understanding that our brains respond to compounds found in the cannabis plant via neural pathways (Lee, 2020).


Less than a decade after the discovery of the CB1 receptor, the medical marijuana industry reemerged in the state of California; in 1996, Proposition 215, or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, was passed. This law allowed doctors to approve patients with serious health conditions to use medical marijuana in California. One of the well-known cannabis advocates to rally in this movement was Mary Jane Rathburn. She was a trailblazer and instrumental figure in the movement, as she relentlessly campaigned and gathered support for the initiative to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana despite substantial opposition (Saxon, 1999). 


In the twenty-first century, women continue to break down barriers in the cannabis field. It’s imperative to continue this progress by providing up-to-date, scientifically-driven information, advocating for change, and empowering people of all cultures to explore cannabis if so desired. Wanda James, a former Navy lieutenant and well-respected cannabis leader is a great example of a woman who is pushing the boundaries of the industry. Not only did she serve on Barack Obama’s National Finance Committee, but she was also an integral contributor to Amendment 64, which ended the cannabis prohibition in Colorado. In 2015, Wanda opened her dispensary, Simply Pure, and became the first African-American to own a legal dispensary in the United States. Since then, Wanda has served as the founder and president of the Global Cannabis Initiative seeking to promote cannabis reform and acts as an advocate for supporting the medicinal use of cannabis for veterans with PTSD. (; Anthony, 2018).


Other influential cannabis activists are using social media to advocate and share knowledge regarding health, wellness, and social justice issues. Dr. Rachel M. Knox, Mary Pryor, and Dr. Lakisha Jenkins are just a few noteworthy women to mention. 


Dr. Knox is a physician shifting the standard of the healthcare industry to focus on the Endocannabinoid System, using her platform to promote a holistic approach to patient care and dismantle unsubstantiated information about cannabis. Mary Pryor is another prominent woman on our radar, who has been a leader in shedding light on the necessity of diversity within the cannabis community and the need for inclusivity for all cultures. She created CannaClusive, a lifestyle brand, to equitably represent minority community cannabis users and fight stigmas surrounding cannabis (Anthony, 2018). 


Dr. Lakisha Jenkins is a physician who uses a naturopathic approach to medicine by empowering her patients with education and offering guidance in alternative healing therapies. Through her own personal experience, she was impassioned to understand and share her knowledge of whole plant medicine to support the maintenance of the human body. Her specialties include medicinal cannabis education and the endogenous endocannabinoid system, and she is a well-known proponent of using CBD to offer mental and physical health benefits. 


Women have been involved in the history of cannabis since the millennia and have played a vital role in advancing our understanding of this special plant. None of us would be where we are without our ancestors pushing the boundaries of culture, commerce, and science. Groundbreaking contributions, like those of the women in cannabis history, have continued to substantiate the necessity for more women at the forefront of leadership and innovation to proceed in moving the needle forward not only in the cannabis industry but as a whole.  


At Equilibria, we’re by women, for women. We are a community of women inspiring and empowering each other to be our best selves. We value and support all women in pursuing their endeavors and share the common goal to find balance in our everyday lives. Our co-founders, Coco and Marcy, are two industrious, professional women, with firsthand experience of the life-changing benefits of CBD and completely understand the challenge many women face in balancing work-life and home-life. We are providing a safe space for women to ask questions about CBD and cannabis, and want to help them personalize their routines to work with their health goals and lifestyles. We’ve donated 50K+ to black and brown women entrepreneurs, as well as, we have partnered with Black Girl Ventures to support black/brown women-owned businesses directly. As a collective, we can lift each other up and achieve our goals. 




Allyn Howlett, Phd. (n.d.). Retrieved March 08, 2021, from

Anthony, S. (2018, April 20). Meet the women of color revolutionizing the weed industry. Retrieved March 08, 2021, from

Eustacio-Costa, M. (n.d.). About. Retrieved March 08, 2021, from

Lee, M. A. (2020, March 26). Women pioneers in cannabinoid science. Retrieved March 08, 2021, from

Russo, E. (2002). Cannabis treatments in obstetrics and gynecology: A historical review. Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, 2(3-4), 2-6. doi:10.1300/j175v02n03_02

Russo, E. B. (2014). The pharmacological history of cannabis. Handbook of Cannabis, 23-43. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199662685.003.0002

Saxon, W. (1999, April 14). Mary Jane Rathburn, 77, baker known for MARIJUANA BROWNIES. Retrieved March 08, 2021, from

Timeline: The use of cannabis. (2005, June 16). Retrieved March 08, 2021, from

Wanda James. (n.d.). Retrieved March 08, 2021, from

How To Add CBD To Your Fitness Routine For Beginners

With all the time we spend indoors lately, it’s so important to get in some type of movement throughout the day. In addition to endorphins – those feel-good chemicals we all know and love, exercise also helps our bodies produce anandamide, nicknamed your “bliss molecule”.


Whether you’re looking to add in more movement in your daily routine or want to improve your exercise performance and recovery, taking CBD pre and post-workout may offer several benefits.


How to add CBD to your fitness routine for beginnersStudies have shown that pairing CBD up with exercise can not only amplify the anandamide in our body but can also aid in increased mindfulness during your workout, feeling more relaxed/less stressed, participating in workouts for longer, experiencing decreased physical discomfort during and after exercise, and decreasing muscle recovery time.  


Below we’ve put together a simple guide to integrating CBD into your daily exercise routine. 


How to add CBD to your fitness routine for beginners

Morning: If you prefer to exercise first thing in the morning, consider taking one full dropper of our Daily Drops about 15 minutes before your workout. This can promote focus and decrease any muscle tension making you more relaxed for your workout and decreasing the risk of minor injuries. 


If you like to workout later in your morning, taking a Daily Softgel with food in the AM  may be a better fit.


How to add CBD to your fitness routine for beginnersAfternoon: If you’ve already completed your workout at this point, you may start to feel some muscle soreness. This is a great time to reach for your Relief Cream which can provide topical relief in minutes. With soothing ingredients like arnica, menthol, and lavender, Relief Cream features 500mg of full-spectrum CBD to calm muscle soreness or tension and can be used as much as needed throughout the day. 


If you enjoy exercising during your lunch break, we recommend reaching for our Daily Drops at least 15 minutes prior to promote focus throughout your workout and ease any muscle tension from working on your laptop all morning. 


Evening: The day is ending and it’s finally time to unwind. This is the perfect time to run a hot bath and soak with our Mindful Mineral Soak featuring over 30 minerals and 200mg of full-spectrum CBD to purify and destress. This will help promote muscle recovery and may help soothe inflammation so you’re not only prepped for a good night’s sleep but ready to tackle your workout the following day. 


Right before bed, consider also using our Relief Cream once more for added relief and muscle recovery while you sleep. 


If getting in some movement post-work is more your thing, try taking a 1/2 dropper of Daily Drops, waiting 15 minutes then exercising, or even just going for a walk to help you unwind from the day and clear your mind. Follow with a bath using our Mindful Mineral Soak then Relief Cream before bed.


A restful night’s sleep is always the best recovery tool, so adding in a full dropper of Daily Drops 30 minutes before bed will help you easily fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. 


What our members are saying

10 Inspiring Quotes to Empower Our Community of Women

As we celebrate this International Women’s Day, we think of not only the women close to us who have empowered and inspired us, but the women who have made an incredible impact on the world with their courage, contributions, and leadership. We’ve put together ten of our favorite quotes by female leaders who have left a legacy and who continue to inspire us every single day. Our wish today is that you’ll both feel empowered and share the gift of empowerment with those around you. 


10 quotes to empower our community of women “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. … It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” -Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Lawyer and Jurist


“When we show up, act boldly, and practice the best ways to be wrong, we fail forward. No matter where we end up, we’ve grown from where we began.” –Stacey Abrams, Politician, Lawyer, Voting Rights Activist, and Author 


“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” –Sara Blakely, Founder & CEO, Spanx


10 quotes to empower our community of women“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” -Maya Angelou,  American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. 


“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” Brené Brown, Author & Storyteller (from her book, Daring Greatly)


“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages,” Michelle Obama, Former FLOTUS


“Do not live someone else’s life and someone else’s idea of what womanhood is. Womanhood is you.” –Viola Davis, Actress & Producer


10 quotes to empower our community of women“I raise up my voice—not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” –Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist for female education


“Where there is a woman, there is magic.” -Ntozake Shange, Playwright, Poet, Feminist


“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” -Angela Y. Davis, Political Activist, Philosopher, Academic, and Author

How To Share The Power of CBD With Friends

Know a friend who suffers from chronic stress? A mother who could use a good night’s rest? An avid exerciser who always has sore muscles? 


It only takes one referral to change someone’s life. We’ve heard some of the most powerful #MyEQ stories from women who were referred to us by a friend, family member, or colleague. If you know someone who could benefit from CBD or is curious about starting their journey but doesn’t know where to begin, we’re here to walk you through sharing the power of CBD through our Refer A Friend program. Plus when you refer you can earn EQ credit to spend on your next order (hello, free CBD!). 


If you’ve made a purchase with us before, or have been to our site and created an account, you already have your own unique referral code. Simply log in to your account and go to the Refer A Friend page. This is where you’ll find your code, and by sharing it you’ll give them $20 to use on their first purchase with us. Once they complete their order, and it ships, we’ll put $20 in your EQ account. The best part is that you can send your code to as many people as you want and you’ll keep earning credit. There’s no limit to how much you can earn! 


How to talk to your friends about CBDNow that you know how our Refer A Friend program works, you might be wondering, “Where should I share my code?” Text, email, our Refer A Friend page (just type in your friends’ emails and we’ll send them your code for you!), or through Instagram. One EQ member earned over $100 in credit in one month by sharing her CBD journey with her followers on Instagram.


Ready to try it for yourself? Below you’ll find our step-by-step guide on how to talk to your friends about CBD.

  1. Get your unique link from the Refer A Friend page
  2. Take a pretty photo of your fave products
  3. Talk about your experience, what issues CBD has helped you with (sleep, stress, headaches, etc)
  4. Post on your IG Grid (don’t forget to tag us and also include your unique link!)
  5. Follow that up with a face-to-camera IG Story (it can help to save them to Highlights)
  6. Watch the referral credits roll in!


For a limited time, we’re doubling our commitment to the wellness routine of women in need of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. You can now share $40, and get $20 through International Women’s Day on 3/8/2021. This is the perfect opportunity to spread wellness and daily balance with a loved one. 


See how our members are loving their routines

5 Ways our CEO is Prioritizing Daily Self-Care

5 Ways our CEO is Prioritizing Daily Self-Care

Far before “me” time, I enjoy spending meaningful time with my two toddlers, growing Equilibria with our incredible team, and spend time with my husband when we can squeeze in date night. Keeping up with friends, family, civic boards, and trying to maintain a work-life balance… there are truly more demands than hours in the day. As women with busy lives and so much on our plate, often the very last person to receive any nurture is, well, ourselves. (At least this is my truth.)   When Marcy and I started Equilibria last year, part of the motivating factor behind this company was the opportunity to talk about balance in a direct and honest way.  Balance is really hard to achieve. But is it impossible? Are the demands of others at odds with our own needs? What’s the right sweet spot? If I take time out for myself, is that indulgent? OR vital for our mental health?   
CEO Coco Meers practices daily self-care and spends time with her son
Photo credit: Heather Talbert
CBD has helped me as a time-strapped founder with two littles and a marriage I want to nurture feel more grounded and even. My daily routine of 20 mg/day (two 10 mg softgels) helps me stay level-headed on those days that seem impossible to manage.

If we’re not making time for ourselves, how can we be our best selves for others?  

At Equilibria we want to help you prioritize more time for yourself, every day, even if the routines you’re adopting seem like smaller changes. 

So in the spirit of self-love, here are five ways I’m prioritizing self-care:

1./ 8 hours of sleep every night

  • For real. Not 7, or 6.5. Not a total of 56 throughout the week. EIGHT. I’ve always been a great sleeper but I can be tempted to cut corners with late nights (usually, ahem ahem, working). In the spirit of self-care, and not de-prioritizing my own needs, I am committing to sleep hygiene and starting my bedtime routine 9 hours before I have to wake up. For me, this means no social media at least an hour before bedtime, taking my nightly 10mg Equilibria Softgel, and then reading a PAPER book to turn my mind off.

2./ 20 minutes of Peloton 5X/ Week (because it’s now inches away from my bedroom so no excuses!!)

  • We have a makeshift workout room adjacent to my kids’ playroom in the basement, but I knew that adding another piece of equipment to a room I very rarely visit would do, well, almost nothing. So the new Peloton now lives just outside of my bedroom on our landing, and there are literally no excuses to not climb on for 20 minutes (at least) most days. I’ve been on a great streak lately and it’s an awesome way to clear my head and not give up much time. (OK, so maybe I’m in my pajamas, but who’s telling?!)

3./ A (PAPER) fiction book a month (or, even a quarter… sadly that might be all I can handle)

  • I was an English major, but am embarrassed to say how little time I make for reading in my current life stage. Even though I may only get through a page or two at night before crashing, it always brings me comfort to know that I have a paper book on my bedside table. Right now I’m obsessed with Rebecca Mekkai’s The Great Believers and The Hundred Year House.  

4./ Daily Gratitudes

  • Oat milk vanilla lattes. Brow powder. Travel (pre-pandemic). Healthy kids. Old friends. From the small stuff to the big, it brings me peace of mind and centeredness to slow down for a minute and express gratitude for the people/ things/ opportunities in life that bring me joy and transcend the daily grind.

5./ Bath time (no, not for toddlers!):

  • OK, let’s face it… not every day has time for a shower, so it definitely doesn’t have time for a bath! But for the few days a week when I can squeeze in a hot soak, nothing melts away stress more effectively. I love simple Epsom salt as well as Equilibria’s Mindful Mineral Soak. Any Diptyque candles enhance the mood perfectly! Add Beauty Counter’s Cleansing Balm and Peter Thomas Roth’s 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm HydraGel Eye Patches … and it’s GAME OVER!  
CBD Bath Soak Essentials
5 Ways our CEO is Prioritizing Daily Self-Care
Remember–it’s not about a New You. It’s about making small changes every – SINGLE day – that doesn’t require an overwhelming shift.  Here’s to the Same You, but Balanced, in 2021. Xo Coco 

3 Guilt-Free (and Alcohol-Free) Cocktails to Indulge In

If you haven’t already heard the news, we’ve partnered with Ritual Zero Proof Spirits to bring you The Perfect Pair Sweepstakes just in time for Valentine’s Day. You can enter for the chance to win our new, limited-edition Indulgence Collection Daily Drops and the full line of Ritual Zero Proof Spirits including a Gin, Tequila, and Whiskey alternative. In addition, the winner will also receive a private cocktail making session with Professional Mixologist, Carley Gaskin.


Carley is the Co-Founder of Hospitality 201, a cocktail catering, events, and consulting agency located in Chicago. With over 10 years of bartending experience, Carley enjoys creating fun and approachable cocktails for any occasion. She was also named the winner of the World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition in 2019.


Here, Carley shows up how to pair alcohol-free spirits with calming CBD for a cocktail treat that feels indulgent without any guilt.


3 Guilt-Free (and Alcohol-Free) Cocktails to Indulge In


EQ x Ritual Cocktail | 3 Alcohol-Free CocktailsRaspberry Truffle Collins

2oz Ritual Gin Alternative

1 teaspoon Raspberry Preserves (or jam)

.5oz lemon juice (or juice of half a lemon)

Shake over ice & pour into Highball Glass

1 full dropper Equilibria Mint Chocolate Truffle CBD 

Top with Soda Water and enjoy! 





EQ x Ritual Cocktail | 3 Alcohol-Free Cocktails with CBDPeach Mule 

2oz Ritual Whiskey Alternative

3 Basil Leaves

.25oz lemon (or juice of ¼ lemon)

Add all ingredients to shaker and shake with ice.

1 full dropper Equilibria Peach Gelee 

Dump ingredients into Mule Mug and top with Ginger Beer. Enjoy! 





EQ CBD x Ritual CocktailsRise and Shine 

2oz Ritual Tequila Alternative

.5oz lime juice (or juice of half a lime)

1oz Grapefruit Juice (or juice of ¼ of a grapefruit)

1 Teaspoon Honey

1 full dropper Equilibria Strawberry Shortcake CBD 

Add all ingredients to shaker and shake with ice

Strain into a coupe and enjoy! 



More ways to enjoy the Indulgence Collection


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