New book on women and cannabis
A new book edited by a respected trio of marijuana experts sheds new light on cannabis and women.
Neurologist Ethan Russo, MD (CC#36, Pot pioneer), Dr. Melanie Dreher, PhD (CC#15, Dr. Melanie Dreher, reefer researcher, and CC#16, Ganja mothers, ganja babies), and Registered Nurse Mary Lynn Mathre spent several years creating the book "Women and Cannabis," which first appeared as an entire issue of the Journal for Cannabis Therapeutics.
This groundbreaking volume contains information valuable to anyone who cares about how marijuana affects women.
Of particular interest is research by Israeli scientist Ester Fride showing that body-produced substances (called anandamides) that mimic substances found in marijuana are critical to infant health as it relates to breast feeding.
The implications of Fride's findings might explain findings by Dr. Dreher, whose decades of work with Jamaican women revealed that children born to ganja-using mothers were healthier and happier than children born to non-ganja using mothers, and that children who were administered marijuana teas were more robust than children who did not receive Jamaican cannabis-based folk medicines.
Russo's fascinating essay on thousands of years of women using cannabis in obstetrics and gynecology details the plant's powerful assistance as a pain reliever, appetite enhancer, anti-nausea agent, mood elevator, antibiotic, vascular stabilizer, relaxant, and nutritional supplement.
Women have long used cannabis to alleviate problems caused by pregnancy, menopause and childbirth, Russo says. The plant drug is far safer for women than chemical drugs and surgical procedures that it replaces, and it often has unique healing capabilities that are not duplicated by other medicines.
Mathre, along with husband, editor and medpot activist Al Byrne, is the founder of Patients Out of Time, a non-profit advocacy group that lobbies for patients' rights, legal medical marijuana, and acceptance of marijuana medicine by doctors, hospitals and the health insurance industry.
"My chapter of the book focused on cannabis as a harm reduction method," she explained. "Cannabis is safer than the prescription drugs it competes with medically. And when compared to other recreational drugs, such as alcohol and tobacco, the science shows that marijuana is the least harmful choice, and that it also has many healing properties even for recreational users."
Women and Cannabis also contains a chapter from Dutch hashish pioneer Mila Jansen, who provides an interesting report on how she developed an innovative hashmaking machine called The Pollinator, and a hashmaking system called "Ice-O-Lator" that utilizes icewater and screened bags (Look for an article on Mila Jansen in an upcoming issue of CC).
Women and Cannabis is technical, factual, and intelligent, but it is easily understandable and contains practical, cutting edge information for women seeking to maximize their use of cannabis and provide accurate information to others about cannabis.
Cannabis Culture congratulates Mathre, Russo and Dreher for their long-time work on behalf of the sacred plant, and also thanks Haworth Press, which is one of few publishing houses with the courage to publish books and journals favorable to cannabis.
Mathre says she is proud of the book, and that she and a consortium of medpot advocates and scientists are hoping that DEA rules favorably on a petition submitted to DEA several months ago.
"We're asking DEA to reschedule marijuana so it can be considered a medical substance," she explained. "Our petition has the latest research which thoroughly refutes DEA's placement of marijuana in their 'Schedule One' list, a placement that falsely indicates that marijuana has no medical value and a high potential for abuse. We haven't heard anything from DEA, but we intend to follow up on this until they are forced to make the change."