There’s a peculiar gender gap when it comes to support for marijuana legalization—where women, a demographic that generally skews more liberal on a wide range of issues compared to men, are somewhat less likely to embrace cannabis reform.
Researchers at North Carolina State University and Hartwick College wanted to know why. And in a recent study published in the journal Social Science Quarterly, they offered some plausible explanations.
Using data from a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, which prompted respondents with an extensive set of questions related to marijuana, the researchers tested several hypotheses about why women are less inclined to support legalization than men (67-61 percent, on a weighted scale).
Social Science Quarterly
Was it parenthood, religiosity or consumption habits that explained the trend, as the researchers speculated? Well, the results revealed a mixed bag of potential factors.
One thing that was, perhaps surprisingly, not a contributing factor was the parenthood element. While women’s role as mothers might help explain why they lean a bit more left on issues like gun control, it didn’t explain the marijuana divide.
“Being a parent is not a predictor of attitudes on the marijuana support scale,” the study authors wrote. “When the demographics-only model is run without the parenthood variable (not shown) and then with the parenthood variable added, the coefficient for gender does not change at all, indicating that being a parent does not account for any of the gender gap.”
The fact that women are more likely to identify as born-again Christians and report attending church services more often does seem to be a factor, though. Women’s “greater religiosity substantially explains the gender gap in marijuana policy,” though in order to “fully explain the gap, further analysis is needed.”
Lastly, the research investigated how cannabis consumption habits—and comfortability around marijuana—influenced their support for reform. That factor seemed to be the most influential, as women were less likely to report ever having used cannabis (55-42 percent) or feeling comfortable around the plant (55-42 percent).
“Women are less likely to have ever used marijuana (or report ever using marijuana), and once this is taken into account the gap disappears.”
In the end, the researchers predicted that the gap in support for marijuana reform will continue to narrow.
“Though it is challenging to accurately predict the future contours of the gender gap in marijuana, we do think our findings here are instructive,” the team wrote. “As marijuana use becomes more common and seen as less risky or deviant behavior, and as marijuana use is framed less as a moral issue (which will presumably be the case as it grows more common and legalized), there is reason to expect the gender gap to shrink.”
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
Why Women Support Legal Marijuana Less Than Men, According To A New Study
Cannabis legalization is providing open, normalized access to an ingredient ripe for experimentation. Alternative methods of consumption, like vaporized concentrates and edibles, represent one of the fastest growing product segments in the industry. Manufactured edibles that are readily available at dispensaries are often confections or prepackaged baked goods, and have become more reliable in terms of dosing and potency. Part of the reliability comes from innovation, and no one understands processes like fermentation, the maillard reaction, and the chemical reactions that occur during cooking and baking like trained chefs.
The cannabis industry also represents one of the most welcoming opportunities for women, both with established careers and those fresh to the job market. While women represent about 22 percent of senior management across most industries, about 36 percent of executives in the cannabis businesses are women. A number of female chefs are also making the move to cannabis, embracing the demand for a sophisticated cannabis experience that is rewarding for both themselves and their customers. Here are a few female cannabis chefs who are taking edibles and infused meals to the next level.
When Andrea Drummer was asked about her decision to become a cannabis chef, she responded, “People never see it coming. I guess I don’t look the part.” Drummer draws upon her experience as chef-specialist for the Ritz-Carlton’s Club Lounge in Los Angeles and Patina food group, a company that provides fine dining experiences to museums and cultural institutions.
Rather than make traditional cannabis edibles, she infuses strains like Blue Dream into some of her signature dishes, including seared duck with cauliflower, chanterelles, with a blueberry gastrique. Her work with a specialized catering company meant perfecting a reliable cannabutter recipe, and the finished product received rave reviews. “With cooking in general, the creative process still fascinates me,” said Drummer.
“Add to that the complexities of cannabis and the intricate challenges that come along with translating it into a fine dining experience, the fascination quadruples. Working with the product tests my culinary capabilities, and forces me to think even more outside of the box than I would normally. It makes me a better chef.”
Monica Lo realized quickly the obstacles that a home cannabis baker faces when working with cannabis: the scent. “I was living in a very strict building, and found that the sous vide method was perfect for discreet cannabis infusions,” explained Lo.
“A crockpot or the stovetop method just wasn’t going to cut it with my sneaky landlord lurking around.”
Sous vide has become popular among chefs and cooking enthusiasts who take a scientific approach to cooking, since the process ensures an exact cooking temperature in a vacuum-sealed enclosure. “With the sous vide method,” said Lo, “you place your cannabis in a zip-sealed bag with fats for THC to bind to and submerge the bag in a temperature-controlled water bath with a gadget called an immersion circulator. This method ensures optimal THC extraction without the risk of overcooking, stench, or setting your kitchen on fire.”
Lo’s approach cannabis as an alternative ingredient ripe for experimentation, and she brings that philosophy to her new company Sous Weed. They provide recipes, catering, and creative services for those who have also embraced cannabis as a part of a larger culinary experience.
As the co-founder of Flour Child Collective, Gocobachi uses local and organic ingredients to make her gourmet edibles. “It didn’t make sense to me that in San Francisco, a place with such a strong artisan food culture, that the edibles weren’t at the same level,” she said. “It’s become a little bit of my personal mission to raise the standards of quality in the cannabis industry.”
Making cannabis edibles requires a significant amount of plant material, so sometimes lower quality cannabis is used. Gocobachi instead seeks out higher quality cannabis and embraces the flavors rather than disguises them. “A lot of people comment that our edibles ‘don’t really taste like edibles’ or cannabis,” she said. “They do; they just taste like good cannabis.” Since different strains provide different flavor profiles, cannabis offers an extension to the usual herbs and spices used in cooking. It’s a normalized way of looking at cannabis as another opportunity to create something new, with less emphasis on the psychoactive experience.
Women are a top business opportunity for brands in virtually every single industry and cannabis is no different.
According to Marketing to Women, women remain the primary decision-maker when it comes to buying goods in 85 percent of American households, influencing at least 80 percent of all household spending in America. When it comes to cannabis, most researchers would agree that women smoke less than men. But in a multibillion dollar industry, ignoring a large portion of your audience may mean missing out on an even larger chunk of revenue.
If women are so important to sales, why are so many brands terrible at catering their products and selling to women? Are there any cannabis brands cultivating their female audience in a genuine way?
Historically, brands across a spectrum of industries take a disingenuous approach when it comes to designing and marketing to women. There is an old marketing mantra, “shrink it and pink it”, that sums up the entire strategy many brands use to speak to their female audience. According to this, if you make it smaller and pink women are guaranteed to buy it. It’s taken quite some time, but companies are thinking more intentionally about their female audience and beginning to push forward more meaningful female-driven marketing.
Cannabis brands would be wise to do the same.
In a sea full of black and green branding and bulky vape pens, the majority of cannabis brands are still lacking in their approach to women. But there are a select few who are truly doing it right.
If you are going to market cannabis to women, you might as well start at the very beginning: growing. HiFi Farms, based in Oregon, is subtly focusing on the female participation and perspective of cannabis cultivation. HiFi is not a female-only cannabis company, nor do they make female-only cannabis products. They are a company of farmers, master cultivators and seriously focused cannabis consumers – that happen to be led by a woman.
But just as cannabis flowers are female, so too is the leadership of HiFi Farms…and this female leadership has influence throughout the brand. Sara Batterby, CEO, pushes forward an innovative approach to marketing that reaches men and women alike, but takes special care to highlight the importance of the female.
While their branding is marked by elegant, unisex design that speaks to people of all color, creed, and gender, they still know how to embrace their females. Just look at their “feminized” t-shirts that have taken Oregon by storm.
Some brands, like Foria and Whoopi & Maya, are creating cannabis-based products just for women. Foria’s “Relief” product line includes cannabis-infused suppositories for women undergoing the painful throes of their menstrual cycle. Whoopi & Maya, the cannabis brand created by Whoopi Goldberg, offers cannabis lavender bath soak; cannabis infused body balm; and relaxing cannabis tincture that is also perfect for that time of the month.
To note: neither of these companies have pink in their color schemes and all products are full-size.
Women far and wide love accessories. It only makes sense for cannabis brands to create products that fit a stoner girl’s lifestyle. AnnaBis, a company that takes on the mission of helping “women feel stylish, free and secure with their cannabis”, is known for its virtually smell-proof handbags and accessories.
Pax, a leading vape pen company, is also excellent at designing and marketing products towards women, but in a much more indirect way than AnnaBis. Just as a woman carefully chooses a watch or a new handbag, women want a vape pen that fits their style. In a world where vape pens are boring and bulky, Pax products are sleek, chic and customizable. These vaporizers are perfect for a woman on the go.
As cannabis legalization creeps forward, consumers are enjoying a use for the plant that defies unkempt stoner stereotypes: cannabis beauty products.
“Weed, because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties is great for the skin,” says Aspen-based medical marijuana doctor Wendy Zaharko, M.D., noting the importance of endocannabinoid system homeostasis. Even mainstream medical professionals are touting appearance-enhancing abilities (and no, we don’t mean a weed version of beer goggles).
“Cannabis is an antioxidant; it can help slow down the damage to skin cells from oxidation by free radicals, which prevents aging,”
says New York City-based dermatologist and RealSelf contributor Michele S. Green, MD.
“It is rich in supplements for healthy skin such as potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc which is beneficial for skin rashes, acne, and many other skin conditions.”
To achieve these benefits, companies are adding cannabis to traditional topical beauty products such as salves, lotions, and hair and skin oils.
Molly Peckler of Highly Devoted, cannabis-friendly date coaching, swears by hemp products to treat her breakouts. “I started suffering from hormonal acne right around the time I turned 30, and I came across the Hemp Blemish Salve from Uncle Harry’s Natural Products. Unlike other acne treatments I had tried; the hemp salve didn’t irritate my skin or dry me out too much. Now when I feel a pimple coming on, I reach for the hemp salve rather than the salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide,” says Peckler.
Like Uncle Harry’s Natural Products, most of these beauty products are currently typically created out of hemp, marijuana’s more industrial sister in the cannabis species. The Body Shop has a reasonably-priced hemp body care line, as does Marley Natural. Moon Rore, who makes hair oil, body butter, and lip treatments, differentiates itself by opting for CBD oil from hemp extract. (Moon Rore also charges each of their items with crystals, for an extra magical kick). “I noticed that there are a lot of hemp oils in everything, but there’s not a lot of people utilizing the CBD oil,” says Moon Rore founder Maggie Murphy.
If beauty manufacturers want their product to be available nationwide, they are forced to opt for hemp products rather than whole plant cannabis. While cannabidiol (CBD) is found in hemp, as Project CBD reports, hemp oils contain far less cannabidiol than cannabis, and lack medicinal terpenes and crucial secondary cannabinoids like THC, CBN and CGB. It is CBD that is responsible for the anti-inflammatory effects, an important role in skin care, and an effect that works better if cannabinoids and terpenoids are working together, due to the entourage effect.
Some skin care companies, such as Cannabis Basics, create both cannabis and hemp-only lines, so a hemp version of their product is available for purchase everywhere, but those in legal states can still enjoy the beauty benefits of whole plant cannabis. For those in such states, another wonderful cannabis-based beauty brands is Kush Creams.
Even the real-deal cannabis oil products are non-psychoactive when used on your body, as they bind to the CB2 receptors needed to produce the therapeutic effects but do not enter the bloodstream, and CB2 receptors are mostly located outside of the brain and central nervous system. As much of legalization opponents’ cannabis fears stem from the high produced by the THC in cannabis, non-psychoactive beauty products could fight stigma as well as pimples.
“When you take the high out of the equation, but the medicinal and therapeutic benefits are still strong, cannabis changes from an illicit drug to a medicine. That’s how you change hearts and minds in the general public. Once you’ve personally experienced the positive effects, you’ll be more comfortable talking about it with the people in your life,”