‘Miss Marijuana’: Lifestyle Platform Sparks Healing Cannabis Conversations for Women
Shannon Ullman runs the lifestyle site, MissMarijuana.org, which focuses on content that normalizes cannabis use for women health and wellness, and encourages women to live empowered.
While working in the digital media industry and researching health and wellness content, Shannon Ullman noticed that the cannabis and CBD oil industries were really taking off and that “everyday women, ‘not just stoners,’ were using cannabis as part of their daily health and wellness routine.”
Ullman wanted to help continue the empowering conversation surrounding cannabis use for health and wellness purposes. She also wanted to create a platform that would help destigmatize cannabis through accurate portrayals and raw, real testimonials from everyday women.
She felt that it was unfortunate that some women who benefited from cannabis often had to hide their usage or keep it a secret because of the stigma and feelings of shame attached to cannabis. To encourage women to share their stories and positive experiences, she launched her own lifestyle platform, MissMarijuana.org, which normalizes and highlights the health benefits of cannabis for women.
“I thought, ‘why not create a lifestyle site that made marijuana use seem just as normal for self care as sitting in a bubble bath surrounded by candles?’”
For Ullman, the ultimate goal of the site is to empower women to share their stories, use cannabis to heal what ails them, and most importantly, to take away the stigma.
Miss Marijuana provides personal testimonies and stories that help people do everything from cook with cannabis, to accessorize with cannabis jewelry, to incorporating cannabis into their yoga routine. The site also aims to provide an uplifting space for women to explore their passions and continue to live empowered through side hustles, travel, and more.
“Readers can see how the plant can make sense for them whether they’re a professional, a mother, a student, or an athlete. And, by sharing the stories of other women, we can showcase how cannabis can actually help you get your normal life back after an injury, a chronic disease diagnosis, or a mental health battle.”
A large part of her site is dedicated to sharing real stories that showcase how cannabis has helped someone treat a disease or mental health issue, says Ullman.
“This way, other people who are suffering may feel brave enough to try cannabis to help themselves.”
The conversation doesn’t just stop on the website; Miss Marijuana has a growing following on Instagram. The content helps further answer questions or debunk common misconceptions about cannabis.
“We will continue to reach out to our social media community and encourage women to share how cannabis has helped them thrive.”
Ullman shares that she first became interested in the cannabis industry about three years ago. She initially started experimenting with cannabis as a young teen, but often had more bad experiences than good. “I would often get high and then feel really sick, with stomach aches, vomiting, and terrible anxiety. I smoked on and off throughout my teens and early twenties but after one too many panic attacks, I decided that it wasn’t for me.” Many of her friends used cannabis and she was always jealous of their ability to smoke, relax, and have fun. She saw the benefits, but says she wasn’t able to experience them at the time.
In her later teens, Ullman put cannabis on hold. During a short stint living in Colorado, Ullman rediscovered cannabis by visiting a dispensary and buying her first edible.
“It was really revolutionary to me that I could get such a controlled dose. I’ve traveled a lot in my life and visiting places like California, Colorado, and Amsterdam made me realize that there is no real reason why everyone can’t have access to cannabis. Watching the laws change and seeing where the industry was headed, I knew that people would respond well to a site like Miss Marijuana.”
For Ullman, cannabis has helped her learn how to relax and stop stressing out all the time.
One of the biggest myths surrounding marijuana, says Ullman, is that it makes you “lazy or too tired to be productive.” Another myth is that cannabis will always make you “high.” She would love to see and hear people talk more about cannabis, preferably in the same way they would talk about taking an Ibuprofen or an over-the-counter drug.
“I think there needs to be more resources and education for people to figure out how to use the right doses of cannabis so that they can function normally without being too high.”
CBD-laced items have been popping up everywhere lately. Most recently, the drugstore chain CVS announced its plan to sell CBD products in hundreds of its stores, according to a report by NBC News.
Ullman says CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound derived from the cannabis plant that works to reduce inflammation, calm the mind, relax the muscles, and promote healing. “It’s not psychoactive like THC, so you won’t get high. When choosing a CBD, I like to look for a product that is sustainably grown, organic, full spectrum, and third-party tested.”
Ullman shares that one of the biggest issues right now is deciphering genuine CBD from “the stuff that isn’t so great. I think it will become easier over time.”
Miss Marijuana is currently focused on sharing stories from women about using cannabis for pain management, chronic illness and mental health.
“People are super excited to share how cannabis has been helping them feel better and live normal lives. We also cover lifestyle pieces from CBD cocktail bars and cannabis retreats to decorating for the holidays using cannabis. Readers seem to be very into our content about using cannabis to heal.”
In recent months, Miss Marijuana has published various stories that spotlight women who use cannabis for different, personal reasons. For instance, a mom shared her experience using cannabis and CBD oil for her chronic illness, and a physician shared insight on why many people are turning to CBD oil for depression and mental health.
Ullman believes that more women are increasingly moving towards cannabis for pain management.
“Women are incredible and we try to do it all. Sometimes we have to be great mothers, daughters, wives, and professionals all at the same time. People are always taking from us, and most of the time, we are happy to give, but women need to be able to give back to themselves when they need it most. Women are natural nurturers so it makes sense that we would gravitate towards a plant that we can grow, tend to, and then use to take care of ourselves.”
Ullman says she hopes more people will feel inspired and empowered to share their stories about the benefits of cannabis for health and wellness.
“We can stick together and empower each other so that one day everyone can have access to this plant to heal.”
-Written by Monica Luhar, for Mornings with Moni