Female Scientists Are Blinding Us With Science
Female Scientists in History
“I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy,” said Marie Curie. It was during her acceptance speech for her Nobel Prizes at the turn of the twentieth century. Over one hundred years later, her spiritual successors find a lot to battle in the cannabis industry, as legal limits on research still pose problems.
Women in STEM
So, did you know that the opportunities for women in STEM are exploding? Thus, the green frontiers of the magical plant are the most exciting Wonderland of all. Here are the Alices, the marvelous minds, spearheading the discoveries about to change our world as we know it. Curie and her daughters would be proud.
Dr. Junella “June” Chin is a fascinating medical practitioner in the cannabis space today. Why? Because her focus is integrative medicine, an area which examines health and wellness holistically. This focus leads the discovery of alternative treatments. It paves the way for cannabis to be worked into patients’ routines. This leads to a new way to treat patients, alongside traditional methods like pharmaceuticals and chemotherapy.
“Medical cannabis is not a silver bullet,” Chin says, but she has devoted her career to helping patients gain access to the plant after experiencing for herself the tremendous healing power of CBD. As a teenager growing up in the Bronx, Chin was diagnosed with the debilitating spinal disease ankylosis spondylitis. She suffered from chronic pain and could barely stand. This was while Dr. Chin was performing her rounds in medical school.
Then, when an attending physician suggested she try cannabis oil, it completely transformed Chin’s life. Finally, she was able to manage her chronic pain. So, she decided to practice in California where medical marijuana and been legalized in 1996. A decade later, Chin returned to New York. It was a time when NY’s cannabis regulations opened up and became exploratory.
Chin is currently the Chief Medical Advisor for the acclaimed online medical cannabis news source CannabisMD. She is also involved with New York’s Artemis CBD retail shop. And an award-winning luxury CBD brand, Saint Jane Beauty and the renowned 1:1 brand Bloom Farms. This is all in addition to treating countless patients on both coasts.
CBD for Health and Wellness
Aways in high demand for her expertise, Chin speaks at numerous international conferences. Her work is featured on outlets that include NBC’s Today Show, the New York Times, HuffPost, and more. Her book, Cannabis & CBD for Health & Wellness, was published in June 2019. She co-wrote it with Ellementa founder and tech pioneer Aliza Sherman. The book’s aim is to reach mass audiences and pass along the basics of healthy living through cannabinoid regimens. We’ll take this doc’s advice any time!
To learn more about June Chin, check out our video interview on Honey Talks.
Knox Family of Doctors
This family of MDs is changing the game on medical cannabis through integrative care. The amazing Knox Docs are the founders of American Cannabinoid Clinics. It’s an organization educating patients on evidence-based cannabinoid treatment. It provides access to the best healthcare while simultaneously doing groundbreaking research. Together, they push the plant’s wellness capabilities more than ever before.
Dr. Janice Knox, matriarch of the family, had 35 years of experience as an anesthesiologist. During that time, she was approached about writing prescriptions for medical cannabis. She studied the plant as medicine, and delved into intense research of the human endocannabinoid system.
Opening the first American Cannabinoid Clinic in Portland, Oregon, Janice convinced her husband David, an emergency room physician for 38 years, to join her. Their daughters Rachel and Jessica completed dual-degree medical and MBA programs from Tufts University. They already had earned undergraduate degrees from Tufts and Harvard respectively. Both daughters saw the value of the clinics, which were expanding from the Portland locale.
Endocannabinoid and POC
It wasn’t long before Rachel and Jessica started working with their parents. Their scientific findings on the endocannabinoid system have been significant to the Black community. Their findings led to proper healthcare access. They were also revered role models. Janice recalls how few doctors of color were in the field at the time of her residency at the University of Washington.
Today the Knox Docs are nationally renowned, sharing their research at conferences nationwide. Currently, they’re fundraising for Advent Academy, a formal education platform. They train many medical professionals who are working with patients’ endocannabinoid systems.
Females Scientists and Docs Are Leading the Way
“I think of this entire industry as a do-over,” Rachel says. “Are we investing in the technologies for hemp [and higher-THC applications]? Are we thinking about how we can use that plant to help our ecosystem and improve our health? To me… it is all integrative.” Janice adds that it’s up to women to lead this revolution. “Take your place!” she advises.
Female Scientists Must Include Trailblazer Chanda Macias
While earning her PhD in Cellular Biology at Howard University, Chanda Macias reached out to a professor. She expressed her wish to study the effects of cannabis on health. The professor dismissed her request. He said cannabis was an area far too risky for a Black scientist to investigate.
Director of STEM
However, Macias knew she was on the trail of something big! Her career had already included biomedical research that led to breakthroughs in understanding the mechanism of prostate cancer metastasis to bone. She came up with oral care solutions and treatment options at Colgate-Palmolive Company. This trailblazing woman became the Director of STEM Education at Howard’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences.
Eventually, “Dr. Chanda,” her nickname, circled back to what had originally captured her attention. In 2015, she founded the National Holistic Healing Center (NHHC) in Washington, D.C. At the time, it was the second medical cannabis dispensary in the U.S. that was owned by a Black woman. Through NHHC, Dr. Chanda promotes education on ailment strain alignment, which pairs particular strains of cannabis to treating pain.
Since joining the cannabis industry, Dr. Chanda has become one of the most influential women in the space. She became the first Black CEO and Chair of Women Grow, the nation’s leading networking organization for professional women in cannabis. That was in 2018. Since then, she works tirelessly toward common-sense federal legislation reform. She does that as the Vice Chair of the National Cannabis Roundtable Board.
Most recently, Macias has helped form significant bedrock for Louisiana’s cannabis industry, by creating Ilera Holistic Healthcare in New Orleans as a sister organization to NHHC. In addition, is responsible for establishing a partnership with The Southern University and A&M College, Louisiana’s oldest historically black university, for a groundbreaking hemp-derived CBD line. The university had begun collaborating with Ilera on a cannabis research program.
Women Are Changing the World of Science
It earned an unprecedented milestone victory as the first HBCU to launch its own CBD product line. Dr. Chanda told Forbes, “As an alum of an HBCU, Howard University, I am truly humbled and proud to be part of this historic moment.” It’s clear that Dr. Chanda’s story is coming full-circle. We eagerly await her continued strides in the field of medical cannabis.
A version of this article was published in Honey Pot’s UNDER THE FEMALE INFLUENCE issue. Read the entire issue here and on our apps for iTunes, Google Play, and Zinio.