Why I’m Choosing Hemp

Jessica Assaf
4 min readJan 18, 2019


Life is not linear, and in the last two years as a solo entrepreneur, I have felt just as many lonely lows as transformative highs. Behind the shiny curtain of Instagram, I spent a large portion of those years silently suffering alone, anxiously self-funding a blooming cannabis community, living like I was in survival mode and as a result, unable to fulfill my lifelong mission to use business to improve health. I also began to see the inherent limitations of cannabis as a true wellness tool.

When I graduated from Harvard Business School in 2016 and started Cannabis Feminist, I thought I had all of the answers. I assumed that after California legalized recreational cannabis, the mainstream public would be open to exploring cannabis, in all of its forms. As I settled into my new home in Los Angeles, I knew there was an undeniable opportunity to reposition the plant to create a revolution in health, but I didn’t know exactly what that revolution would look like or what my place in it would be. I just knew I had to do it and I hoped to be on the front lines driving change.

For two years, my team and I hosted monthly cannabis women’s circles and Tupperware-style parties in people’s homes all over Los Angeles — in an effort to create a safe space for women to try cannabis for the first time. Female-led cannabis brands could sample and sell product at these events and we helped thousands of people find cannabis products for their individual needs. I also built a digital community of over fifty-thousand Cannabis Feminists across social media. Though we created an intimate platform for dialogue within the cannabis community, we couldn’t reach the mainstream public in a meaningful way.

In my time talking to hundreds of people about cannabis and health, I learned that for many people, especially mothers, the high is more of a low. With a million tasks on daily to-do-lists and the responsibility of caring for other lives, many mothers feel the psychoactive element of cannabis is not healthy, helpful or enjoyable. Though I have been openly self-medicating with cannabis for years, I started to question my own daily habits, unsure if my current relationship with cannabis is working for or against me. And I realized that for the people I want to help, including mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, and all of the people (like me) dealing with stress and anxiety, they may not need the high to heal.

After months of searching, I found a better solution to help all people access the power of plants. She’s cannabis’ sober female botanical cousin, hemp. Hemp contains the beneficial and synergistic cannabinoids, terpenes, and active compounds, including high levels of cannabidiol, or CBD, but without the psychoactivity of THC. Hemp is also federally legal, protected by the recently passed 2018 Farm Bill, and hemp is considered safe and effective for both humans and animals.

Hemp-based cannabinoids support our Endocannabinoid System, the master regulatory system of the body, and help us stay in balance, protecting our cells, organs and immune system. Hemp-based cannabinoids have the potential to relieve stress and anxiety, and maybe even replace alcohol, opioids, and other addictive drugs. Preliminary studies show they may also have the potential to prevent and treat diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and conditions like epilepsy. I believe hemp-based cannabinoids will help us all live better, longer lives.

When I found hemp, I also found a team of fellow health champions, heart-aligned leaders and natural product experts to build a brand and new life philosophy that will truly transform people’s lives. Together we are creating a science-driven wellness brand making CBD and hemp-based cannabinoids safe and accessible for everyone, with higher standards, uncompromising integrity and care that will guide the industry forward. Though hemp is certainly one of our hero ingredients, we stand for a much broader solution, one that includes daily rituals for self-care and emotional support.

The cannabinoid market is still new and underdeveloped, and we are hyper-focused to ensure the hemp and CBD industries are built with purity, testing rigor, and safety. Committed to education first, we are launching a content platform in March to educate about hemp and health and mobilize a community interested in learning with us as we grow. I am grateful to be a part of this radical generational transformation to elevate the superpowers of this feminine plant and help the mainstream public understand that hemp is a critical wellness tool for us and future generations.

With the unified goal of health over all else, we welcome everyone to heal, learn and rise together. We hope you’ll join us.



Jessica Assaf

Entrepreneur and activist on a mission to use business to transform health and wellbeing. Co-founder + Chief Education Officer of Prima. www.prima.co