Having established quite an interesting online presence as a scientist, educating the public on the endocannabinoid system while also maintaining their identity as a medical cannabis user, Dr. Miyabe Shields is a neurodivergent scientist and a queer person of color. Dr. Shields’ mission is to “empower as many people as possible to understand themselves and their medicine at the molecular scale.”
Dr. Shields parlayed their pharmaceutical background and work studying the molecular mechanisms of cannabis and psychedelics as they relate to mental health into a healthy online following. Through their posts and “Smoke ’n’ Science” podcast, Dr. Shields educates viewers and listeners on crucial facts and falsehoods about the plant. They’re also co-inventors of Smokenol, a process for extracting active compounds from cannabis smoke for application in topicals, tinctures and gummies.
“It often feels like there isn’t a place in society for people like me, so we’re obligated to carve it out ourselves or get crushed into conformity,” Dr. Shields says. “I’d like to see more people question the ingrained gendered behaviors and assumptions that underly gender as a social construction. In other words, why do we attribute certain characteristics as masculine or feminine?”