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Drugs

Whoopi Goldberg Has a Cure for Menstrual Cramps: Medical Marijuana

The TV host is launching a product line aimed at a "niche" market that includes half of all women.

Photo Credit: By Photographer is Daniel Langer, dlanger on flickr.com. Copyright is held by Daniel Langer and Comic Relief, Inc. (http://flickr.com/photos/dlanger/310838776/) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Comedian Whoopi Goldberg is the latest celebrity to jump on the marijuana products bandwagon, but unlike stoner heroes such as Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and Bob Marley, Goldberg is aiming at the medicinal market, not the recreational one.

On Tuesday, The View host announced her own medical marijuana business, which will sell marijuana-infused edibles and salves designed to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps. She is partnering with edibles maker Maya Elisabeth in the company simply named Whoopi & Maya.

Goldberg makes no bones about publicly supporting marijuana, and she told the the Daily Beast she was spurred to act on behalf of the more than 50 percent of women who report painful cramps each month, herself included.

“When I asked whether there was medicinal cannabis out there to give relief to women with cramps, I was told that would be a ‘niche’ product,” Goldberg told the Daily Beast. “We’re here for that niche, which is made up of half the population.”

Goldberg said that her venture into medical marijuana was inspired by "a lifetime of difficult periods" and her dissatisfaction with products "filled with ingredients [I] couldn't pronounce." Her goal, she said, was for Whoopi & Maya to become "the gold standard for the medical cannabis industry."

The company's initial product line, coming in April, will include a "raw sipping chocolate" infused with CBD and THC, a topical salve for localized pain, a THC-infused bath soak, and a tincture for "serious discomfort."

Partner Maya Elisabeth, founder of Om Edibles, said the products would be a boon to women suffering menstrual distress.

“Every month women experience pain and discomfort associated with their period. Cannabis is a wonderful remedy and, combined with other superfoods and medicinal herbs, can provide the type of relief many women need,” she said.

While the company is a new venture for Goldberg, she has detailed her positive experiences with marijuana for pain relief as a columnist for the Denver Post’s weed blog The Cannabist. Goldberg wrote about suffering from glaucoma and its associated severe headaches, and taking Advil daily for years, until she discovered vaping.

"I took a sip. It was beautiful. And my pen and I have been together ever since,” she wrote in the column, headlined “My Vape Pen and I, a Love Story.” “The vape pen has changed my life. No, I’m not exaggerating,” she wrote. “With each sip comes relief—from pressure, pain, stress, discomfort.”

Now she wants to help other women gain that same relief and she scoffs at concerns that the use of marijuana for menstrual cramps hasn't been studied enough.

“How can you have a male expert tell any woman what works for her period? Just because they haven’t done the studies does not mean women haven’t been finding relief wherever they can,” she told the Daily Beast. “I can’t say that every woman will find relief from our product, but the ones that do, will be better for it. If you or someone you love has difficult, painful periods, you may find that this helps,” she said. “I want women to know that there might be a solution that will change their lives in a positive way.”

Phillip Smith is editor of the AlterNet Drug Reporter and author of the Drug War Chronicle.

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