I suffered from intense menstrual cramps when I was younger. The pain was so severe that I would often vomit or get dizzy and pass out. The medical term for what I was experiencing is dysmenorrhea.
As a result, I usually spent at least two days each menstrual cycle curled up in the fetal position in bed, missing school and work.
My mom took me to the doctor several times but the medications they prescribed either made me sick or didn’t work.
Finally, after six years of dealing with the pain, relief came in the form of a prescription for birth control pills – a hormonal form of birth control that eases the severity of periods, but carries its own risks and side effects.
I know there are scores of women just like me, who suffer from painful periods. Those women are the motivation behind actress Whoopi Goldberg’s new line of “Whoopi & Maya” products, which contain a rather controversial ingredient — marijuana.
That’s right. The popular actress and “The View” co-host teamed up with cannabis industry entrepreneur Maya Elisabeth to create a line of medical marijuana products designed to alleviate women’s menstrual cramping and other period discomfort, MarketWatch reports.
The products, which launched last month, include an Epsom salt bath (called Soak), raw chocolate (Savor), body balm (Rub) and tincture (Relax), all of which are infused with cannabis.
“People don’t realize that if you’ve got cramps, it’s no joke — you lose productivity at work, at school. You are unable to do anything for two days when those cramps hit, and sometimes longer. Then there’s [premenstrual syndrome], all kinds of stuff,” Goldberg told MarketWatch. “The things we’ve created will help. Will it help every woman on the planet? No, but it will help a lot of them.”
According to the Associated Press, lawmakers in New Jersey are considering relaxing the state’s strict medical marijuana law to include menstrual cramps as an ailment authorized for medical marijuana.
“People have this puritanical idea that it’s a bunch of potheads sitting in these dispensaries, but there are some very sick patients in need,” Tim Eustace, a Democratic Assembly member in New Jersey who co-sponsored a bill giving the green light to add menstrual cramps as an ailment authorized for medical marijuana use, told the AP.
Goldberg told MarketWatch that women can still get the benefits of marijuana during their menstrual cycle without having to get high.
“You may not need to ingest anything — you can put it on your dermis, rub it in, and that will help relax your cramps. It’s another thing to think about how to make it feel better,” she said.
Whoopi & Maya products are only available in California — one of the 24 states, plus Washington, D.C., where medical marijuana has been legalized. Recreational pot use is legal in Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska.
Marijuana use is still prohibited at the federal level.
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