Celebrity Whoopi Goldberg announced a new line of cannabis products marketed towards women to relieve and manage symptoms of menstruation. The star of Sister Act, and more importantly Sister Act 2, has been outspoken about her marijuana usage for years, famously writing an article for The Cannabist about her love affair with her marijuana vaporizer pen that is dubbed “Sippy”. Goldberg teamed up with Maya Elisabeth, the founder of a medical edible company called Om Edibles.
Joining the ranks of other celebrities and pot icons, such as Snoop Dogg and the Marley family, she says she has a different motive. In an interview with Vanity Fair she said,
“Smoking a joint is fine, but most people can’t smoke a joint and go to work. For me, I feel like if you don’t want to get high high, this is a product specifically just to get rid of discomfort.”
The new “Whoopi & Maya” brand of products includes a balm, tincture, raw sipping cocoa, and a THC infused bath soak. All the products are infused with marijuana, and all of them are aiming to reduce the cramps and pain that come with periods. Goldberg’s motivations for the move into this market are her adult family members and her own “lifetime of difficult periods and the fact that cannabis was literally the only thing that gave me relief”. The labeling of the Whoopi & Maya line is chic and relaxing. The dark steel blue color with gold lettering invokes the feeling of a high quality spa day, made more relaxing because it is in the comfort of your own house. Let’s be honest: the bath sounds heavenly.
The brand seems set to launch without a hitch, but critics say that the science behind her product does not seem solid. Psychopharmacologist Karl Franson of the University of Colorado, Denver, says that soaking up THC topically through your skin is not the most effective way to treat pain, not to mention the sticky tub. Inhaling THC is a very fast acting and effective method at treating pain and controlling your dose is easy, but when you soak or rub on a cream it is tougher to tell how much THC you absorb. Typically creams, gels, and bath soaks produce a much slower and subtle high. Franson says it’s kind of like digging a hole with a spoon instead of a shovel.
Perhaps that is the problem, this western medicine attitude of using a shovel when a spoon would do. Goldberg laughs when describing how she is filling a niche, “if you can call 50% of people a niche”. To Goldberg though this is not a laughing matter as she told USA TODAY:
“I want to go nice and slow with this. I don’t want this to be a joke to people. It’s not a joke to women,”
This product line is a much needed change of strategy towards women’s menstrual pain, a “spoon” of alternative relief as opposed to the “shovel” that women are used to. Some women, like Goldberg, have been taking the Aleve and Tylenol for years and never see results. The Whoopi & Maya website says that even Queen Victoria found relief once a month in her THC tincture, and if it’s good enough for a queen… Well, what more can I say?