Many actors and musicians are known to leverage their celebrity status to build a business empire. Our Elle Macpherson has her own lingerie line. Britney Spears has a series of fragrances. Even Russell Crowe has delved into the lucrative world of running eateries and football teams alike.
But actress and talk show host, Whoopi Goldberg, has taken the celeb business model to new heights by launching her very own line of medicinal marijuana products.
The new line of lotions, bath soaks, edible treats, and therapeutic oils, produced alongside edible food maker, Maya Elisabeth, has been specifically designed for women to reduce cramps and period pain.
Goldberg, who is determined to have her products to be taken seriously, says she is not interested in providing a platform for recreational cannabis use. Her health line is for medicinal usage alone, she emphasises.
“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,” Goldberg told USA Today.
Beyond regular monthly discomfort, cramps can be symptomatic of serious medical conditions like dysmenorrhea or endometriosis, meaning Goldberg's could provide more effective relief for these women than simple painkillers.
Medicinal Cannibis Australia tells SBS Life cannabis can be successfully used to treat period pain, and has been used to do so throughout history.
"It is in our opinion that medicinal cannabis can assist with the pain associated with menstrual cramps. This can be taken orally in food/oils, or the dried plant can be vaporised.
"This has been done throughout history. Queen Victoria even spoke about the relief that cannabis gave her for her menstrual cramps," says the organisation.
Period pain is an important issue for women. Even the UK has recently entertained the idea of a monthly period leave, allowing women to rest for a day or two whilst suffering from cramps and bloating.
As passionate as she is about her products, Goldberg says getting her cannabis line off the ground was not easy.
“They always came back with: ‘That’s too niche a market,’” she told Glamour. “It’s like, half of the planet is not a niche market! Most guys don’t have any idea what a period is or how it works. It’s like, ‘There’s a vagina, and there’s an egg ...’”
Goldberg's business partner, Maya Elisabeth, with whom she forms the company called Whoopi & Maya, also shared her views with the magazine, saying their products, though strong enough to be effective, was perfect for first time users.
“This is a great introductory line to first-time cannabis users because two of the items are topicals, which don’t get you high,” Elisabeth said. “And one product, the cocoa, can be made only with CBD (cannabidiol), which is a very subtle but powerful mood elevator that helps with anxiety and depression, and is an anti-inflammatory.”
For now, these health products are only available in California, and to those with medical marijuana cards.
Cannabis is illegal at the federal level in the US.