Reality check: Medicinal marijuana for menstrual pain

Is Whoopi Goldberg blowing smoke by selling cannabis products for cramp relief? We asked an expert to weigh in. Whoopi & Maya

Queen Victoria used marijuana to relieve period pain, and now Whoopi Goldberg wants women everywhere to be able to do the same.

This month the vape pen-loving actress launched a medical cannabis menstrual line that promises to ease period cramps (which a male U.K. reproductive health professor recently said can be “as bad as having a heart attack“).

“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,” she told Vanity Fair. “Smoking a joint is fine, but most people can’t smoke a joint and go to work.”

So Goldberg has partnered up with Maya Elisabeth, a leading “canna-businesswoman,” to offer “cannabis edibles, topical rubs and a THC-infused bath.”

READ MORE: Legal marijuana market attracting growing field of savvy investors

“You can put the rub on your lower stomach and lower back at work, and then when you get home you can get in the tub for a soak or make tea,” Golderberg explained, “and it allows you to continue to work throughout the day.”

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What experts have to say about it

U.S.-based gynecologist Dr. Jen Gunter has one major concern about the medical marijuana line: “It seems completely untested.”

She couldn’t find any information on recommended doses or efficacy that would allow her to comment on the effectiveness or potential risk. But she did recommend seeing a gynecologist if a woman has cramps that are severe enough to make her consider untested products.

READ MORE: ‘Herbal womb detox’ has women putting fragrant pearls in their vaginas

Other physicians have “cautioned women against relying on cannabis, arguing that too much THC can lead to paranoia, as well as overeating (the munchies), fatigue and confusion — exacerbating period-related symptoms,” according to Fusion.

“It’s true, if someone had PMS and they used too much [cannabis], they could get anxious or worsen their symptoms,” Ethan Russo, a neurologist and psychopharmacology researcher who has written numerous papers on the effects of cannabis, told the outlet.

“However, a lot of people report benefit on joint pain or muscle pain,” he added.

It’s been pointed out that the stigma surrounding marijuana has been a barrier to medical research.

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The lack of studies on the topic hasn’t stopped budding entrepreneurs from trying to sow their seeds in the field, though (pun intended).

Weed tampons

There are actually cannabis-infused “vaginal suppositories” to help your uterus relax around that time of month. “Foria Relief,” as it’s called, promised to “deliver the medicine directly to where it is needed most.”

One Racked author who tested out the ganja tampons described the experience like this: “It was like if Ativan made a baby with Tylenol, except” rather than inserting pharmaceuticals, it was “just cannabis and cocoa butter.”

Both the weed tampons and Whoopi’s product line use THC topically so you won’t get high from using them.

READ MORE: Vagina Pilates? What you need to know

The Whoopi & Maya line is only available in California at the moment.

But with the prospect of legal pot in Canada’s near future, cannabis investors and business owners are sprouting like, well… weeds.

WATCH: The budding business of weed in Canada

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With files from Andrew Russell, Steve Morales and Angie Seth, Global News

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