period pain

Whoopi Goldberg launched a range of cannabis-based products that help with period pain. Photo: David Shankbone

Per the American Academy of Family Physicians, period pain, known to science as dysmenorrhoea, affects about 20 percent of women so much that their daily activities are interfered with, possibly preventing them from working or even leaving their beds.

It has long been known that cannabis is good for period pain ? it started in ancient Mesopotamia, but Queen Victoria used it for her painful cramps, taking it from a syringe rather than joints. She seems to have been grateful, knighting her personal physician, Dr William B O’Shaughnessy, who specialised in the drug. There have, alas, been no formal studies into the matter. Women have reported that regular cannabis-smoking makes periods irregular or shorter, while some have spoken of heightened blood flow.

Hey, let’s talk about breasts – that’s always a good idea

Menstruating women suffered swollen, painful breasts way back in the 11th century and resorted to cannabis cream mixed with lamb fat. These days, topical creams are available, but you won’t find studies that back them up.

Marijuana tampons

Marijuana tampons manufactured by Foria have recently received rave reviews, with women claiming that they lessened period pain and worked longer than conventional painkillers. The product has not been tested in clinical trials, but it’s promising because the pelvic region houses more cannabinoid receptors than any other part of the body with the exception of the brain. A pack of four will set you back $44. Some high will ensue, but not much.

Enter Whoopi Goldberg

Early in 2016, Whoopi Goldberg, a great sleb who currently co-hosts the talk show The View, launched a range of medical marijuana products for women under the name Whoopi & Maya in co-operation with edibles maker, Maya Elisabeth. For funding, Goldberg approached men who wrote off the idea as ?too niche a market.? She points out that ?half of the planet is not a niche market.? She adds that if men were affected, ?there would be all kinds of shit out there for them.?

Backing was eventually received from friends and family members. Products include tinctures, baths salts, a body rub and edibles. Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and director of the Mental Health Policy section at Stanford University, stressed that he intended no disrespect to Goldberg, but ?No doctor is going to recommend marijuana to a patient based on the endorsement of a celebrity.?

What’s happening in Noo Yawk?

In Noo Yawk, a law has been proposed that will mean period pain makes a woman eligible for medical marijuana. Previously, it had been confined to sufferers of chronic pain, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, Huntingdon’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury and neuropathy.

Assembly Bill 582 was passed overwhelmingly (21 to 2) by the New York State Assembly’s Health Committee and now awaits the signature of Governor Andrew Cuomo. The law was put forward by Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat, who commented that since it’s usually men who are governors and presidents, issues that affect only women ?have gotten shortchanged and that?s because it?s not in men?s everyday consciousness.? Smoking or eating cannabis is not permitted in Noo Yawk even for medical purposes, so it would be administered as liquid or capsules.

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