New Jersey is one of the most restrictive states to allow medical marijuana, but the state is considering adding menstrual cramps to the list of approved conditions. Thanks to the press surrounding the new Whoopi & Maya brand cannabis products made specifically to treat menstrual cramps, the issue is getting a lot of attention lately. That led Assemblyman Tim Eustace to submit legislation on Friday that, if passed, will make medical marijuana available for use to women with severe menstrual cramps.
There are currently only 10 conditions that are listed as covered under New Jersey’s very strict medical marijuana law. The program has only been available since the medical marijuana registry opened in August, 2012, and since then, the state has only authorized 6,527 patients to use cannabis products to treat their ailments. Chronic pain is on that short list of medical conditions, but menstrual cramps are not considered chronic since they only happen once a month. Instead, only severe pain such as that suffered by cancer and HIV/Aids patients is covered under the New Jersey law.
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) March 30, 2016
While medical marijuana has been proven effective in relieving pain associated with menstrual cramps, very few states actually list that as a condition to qualify for medical treatment. According to the report, part of that is due to a lower number of female cannabis users. Based on statistics, which show that men are much more likely to use cannabis, some have written off menstrual cramps as something women would use medical marijuana to relieve. Instead, they have previously believed that women just weren’t interested and did not put effort into researching and marketing products for women.
Whoopi Goldberg has been working to change the way the marijuana industry views woman and it is working. Since Whoopi joined up with Maya Elisabeth, the owner of Om Edibles, to create a line of marijuana products specifically designed for women, awareness has definitely increased.
“Every month women experience pain and discomfort associated with their period. Cannabis is a wonderful remedy, and combined with other superfoods and medicinal herbs, can provide the type of relief many women need,” Maya said of their new brand and products. Whoopi & Maya plan to release scented or unscented bath soaks, tincture, cream and marijuana-infused chocolate.
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) April 8, 2016
If passed, legislation allowing medical marijuana for menstrual cramps will ease the heavy restrictions to the program in New Jersey. It will also set a precedent for legalization for medical use in other states. Currently, there is very little attention given to symptoms and conditions in women that could be treated by cannabis. Many are hoping that with the Whoopi & Maya line of marijuana products as well as the increased easing of regulations in the industry, that women will have an easier time finding natural sources of relief for things like menstrual pain. Not to mention that many women suffer other conditions like ovarian cysts and endometriosis that cause more serious suffering. All of those conditions could be treated with marijuana rather than opioids and other less-safe pain relievers.
Currently, marijuana is legal for medical use in almost 20 states. It is also legal for recreational use in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. New York is the most recent state to allow medical marijuana and New Jersey has even discussed legalizing the plant for recreational use. As marijuana laws ease nationwide, it’s certain that we will see many other uses for medical and recreational marijuana. Many even believe that more women use it than polls indicate and often they just don’t admit it out of fear. As products like the Whoopi & Maya line gain popularity to treat women’s issues like menstrual cramps, that will likely change too.
[Image via AP Photos]