Fifty-nine-year-old Whoopi Goldberg is well known for appearing in movies, on television shows, and on Broadway, and while she speaks very openly about her personal life in interviews and on "The View", many people don't realize that the star suffers from glaucoma.
Describing the symptoms of the conditions, Whoopi explained, "These glaucoma-induced headaches come on like freight trains — like, BOOM, my head starts hurting, my eyes start bugging, my whole body starts to tense up."
If you're not familiar with glaucoma, it's a group of eye conditions that lead to damage to the optic nerve. This nerve carries visual information from the eye to the brain. In most cases, damage to the optic nerve is due to increased pressure in the eye, also known as intro-ocular pressure. People with glaucoma often suffer pain, as Whoopi describes, and can suffer from vision loss due to the disease.
Medical marijuana is a natural and effective treatment for glaucoma that reduces pain by easing pressure that builds behind the eye. To treat her discomfort, Goldberg uses a marijuana vaporizer to inhale medical cannabis.
Before she discovered the dry herb vaporizer pen, she was taking conventional pain medication that just wasn't working. As she explained in her own words, "I used to take Advil by the handful for this very reason, and I don't take Advil anymore — not for my eyes. You're not supposed to eat Advil every day, and I was eating them every day, these man-made things."
Whoopi is correct. Studies have shown that taking pain relievers like ibuprofen on a daily basis can lead to serious medical problems, including stomach irritation. Luckily, the actress found a more natural option with legal medical marijuana.
After struggling to smoke marijuana for pain relief, Whoopi was introduced to tabletop vaporizers by her daughter. Although vaping proved to be easier, Whoopi found that the desktop vaporizer model made treatment too complicated. Finally, she discovered the vape pen, with the help of her daughter, and found the best way for her to get the benefits of marijuana for glaucoma.
"The vape pen has changed my life. No, I'm not exaggerating. In fact, her name is Sippy. Yes, she's a she. And yes, I named her Sippy," said Goldberg of her vapor pen.
She went on to state, "My vape pen and I maintain a mostly private relationship. Sure, I'll sometimes show my pen to a friend or share her with a close confidant. But mostly it's just she and I working through my pain. And her ability to help me live comfortably with glaucoma makes her one of the more important figures in my day to day."
It's refreshing to see an A-list celebrity like Whoopi Goldberg being open about using medical marijuana. It's important that people have access to medical marijuana, and the right tools for administering it, like wax pen and herbal vaporizers. Cannabis has been shown to help people with so many types of conditions, and while perceptions about its use have become to shift for the better, more work is needed.
When well-respected people like Whoopi enter the conversation, more minds are changed about the medical marijuana legalization.