A small group of male writer colleagues chuckled wholeheartedly when I told them I’d be interviewing Maya Elisabeth, the co-founder of Whoopi & Maya Synergy, a line of medical cannabis products designed to ease menstrual discomfort.
I found myself, once again, explaining how the medicinal attributes of cannabis are beyond effective when it comes to relieving the cramps, nauseousness and extreme moodiness that accompanies menstruation for many women.
When another man in the room chimed in to say that his spouse uses cannabis to relieve her menstrual discomfort, the laughing came to an end. Apparently, my male colleagues don’t take either medicinal cannabis or menstrual discomfort seriously. But fortunately, one of the most talented edible makers in the industry does. And she recently teamed up with actor Whoopi Goldberg to create the Whoopi & Maya Synergy line — a bath soak, edibles, tinctures and a topical specifically designed to bring women relief during menstruation.
Elisabeth is well-known in the California medical cannabis industry for founding Om Edibles, which has won all kinds of High Times Cannabis Cup awards. She’s from the Bay Area, born and raised, and has a degree in psychology from San Francisco State University.
She’s always been a huge appreciator of cannabis. “It’s simply my way of life,” she told me in a recent phone interview. After she graduated from college, she worked in a San Francisco dispensary. Through her work there, she was exposed to a number of different strains. And she got one of her edibles on the shelf there too.
Circumstances shift, as they do, and when Elisabeth found herself no longer working at the dispensary, she was in position to establish Om Edibles. That was 2008. Here’s the rad thing about Om Edibles — the company sources its cannabis from an all-female collective — that means all female gardeners. “We didn’t set it up that way. We just are really good friends that are really passionate about cannabis miracles.”
So all along, throughout this process of loving and working with cannabis and starting her own business, Elisabeth was becoming an expert on everything from growing seeds into plants, to processing flowers and making extracts, to dispensary operations and actually creating products that go on the shelf.
What a badass, right?
Now here we are in 2016, and she’s just launched this company with Whoopi, who is hip enough to know how much cannabis really helps with menstruation. Whoopi sought her out. Apparently she was inspired by the fact that Queen Victoria used cannabis tincture to ease her menstrual discomfort back in the late 1800s.
Elisabeth is well-versed in the healing powers of cannabis, especially when it comes to periods. “I have always used cannabis for my menstrual relief. Always. I truly believe that cannabis is a women’s herb, [as] well as an everybody herb. But there’s something really special going on when it comes to women and cannabis… I’ve been using it as my ally for my cycle for years.”
Here’s what the Whoopi & Maya Synergy line consists of:
- “Soak” is a bath soak containing Epsom salts, cannabis, skin-nourishing oils and therapeutic grade essential oils. It promotes deep relaxation and offers relief from aches and cramping. It’s available in three fragrances.
- “Savor” is raw organic cacao coupled with cannabis, and it’s designed to help ease inflammation and pain and to help with sleep and irritability. It’s available in both THC and CBD versions.
- “Rub” is a topical salve blended with healing herbs such as white willow bark and St. John’s Wort, and it’s designed to be a luxurious way to relieve cramps and body aches.
- “Relax” is the Synergy tincture, designed to deliver quick and effective relief. It calms the nerves and supports the uterus with herbs like Cramp bark and motherwort. It’s also available in both THC and CBD versions.
The Synergy line is made with ecologically produced, organic, sun-grown cannabis. “We lab test everything,” she says. And “all-in-all, every product has a full cannabinoid spectrum.” And that is intentional. It’s supposed to be a broad spectrum medicine that can work for many different people.
Elisabeth teamed up with an herbalist to design two of the four Synergy products, but the products are exclusively her formulations and feature “herbs that have been supporting women’s health for thousands of years.” It’s one of the things that makes the Whoopi and Maya line unique.
All of the products contain superfoods and nutrient-dense ingredients. “You can pronounce every ingredient. There are no preservatives or chemicals… If you can’t pronounce it, we don’t use it.” And since they offer both CBD and THC versions of the edible and the tincture, they are catering to both sides of the coin — medical patients that want to get high and medical patients that don’t, and everyone in between for that matter.
“We’ve been getting fabulous testimonials about the tincture,” she says. “It’s blowing my mind. I never expected for women to come back and say, ‘Hey Maya, my next period was actually better.’ I realized we’re really onto something here… And it makes perfect sense.” The Whoopi & Maya Synergy line doesn’t just help with your acute symptoms, it also helps with your overall health and with improving your cycle.
Cannabis is an extremely amazing plant ally, she says. “Every product in our line is a moment of self care…things that are good for you and things that we need more of, right?”
“We want to inspire women to do what they love and to take care of themselves. Our intentions are 100 percent positive — to uplift and provide care and relief for patients everywhere through cannabis medicine.”
I agree with Elisabeth when she says that menstruation is a really painful thing that we don’t talk about. “Some girls have it really rough. And we feel like the nature of our line has brought that into the light.” I have found such great relief for my own menstrual discomfort through cannabis over the years. And I personally think the Synergy concept is brilliant and timely.
“It’s basically everything a girl needs on her period. It’s the soak, a rub, a medicine and chocolate.],” says Elisabeth. There’s even THC and CBD versions of the chocolate and the tincture. So these products are set up to be super versatile and for women to have options. “That’s why this whole thing is beautifully intelligent,” she says. “Cannabis can help.”
Congrats to Elisabeth and Whoopi for launching an innovative product line to support women. Keep up the good work, ladies!
Written by Emily Hobelmann