In her debut article last week as a columnist for The Cannabist, an online, cannabis-oriented branch of Colorado’s The Denver Post, TV and movie-star Whoopi Goldberg confessed her deep and passionate love for a vape pen she’s named “Sippy.”
Two years ago, after quitting cigarettes, Goldberg writes that she first tried smoking a joint to help endure her painful case of glaucoma. Smoking cannabis straight, however, proved too harsh and uncomfortable of an experience, she explained, so a few months later her daughter introduced her to a magical thing: the vape pen. These days, Goldberg tells us, “Mostly it’s just she (Sippy) and I working through my pain. And her ability to help me live comfortably with glaucoma makes her one of the most important figures in my day to day.”
Glaucoma is an eye condition that damages the optic nerve, the thing responsible for sending visual information that’s collected by our eyes to our brain for processing. It can lead to permanent damage of the eye(s), and will cause blindness if left untreated (in fact, glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness in the world). Symptoms include intense headaches and a strong sensation of pressure building up behind the afflicted eye(s). Goldberg describes her own run-ins with the pain, and how she’s learned to combat it with Sippy’s smooth, vaporized medical marijuana:
“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. But then I find her, and it relaxes everything and calms everything. It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It’s wonderful.”
Goldberg explains that she’s not in it just to get high — rather, she believes that she has finally found an avenue of actual relief from her medical condition. “I used to take Advil by the handful for this very reason, and I don’t take Advil anymore — not for my eye.” In the end, Goldberg argues that “it‘s important for people to know that there are alternatives out there to pain management, and this one is particularly magical.”
Also, “a lot of the new pot is too strong,” she writes, so having the vape pen always helps keep her medication in moderation:
“If my headache is just starting, I know a short sip will take care of it. If the pressure inside my head is pounding, then two or three sips is a better prescription…. I can do this without hurting myself. It helps that I know when to do it. I have a day job where I need to be clear. But if I need it after the show, she’s there. And if I don’t feel any pain, she stays in my purse.”
The idea of having Goldberg write the column came shortly after she interviewed Ricardo Baca, Editor of The Cannabist, as part of her day job hosting ABC’s The View. The two got along and she expressed unique interest in the industry, and was eventually selected over other celebrity candidates including Miley Cyrus and Michelle Malkin.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the accomplishments of Goldberg’s successful career, she is one of the only artists in the world to have won the Academy, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony awards. Her column at The Cannabist is currently slated to be a bi-monthly publication.
Photo Credit: Cedward Brice
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