I’ve spent the better part of my life standing up for issues that were important to me. As an activist, I’ve championed human rights, social issues and concerns of the disenfranchised, among other things. My latest venture concerns a social issue near and dear to my heart: the right for women to have access to the analgesic and other therapeutic qualities of cannabis.

Whoopi Goldberg attends Netflix’s “Quincy” New York Special Screening on September 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Netflix)

The gradual decriminalization and legalization of cannabis is critical to the well-being of our society. Prescription marijuana can safely help patients cope with life threatening ailments and chronic pain, and recreational marijuana provides a holistic alternative to narcotics and alcohol. There is however a middle ground between dire need and recreation. Many of the plant’s therapeutic properties are uniquely tailored to helping with everyday women’s health issues. Cannabis is effective at relieving menstrual pain because of the high concentration of endocannabinoid receptors found in and around the uterus. Skin care is essential to women’s health and topical products are effective for treating skin conditions and protective against environmental stresses. It is only female cannabis plants that blossom into buds, and the botanical has been documented in treating women’s issues since ancient times.

Several years ago I gave up smoking cigarettes, and unfortunately that included rolled weed. Afterwards, my discomfort from glaucoma resurfaced. Then something important happened to me. My daughter gave me my first vape pen, and I began to see marijuana as the medicine it is. I realized there were other ways to ingest cannabis without damaging my lungs. That began my journey into the medical cannabis market. I wanted to cultivate the finest products designed specifically to treat menstrual discomfort. I feel that in this burgeoning industry, it is vitally important for women to be spoken to directly by women about products made for women. So, I teamed up with cannabis pioneer Maya Elisabeth to create Whoopi & Maya, a line of cannabis derived epsom salts and menstrual relief rubs now available to women over 21 in California. We are innovators in the industry and strive to be innovators in communicating our message to women — who often face challenges that are dismissed by the political and medical establishment.

Related: Cannifornian reviews of Whoopi & Maya products: RubRelaxSoakSavor

As an innovator in women’s health care, it is critical that we team up with meaningful and reputable platforms to spread our message of feminine relief far and wide. In that vein, I’m proud to announce my partner Maya will be joining the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition in Los Angeles this September 26-29th to moderate a panel on female issues in cannabis. It’s an empowerment event that I’ve also been privileged to participate in in years past. Women are among a great number of people who have been persecuted and vilified for far too long for using cannabis products. Now that the tide is turning, women are still often in the dark about the specific and tremendous benefits they can receive from this female plant and this budding business. I’ve spent my whole life delivering messages I believe in. I’m proud to be on the front lines of women’s health with a product I believe in. I want to get the word out to everyone with two x chromosomes that there are holistic and therapeutic ways to mitigate the pain of our natural cycles.

Californians are lucky to live in the state which was the earliest adopter of this medicine and one of the most progressive places in the country. Much has been done here to heal the divide that tragically pitted some segments of society against others in the name of the cannabis plant. However, half of the population remains in the relative dark when it comes to specific applications related to their biology. Many women still believe that legalized cannabis products are all about getting stoned or high. Nothing can be further from the truth. In this age of feminist awareness, it’s important for women to realize that our needs are as unique as a budding flower.

Whoopi Goldberg is on a short list of performers to have won an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award and a Tony Award. She has moderated and co-hosted “The View” on ABC since 2007. Whoopi & Maya products are available at dispensaries throughout California or at www.whoopiandmaya.com. The Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition is taking place from September 26th-29th at the LA Convention Center. This article was first published at OCRegister.com.