Maya Elisabeth is CEO of Whoopi & Maya, a brand of medical cannabis products co-founded by Whoopi Goldberg and geared towards women who experience menstrual discomfort. Maya is also the Owner & Founder of Om Edibles, an all-female collective that has won eight Cannabis Cups across multiple categories as well as an Emerald Cup.

Photo: Allison Beckett

We caught up with her this week – here’s what we learned.

  • The biz has changed: “It went from being as anonymous and non-descriptive as you possibly can to brand, brand, brand! If your stuff is not branded now, you’re definitely not going to get on the shelf. Aside from the branding, there are other benefits: We get to correctly mark things with how many mg’s they have; that makes patients able to find success with cannabis medicine and consistent products.”
  • There’s been an attitude shift: “It has taken a long time, but with cannabis, the education piece is so important. People have been told things that are not necessarily true about cannabis. Now, the Sanjay Gupta story and all the research that’s coming out about CBD has really helped.”
  • It’s more than a high: “I view cannabis as a healing herb and superfood. A superfood is something that is nutrient-dense and that you can use many parts of. So the hemp seeds are filled with omegas that are really hard to get in your diet,  juicing the fresh buds and leaves – using topicals, using the CBD – which are not psychoactive. The high is really a side effect that is desired by many but not by all.”
  • We have 200+ cannabinoid receptors: “Why would we have all these receptors? Our body produces cannabinoids. In your mother’s colostrum, before her breast milk hits your mouth, the very first thing to touch your mouth is actually an endo-cannabinoid. Why would a cannabinoid touch a baby’s mouth? To stimulate the appetite and literally give it the munchies. Then you start to nurse and you survive.”
  • Period woes? Try cannabis. “Maybe you have bad cramps and you’re at work, so you can’t be high and can’t take time off work. Have a couple scoops of the CBD cacao; the magnesium in the cacao relaxes your muscles, and the CBD is an anti-inflammatory for your muscles, so it helps with pain. It lifts your mood and helps with anxiety and depression. It also tastes absolutely delicious.”

Maya will be appearing in Toronto this week for the first-ever O’Cannabiz Conference & Expo — a three-day event from April 21 to 23 gathering patients, physicians, licensed producers and industry vanguards to explore the future of cannabis in Canada.