Carrie Mapes and Patty Pappas
Photo Courtesy: Hello Again
Initially I was hesitant to take on this topic, menopause. Why? Being a man, I couldn’t possibly understand (I don’t, really) nor would I ever experience the thrills and deep joys of menopause. (I wouldn’t have that sports car either from what is described as Male Menopause. It doesn’t exist for men, no matter how we plead.) But actually I have experienced menopause from afar, however I won’t go into that in this article. Good thing really. But enough of what I know or better yet, don’t know about menopause. What I do know is that THC and CBD when combined in carefully metered doses (at the source) offer a deep form of relief that just has to be shared in my column. No matter what your personal thoughts are about taking any form of cannabis, this product that I discovered named Hello Again is Taking on Menopause… at the Source. Check it out!
As any woman of a certain age (or her family and friends) can tell you, menopause is anything but predictable or pleasant. Telltale signs like hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, chills, weight gain, and changes in sex drive can be common symptoms experienced by all women at varying degrees of intensity. Again, all that I know is that I should stay very cognizant of menopause. Hopefully this product will alleviate the ills. Anything to make things better.
Because women have vastly different menopause experiences, there still isn’t a medically agreed upon panacea for the condition. It’s no wonder that courses of treatment – everything from old-school pharmaceutical hormone therapy to new-age holistic treatments – can pose a real dilemma for women trying to find relief. The stress of the trial and error process to determine what works only amplifies the frustration women already feel in this situation.
A year and a half ago, Carrie Mapes and Patty Pappas decided to do something about it. The two friends who met through their teenagers who attended school together, had heard the buzz around CBD and THC infused products. They knew of the compound’s broad applications for a variety of medical conditions, and understood that in microdoses, CBD and THC infused products were neither psychoactive or addictive. Intrigued, they wondered if it was, perhaps, a solution to problems that plagued their “own demographic.”
Photo Courtesy: Hello Again
Together, Carrie and Patty created Hello Again, a THC-infused vaginal suppository combination – they call it a vagitory – that can help a menopausal woman feel “herself” again. The launch of their website is timed for today – National Menopause Day — to not only raise awareness for millions of women struggling with the condition in silence, but also to show their community that there are holistic complementary treatments available that can drastically improve their quality of life. The product will be hitting California dispensaries soon – expect to see Hello Again on shelves in a (hot) flash.
The co-founders understand that while menopause is inevitable for all women, it does not have to be debilitating and relief is possible outside of traditional medicine. Hello Again wants to give women struggling with menopause a way to flourish in life, regardless of their hormone levels.
Though neither were recreational cannabis users, they were intrigued by the medicinal properties of THC which ranged from reducing anxiety, chronic pain, and inflammation to eliminating insomnia —all of which were solutions to symptoms that aligned closely with menopause.
“Since cannabis became legal in California, I started experimenting with a variety of products, from edibles to vapes to patches and creams,” says Patty. “I think back to my most symptomatic, early years entering menopause and realized that using cannabis could have changed my life, and I didn’t want women to continue missing this incredible relief.”
As vaginal dryness is one of the more distressing symptoms of menopause, the two women feel that their product “works best right there, on location.” Dr. Melanie Bone, a certified Ob Gyn who has been licensed to practice medical cannabis care in Florida since 2016, supports the use of cannabis to alleviate and regulate menopausal symptoms and agrees that a suppository is an innovative delivery system..
“I feel that suppositories are a wonderful delivery system for all sorts of treatments,” says Dr. Bone. “The vaginal mucosa is able to absorb hormones and cannabinoids readily. This is another delivery system that is efficient and effective because it bypasses the liver, allowing the components to be delivered intact to the body without being first metabolized (altered) by the liver.”
One application a day is usually enough, and it takes only minutes to work. In addition to a balanced ratio of THC and CBD, the suppository also includes number of botanicals including green tea extract which provides added anti-inflammatory benefits. Since it is not a pharmaceutical product, Hello Again can be used like a supplement and does not require the user to stop taking any other hormone therapy medications. The suppositories melt quickly with minimal to no leakage, protect the pH balance of the vaginal tract, provide soothing moisturization and have a pleasant, clean smell.
Through their journey to create this product, they spoke with experts and leaders in the field, ranging from Ob/GynS like Dr. Bone to cannabis expert Dr. Jeff Chen. “Before broader testing, we naturally tried the products ourselves and have been doing so consistently since January” explained Carrie. “I have found that semi-regular use keeps my temperature, mood and sleep systems in balance.”
Patty understands that individuals in her demographic may have reservations about incorporating THC in their menopause management plans but assures potential customers that low-dose THC solutions like Hello Again can be a low-risk product with high rewards.
“The stereotypical experience of being high, as I understood it, was never appealing,” admitted Patty. “However, this journey has taught me that this isn’t about getting high – it’s about getting better. Cannabis, with targeted use, can help women who have resigned themselves to tolerating their symptoms.”