Comedienne and media personality Whoopi Goldberg publicly announced that she’s an advocate of medical marijuana. The actress and co-host of the TV show The View said in her first-person essay for the weed advocacy site, The Cannabist, that she vaporizes marijuana regularly to help cope with glaucoma pain, NBC News reported.

Goldberg said she turned to a marijuana vaporizer, or “vape pen,” when traditional painkillers failed her. Since then, she wrote, the new device helped her to finally overcome the debilitating headaches caused by the degenerative eye disease.

According to experts, weed vaporizers such as the one Goldberg uses are quickly becoming popular among medical marijuana users in the United States who are looking for a safer, more discreet alternative to smoking pot.

The devices work much like e-cigarettes. The marijuana vaporizer heats the plant to below the point of combustion. This allows patients to use the drug without filling the room or their lungs with potentially dangerous smoke. Vape pens can also work to relieve pain with just one or two puffs, which may enable certain people to smoke marijuana without feeling the psychoactive effects of “getting high.”

But, critics say vape pens (much like e-cigs) need to be studied more to see if they’re actually safe for users. In addition, the American Glaucoma Society still does not recommend using marijuana in any way to treat glaucoma—despite its proven ability to ease pressure inside the eyes. The reason? Because of the drug’s short duration, side effects and the lack of research conducted on the topic.

For more information about the possible health benefits of marijuana, and the ways scientists and policy makers are navigating the topic, click here.