My name is Stephanie Boucher, and I created CannaBotanicals to help bring cannabis back into the modern herbal apothecary, keep it in the hands of the people, and utilize it as the powerful transformational tool that it is.
Like many of us, I discovered cannabis as an early teen and had an intense relationship with it throughout my teen years. In many ways, it opened up my world and made me who I am today, and at the same time my (ab)use was having an incredibly negative impact on my life. It wasn’t long before I felt like I couldn’t handle cannabis in my life anymore — it would trigger massive anxiety, paranoia, discomfort and depression.
Fast forward to many years later, when I found myself living and working on a cannabis farm in Northern California quite by accident (I really traveled there just to work on a vegetable farm) only to find my world blown open a second time.
There in the hills of Mendocino County I discovered a different way of interacting with cannabis. I was living among herbalists and permaculture farmers who approached the plant with respect and with an eye towards holistic wellness, both for the people and for the land. I began to learn about the many ways that cannabis can heal, especially when combined with other herbs, and I followed this trail of bread crumbs to Vermont, to study clinical herbal medicine at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism and to work on the ground floor of the burgeoning medical cannabis industry.
Over the course of the next several years I learned everything I could about cannabis science and herbal medicine, and helped countless people on their healing journey through my work in the VCIH clinic and by making medicine at the dispensary. But I was still struggling. I gave birth to my daughter in the middle of all of this, and was launched into a storm of postpartum anxiety and paranoia, perpetual exhaustion, loneliness, isolation, and physical pain as my body was buckling under the pressure. Despite my growing knowledge of herbs and wellness, I made zero time for self care. And despite singing the praises of cannabis to all those around me, I was still hesitant to use it myself since it often made my anxiety and fatigue worse.
But then two things happened that changed my world. I discovered CBD and found that plants higher in this compound gave me all the benefits of cannabis without the negative side effects. I also discovered how to effectively dose high-THC cannabis so that I could reap the benefits of this compound without overwhelming my highly sensitive system. I combined these strategies with a few other carefully chosen herbs, and suddenly, the anxiety faded into the background, I had more energy, and my pain was melting away. I felt more able to get down on the floor and play with my child, and less like a stressball whenever something hard came up in my day. And not only that, but once I got this dialed in, so much more became available to me. I rediscovered my creativity and my passions, and got the courage to make some major life changes that desperately needed to happen.
Herbs are agents of transformation, and Cannabis sativa in particular has some powerful magic to offer. When we partner with the plants and commit to our healing journey, incredible things are possible. Through my work with CannaBotanicals, I hope to be a conduit for this magic, helping you to rediscover your own power to create the life and the world you want to live in.
I recognize that as a cis white woman of some economic means living in Vermont, I am enormously privileged. I have had access to education both in herbal medicine and in cannabis science and have worked in the cannabis industry without legal repercussion. Not everyone has these same privileges, and this is something almost always forgotten in discussions of the “green rush.” The opportunities available today exist because of decades of racism, classism, xenophobia, and mass incarceration.
Rather than deny these privileges, I am attempting to use them for the benefit of those who have paid the price of prohibition the most, and to redistribute wealth more generally. A percentage of all profit is donated to various social causes, such as National Bail Out and Migrant Justice.
As herbal medicine becomes more popular, we all have to think more about where and how we are sourcing our plants. Our health shouldn’t come at the expense of the planet’s health.
Whenever it is possible, I strive to purchase organic and local herbs, and only use organically grown hemp from Vermont. As a card-carrying member of United Plant Savers, I try to use herbs that exist in abundance rather than at-risk or endangered species.