MONTPELIER, Vt. — A warm and familiar aroma filled the classroom at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism on Thursday. On the stove, beeswax pellets and CBD coconut oil melted together in a demonstration showing students how to create CBD-infused chapstick. A neighborhood cat, deemed Hercules by the VCIH staff, wandered through the classroom. The nearly-full workshop, Herbal Preps and Therapeutic Uses for Medical Cannabis, was taught by third year VCIH Clinical Intern Stephanie Boucher, who also works in the kitchen at the nearby Vermont Patients Alliance.
The workshop started with the basics of the cannabis plants, including the history of its medicinal use. Boucher led into more in-depth info on harvesting and preparing flower material, and recipes for salves, tinctures and hashes. In a nod to the VCIH, she also discussed the use of other herbs such as Jamaican Dogwood and Skullcap in combination with cannabis for a compound effect.
Boucher pointed to the importance of other herbs in treating ailments. In herbalism, she said, “I gravitated towards the medicine making piece of it … I really feel like in that workshop that cannabis is a gateway herb for introducing other herbs to people.”
The class, which is aimed at people with medical marijuana cards and those interested in the possibility of obtaining one, filled up quickly with a wide range of students of varying ages. VCIH also recently hosted a full-day workshop called Cannabis and Cancer, taught by Dr. Jody E Noé MS, ND from Connecticut.
“Part of the reason I got into herbalism is I love working with the plants and transforming them into medicine,” said Boucher. “I have the pleasure of being able to work with cannabis legally at this dispensary, which is not a privilege most people have, which I really appreciate.”
After seeing high interest and a positive response from students, Boucher hopes to be able to offer the workshop again in the near future.