Siobhan McCarthy of Blyssful Alchemy
By Leah Maurer
Many people have come around to utilizing cannabis for medicinal purposes for their physical health as more research is done about the plant and its benefits. However, there are also several mental health conditions that people are now treating with cannabis, including PTSD, depression, and even stress and anxiety management.
Siobhan McCarthy, CEO of Blyssful PRODUCTIONS and Blyssful ALCHEMY, explained how cannabis can be helpful for managing stress. McCarthy was in a car accident in her early 20s and had ongoing trouble with both her physical health and stress, and she turned to cannabis as medicine. She uses cannabis as medical marijuana patient and says its what keeps her moving and walking to this day. She is a cannabis advocate, and has found that cannabis can help manage stress in different ways than traditional medicines or prescription pills.
McCarthy explains, “What is beautiful about using a plant medicine in a daily routine is that it brings in an element of ritual which also brings in mindfulness. We are so used to the “magic pill” idea where people get into a habit of taking medicine without mindfulness. Cannabis can bring that mindfulness back and can also makes things much more manageable and less mundane. Additionally, cannabis has less side effects than traditional meds. In my experience, prescription pharmaceuticals for stress and anxiety made me gain weight, which made other health issues much worse. When you are working through stress, cannabis helps you stay more present and well rounded.”
Blyssful Alchemy is a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) educational workshop series in Vancouver, BC that educates people about plant medicines and alternative, holistic health practice. The company is a branch of Blyssful Productions. Blyssful Alchemy has had 80+ workshops since opening in November 2018, and sometimes hosts up to 3 events per day. Although this company just launched, McCarthy has been in the cannabis industry for a long time and specializes in topicals. She is currently teaching DIY topical workshops and is working on a topical line that will be for sale in the future
Blyssful Alchemy educates people about ways that cannabis and plant medicine can help manage stress by bringing in a series of facilitators that are experts in their fields, including professionals who specialize in yoga, meditation, and cultivation. They present the content in a very objective way and only have 12 people in their workshops. This intimate setting makes people feel comfortable and so they allow themselves to be vulnerable and talk about their experiences with and questions about cannabis and other plant medicines.
McCarthy added, “Since there is no longer an educational experience in the cannabis retail shops here, we allow people to see, smell, touch, and taste what the flowers look like in a safe and educational space. We even have doctors and caregivers coming in who are seeking a better understanding about how cannabis works, and wanting to educate themselves and create a bigger knowledge base. These individuals may not be as comfortable going to a retail shop because of the stigma that still exists.”
Blyssful Alchemy works with Grow Tech Labs, and McCarthy mentioned that legitimization for start up cannabis companies in BC has really been facilitated by Grow Tech Labs (GTL). She said, “People might be knowledgeable about their craft but not have the business skills and GTL mentors have been amazing in helping with that. The way we instill change, is by being the change. At GTL they aren’t just talking the talk, they are walking the walk. Their company has the ability to create a legacy that can be followed.”