“My doctor was the one who encouraged me to create an educational series for medical patients. It became really important to me to teach other patients how to create their own infusions and topicals in an effort to give people accurate information.”
Most of us are aware that cannabis can help with conditions like anxiety, chronic pain and more – we’ll often see and hear personal accounts and inspiring success stories, but when it comes to how to use it, answers aren’t so easy to come across. This is what Cannabis Consultant and Educator Charlene Freedom is working to remedy. As an educator and DIY workshop facilitator, Charlene puts her education in reflexology, Thai Yoga Massage, aroma cosmetology, natural cosmetic making, and years of experience making her own cannabis treatments to show other medical marijuana users how to actually apply their prescribed medicine. For Charlene, accessibility and affordability are equally as important as being able to provide people with the therapeutic options they need.
Weedbox: You have an amazing story of recovery from addiction of opiates, and it’s so inspiring to read that cannabis was an integral part of that journey. Why is it important to you to help educate and empower others to make their own cannabis products? Who comes to your Canna Holistic Medicines Workshops at Annares Natural Health in Toronto?
Charlene Freedom: When Health Canada first legalized cannabis oils in 2015, medical cannabis patients were told its legal to make your own infusions, extracts and topicals, but with no education platforms, even for medical doctors, consultants, or clinics. I realized that there was a gap and my doctor was the one who encouraged me to create an educational series for medical patients.
It became really important to me to teach other patients how to create their own infusions and topicals in an effort to give people accurate information. I spent a year researching, and working with dozens of different recipes in an effort to treat my own pain. The difference for me was that I have a college education in aromatherapy, natural cosmetic making, and holistic skin care, and years of experience making natural body products, so it was easy for me to adapt everything I knew and add cannabis oils to those recipes. The average medical cannabis patient doesn’t have this kind of background, and I realized that I had something really important to share with other medical patients.
Most of my students are generally medical patients, or they’re practitioners of modalities like yoga, massage, or physiotherapy who are looking to learn more about cannabis in topical forms, and how to introduce them to their clients. I’ve also had many people who are in the cannabis industry who are looking to learn all they can about cannabis and how it can benefit their clients, from patient educators, to owners of Licensed Producers who have attended my classes.
Weedbox: You are a practitioner of aromatherapy, reflexology, Thai Yoga Massage and more. How does cannabis play into your personal self-care routine and life? Do you have any rituals you do merging any of these practices, for example?
C.F. At this point, after working with cannabis for 6 years now, I actually incorporate cannabis oil into all my body, hair and facial products, and use them daily. I no longer offer body work treatments to clients, but one thing I do like to do is to teach my clients the benefits of aromatherapy and cannabis in bath therapies.
My favourite way to use cannabis to run a hot bath, add some cannabis infused bath salts with essential oils like lavender and frankincense, light some candles and relax. If my clients smoke or vape cannabis, I encourage them to utilize it before or after a bath to help with sleep and to aid with stress management. Self-care can be as simple as having a beautiful candle lit bath, it’s beneficial for pain relief, inflammation, and it’s fantastic for the skin and hair.
Weedbox: What basic concepts do you cover in your Cannabis Infusions, Tinctures and Teas workshop?
C.F. I share with clients how to decarboxylate their cannabis, how to infuse into oils and tinctures, and how to use these mediums to medicate through adding them to teas, coffee, smoothies, and juices. I cover the ratios of cannabis to oils for infusions, cooking times, storage, and share information to create medicines at cheaper costs. Creating your own cannabis medicines can be expensive, and I try to help clients realize there are other ways to medicate than just using edibles or smoking and vaping cannabis.
Weedbox: Could you share a basic cannabis DIY recipe you are loving right now?
C.F. It’s the season of colds and flu, so here’s a simple recipe for creating your own infused bath salts which can help relieve cold and flu symptoms and help with sleep.
- 1 cup of Epsom Salts
- 5mLs (1 teaspoon) of cannabis infused coconut oil
- 5 drops of lavender essential oil
- 5 drops of peppermint essential oil
- Combine the Epsom salts and cannabis oil in a bowl and mix well.
- Add lavender essential oil
- Add peppermint essential oil
- Mix oils into salts blend.
- Use 1-2 tablespoons of salts in a hot bath
Store remaining salts into a glass jar and use as needed.