Owner, CannaBotanicals & Clinical Herbalist/Cannabis Coach
Stephanie Boucher is a Clinical Herbalist and Cannabis Coach, graduating from the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism‘s 3-year Clinical Herbalist Training Program in 2016. In addition to her traditional herbal training, she also holds a Professional Certificate in Cannabis Science and Medicine from the University of Vermont and has over 10 year of experience in the cannabis industry. She is the owner and head herbalist at CannaBotanicals where she provides cannabis wellness coaching, herbal consultations, educational workshops, and a small line of handcrafted CBD products.
What do I do best?
When I stop to think about it, I think that what I do best is to envision possibilities and then conjure them into reality. I’ve done that with my own business, and I facilitate that happening with others. Whether it’s someone using my Nerve Elixir who is able to shift out of their negative headspace into something more positive, someone taking my workshops who finally feels empowered to make their own medicine, or someone working with me one-on-one to overcome their anxiety or chronic health issues using cannabis and other herbs, it’s really the same process. I see myself as a sort of doula that uses plants and nature connection to help empower people and draw them into new ways of being in, and interacting with, the world. And I love working with cannabis to do this because it’s so dang good at that — its a boundary crosser and a shapeshifter, and encourages us to try on new ideas and see things from fresh perspectives.
What makes me the best version of myself?
As a coach, I think about this a lot. How can we be the best versions of ourselves, so that we can show up and create the the world we want to live in? For me, it starts with taking care of my needs first — making sure I’m drinking water, taking my herbs, eating well, and connecting with my larger community. Hemp has been incredibly helpful in helping me be the best version of myself — high CBD plants really help me to cut though the anxiety that can keep me paralyzed. Finally, remembering to be balanced in how I spend my time. I need to make space for both work and family every day, space for both introspection and connection, space for both grief and joy.
What are my aspirations?
Professionally, I aspire to help other visionary women overcome their anxieties, fears, and limiting beliefs so that they can do the work they were meant to do in this life, and contribute to creating a better world for all of us. I find that herbs, and more broadly, connection to nature, can really facilitate this transformation for people — it certainly has for me, and I want to share that gift with others. That’s what I do through my coaching program. I also aspire to remove the stigma from cannabis use and educate folks on how to use the plant holistically. It’s a powerful ally, and can also be a fantastic “gateway herb,” introducing people to the power of plant medicine more generally. That’s what I aspire to do with my product line.
Personally, I aspire to be a role model for my daughter. I want to show her that she is strong and powerful and can turn her dreams into reality. Part of that is by committing to my business, but also by being deeply committed to the land we live on. I have big aspirations to turn our little 1 acre plot into a permaculture paradise full of fruit trees and berries and perennials — designing our gardens to be resilient and generative. I want all the work I do to embody these principles, to have a ripple effect and leave the world better than when I found it.
My Biggest Success?
I feel like my greatest accomplishment has been finally finding the courage to commit 100% to my business. For a long time, I stretched myself WAY too thin — working multiple low-paying jobs, raising a child, building our house, going to school… and then trying to operate a business on top of that. I had lots of fears around quitting my jobs to be self-employed, even though I knew in my heart that it was what I was meant to do. When I was finally able to let go of these fears, I realized that it was not only the right decision for me — I became happier and healthier and WAY less stressed out — but also the right decision for everyone else. When I could give my full attention to my products and services they improved and became so much more helpful for others. I learned that when we fully step into our gifts, that everybody wins, and I am so thankful that I found the courage to do it!
My Most Challenging Moment?
For me, this question is intimately linked to the last one. For me, the three years after my daughter was born were the most challenging for me. I suffered from post-partum anxiety, was perpetually exhausted and stressed out, felt lonely and isolated, and made absolutely no time for self care. I started to experience more physical pain as I pushed my body harder and harder. For a long time, my self worth was tied up with this way of being in the world — I was a self-sacrificing mom who worked hard and got shit done. But it was killing me. Deciding that this way of being was no longer serving me was huge. I started working with a few coaches who helped me reframe what I wanted out of life and gave me the confidence that another world was possible. Having faith in myself and my community’s ability to support me was life changing.
“ I am enough.” Its so simple, yet when we don’t believe it causes so many problems. Believing that we are not enough leads to anxiety, depression, overwork, and addiction, not to mention the kind of rampant consumerism that is eating the planet alive. We are whole, we are enough, exactly as we are. That doesn’t mean that we can’t work to change ourselves and the world, but in fact the opposite is true. Once we accept ourselves and our current reality fully, we can work from a place of love to make ourselves, our lives, and our world even more awesome.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
Oh so many. I’ve had so many teachers in the herb world, including Guido Mase, Larken Bunce, and Betzy Bancroft who co-taught at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism. They really taught me how to be with the plants and hold both the science and the magic at the same time. I also really look up to Tammi Sweet and Lisa Ganora, herbalists who have explored cannabis from an herbal medicine perspective and are a strong voice promoting holistic cannabis use and medicine making. I owe a lot of my recent personal transformation to Corinne Tobias and Niki Wells, founders of the Cannabis Coaching Institute, where I began my coaching journey.
Finally, I owe a lot of my perspective on the world to Joanna Macy, creator of the Work that Reconnects and author of Active Hope, as well as adrienne marie brown, pleasure activist and author of Emergent Strategy. These two gals have taught me a lot about how we can find power and strength in community and connection.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
This is a tough one! There are really four places in this world that sing to my heart more than anywhere else. The first is the New England / Northern Woodlands / Gulf of Maine bioregion where I was raised and continue to live. Despite my travels, this area will always feel like home. Second is the hills and redwood forests of Mendocino County, Northern California, where I got my feet wet in the cannabis industry and as part of that, learned a different way of relating to plants, the land, and each other. Thirdly is the wilds of Alaska, where the immense power of nature is palpable and can make anyone’s personal troubles feel small in comparison. Lastly, is the high desert of southern Utah where I lived for a summer — it is seriously the most beautiful, holiest place I have ever visited and it breaks my heart daily to consider how it’s being opened up for resource extraction. To learn more about this and experience some of this beauty for yourself, check out the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.
My Favorite Products/Objects
One of my favorite tools to use both with myself and my clients are tarot cards, or really any divinatory cards. Right now I’m working with the cards that come with Maia Toll’s Herbiary, each card with a different plant to meditate on. Tarot cards like this can really help us tap into our intuition and guide us when faced with difficult decisions, or just provide us with a mantra or thought to carry with us into the day to keep us focused on larger truths.
My Current Passions?
Right now, I’m super excited about the potential of coaching in relationship to plant medicine. I’m seeing really powerful transformations happening when my clients partner with the plants to help them reach their health goals and their bigger life goals. I’m super excited about the kind of world we can create when the people who have big dreams and visions are given permission to act on them. With the world being what it is these days, it’s easy to sink into despair and believe that there is no way out. But that’s exactly what they want us to believe. If we rediscover the power in ourselves and in our communities, there is absolutely no limit to the awesomeness we can conjure up. When I work with clients. I am constantly reminded of the words of Arundhati Roy when she said, “another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”