Get hands-on with cannabis in these weedy workshops

When you enter Blyssful Alchemy—Siobhan McCarthy’s Vancouver studio—a pot of cannabis infused chai tea simmers on the stove, cloves and

Madjag / Flickr


When you enter Blyssful Alchemy—Siobhan McCarthy’s Vancouver studio—a pot of cannabis infused chai tea simmers on the stove, cloves and anise bobbing on the surface. The whole place is rich with spicy, warm aromas. Along the wall, shelves are brimming with herbs, essential oils, homemade tinctures, muscle rubs, and a rainbow of every holistic ingredient a modern-day alchemists could dream up.

McCarthy, a cannabis educator and advocate, says her homey hub was designed to feel like your friend’s living room—cozy couches, an electric fireplace, finger foods, and floor-sitting.

As a medical patient, mother, and member of the cannabis industry, she has committed herself to changing the dialogue around the highly stigmatized plant. In her studio, she hosts workshops, educational seminars, and expert speakers—all aimed at getting people “hands-on” with weed.

“I intentionally price the workshops so buying the product in the store costs the same as learning how to make one yourself,” she tells the Georgia Straight. “But here you touch the plant, learn the process, take home a product…and have fun!”

After a car accident left McCarthy wheelchair-bound, she turned to the therapeutic properties of cannabis for reducing pain, breaking away from pharmaceuticals, and improving mobility. Now, she credits the plant to her ability to walk, work, and live the active lifestyle demanded of a busy mom. Combining her years of knowledge working in the cannabis industry, as a consultant and broker for CannaLife Botanicals and in sales-and-marketing for the Health Canada certified testing facility Northern Vine Labs, she is now focused on creating safe and fun places to share knowledge.

Past workshops have taught guests how to grow their own cannabis plants at home, blend tattoo-healing skin salves, and bake infused cupcakes. She also hosts community connection evenings to discuss tough topics like cannabis and parenting, gender identity, and social stigma.

Perfect your joint rolling skills

Turn fumbly fingers into fine-tuned rolling machines with Blyssful Alchemy’s joint 101 tutorial. Lead by the lead hand-roller behind the Preroll Factory and its famous Canna Czar twax blunts, Rox C Rolla, guests will learn how to wrap their weed the right way.

Cannabis is provided with ticket purchase, or the fee is reduced if guests bring their own dried flower. Attendees will also snack on an array of meats and cheeses, with optional cannabis infused honey, jams, and dips from culinary director of the High End Dinner Series, Adam Barski.

When: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. May 17, 2019

Where: Blyssful Alchemy

Mix up an infused muscle rub

Using knowledge gleaned from years working with companies like Lush, the BodyShop, and CannaLife Botanicals, McCarthy teaches guests how to make a soothing and cooling muscle rub infused with organic plant medicines, like cannabis. In this two-and-a-half hour, hands-on workshop, attendees will learn the basics of holistic medicated topicals—balms, salves, and creams—and how to make personalized rubs to be used for irritating skin conditions, pain relief, and treating inflammation.

When: 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. May 18, 2019

Where: Blyssful Alchemy

Tickets: Eventbrite, $80

Boost your beauty regimen with cannabis face oil

There is much talk amongst beauty gurus in the wellness industry about the healing and anti-aging properties of cannabis products. With McCarthy’s guidance, guests will learn how to make their own infused face oil to moisturize and rejuvenate dull and dry skin.

When: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. May 19, 2019

Where: Blyssful Alchemy

Tickets: Eventbrite, $60    

McCarthy’s studio was reported to the city of Vancouver for open consumption, prompting an eviction notice from her landlord. She’s currently exploring new locations to host her educational workshops. It is not illegal to consume cannabis in privately owned locations with the approval of the property owner or landlord.

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