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Cannabis, Hemp, Massage, Oh My!

Note from PMTI: Ebony Payne, PMTI graduate of 2011, is a massage therapist and co-founder of District Herbs. District Herbs products may be purchased online or in the PMTI Bookstore, open Monday thru Friday, 9am to 6pm. Ebony will be presenting more on this topic at an in-person event at PMTI on March 22, 2019. Visit our Community Workshops page for more details - coming soon!

As the year 2018 comes to a close, I look back in amazement at just how truly

transformative this year has become. February of 2019 will not only mark the beginning of my 8th year as a massage therapist but also my 3rd year as an herbalist and co-founder of District Herbs which has expanded from herbal teas to now encompass CBD hemp salve for pain relief.

Organically grown hemp outdoorse in Maine, USA

When District Herbs co-founder and my mentor, Claudia Joy Wingo, and I first set out this year to create a salve for pain relief, our intention was to develop a product that was both effective and reflected our vision of cannabis medicine balanced with responsible practices of herbal medicine. Our biggest breakthrough in realizing this vision came by embracing hemp as the future of quality CBD access for our customers. Our expansion into the CBD industry would not have been possible without our partnership with award winning hemp farmers who are experts in the practices of ethical hemp cultivation, processing, and usage.

Twice this year I had the privilege of visiting our partner farm which is nestled in the quiet ski country mountains of Bethel, Maine. I fell head over heels in love with hemp during my first visit in August when I got to witness the beautiful expanse of 2,000 hemp trees organically growing around an abundance of monarch butterflies, milkweed, sumac trees, yarrow, and a bounty of other medicinal herbs. Our hemp farm is the embodiment of what we hope the future of cannabis and hemp will become and to see such healthy, thriving land and hemp provided all the affirmation we needed to know that our customers are receiving the highest quality CBD we set out to offer.

I loved visiting the farm so much that I returned in October for this year’s hemp harvest. As any massage therapist can appreciate, the need to touch and feel the plants I work with is as great as my need to touch and feel the human bodies whose care I am entrusted with during my sessions. Indeed, it is the only way to learn and understand them.

You may be asking yourself “so what is hemp and CBD exactly and why is it seemingly everywhere now?” Hemp, also called industrial grown hemp, is Cannabis sativa simply grown to contain less than .3% THC, the cannabinoid most well known for its ability to produce the high. What hemp lacks in THC however it makes up for ten fold in other valuable cannabinoids, the most popular at the moment being CBD, or cannabidiol. CBD balances the effects of THC, produces no high, and has potent anti-inflammatory and pain relieving qualities that are gentle yet fast acting.

As a massage therapist, the process of developing a product for pain relief using hemp-derived CBD has unlocked and revealed the connection between herbal medicine, cannabis, and massage therapy that I had hoped to find when I first began studying herbal medicine in 2013. To have developed a product line that can be used not only during my massage sessions but also for my own self care has become a true gift of the journey.

District Herbs is honored to be able to offer our full line of herbal teas and CBD hemp salve in PMTI’s bookstore. It is yet another gift to be able to share the physical manifestations of this journey with my PMTI family. We hope you find our products to be as transformative in your own practices and journeys of health and well-being as we have found them to be for us.

With much gratitude,

Ebony Payne

February of 2011 Alumn

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