WOMEN IN CANNABIS: MAYA ELISABETH AND OM EDIBLES
It’s a dark and rainy Wednesday morning in the East Bay, but inside the Om Edibles kitchen, Maya Elisabeth and her dedicated all-women crew are busy at work under bright lights.
On one stainless steel table, a tray of empty vials waits to be filled with Om Elixirs CBD Tincture. At another, glass tinkles as two workers carefully line up small jars into neat rows on sheets of parchment paper. In a few minutes they’ll be steaming with the fresh batch of Lion Balm that’s infusing nearby. The women take turns lining up jars and stirring the melted balm, which has absolutely saturated the air with an invigorating mix of wintergreen, shea, cocoa butter, and lavender.
Once the beeswax-based mixture is fully infused, a crew member deftly hand pours melted Lion Balm into each jar, one by one until every row on the tray is filled. Filling each jar is an art in itself, as the beeswax cools quickly - in fact, the first jars on the tray have already begun to harden. This work is for steady hands, they joke, but the real challenge is filling the Lion Balm Sticks.
This is all part of a day’s work for the tight-knit group of women behind Om Edibles (that’s pronounced “ohm”, like the chant). “It’s about a vibration you can tap into,” Elisabeth says during an earlier phone interview. “A blissful state inside.”
CANNABIS, A SUPERFOOD THROUGHOUT THE AGES
Since 2008, Elisabeth has cultivated an extensive line of high-quality cannabis-infused edibles, topicals and bath soaks. She got into the cannabis industry for a simple reason: “I’m motivated by a deep love for cannabis. I like to participate in cannabis miracles.”
That deep love for cannabis is evident from the slogan that graces Om Edibles’ homepage: “Treating cannabis as a superfood since 2008.”
What makes cannabis a superfood? Elisabeth is so glad you asked. First off, every part of the cannabis plant can be used in some way. “There’s hemp oil and hemp seeds for protein, fresh leaves for juicing and salads,” she gushes, and of course, “colas filled with therapeutic cannabinoids.”
She adds that as early as 2700 BC, the Chinese were using cannabis roots to ease pain and “many different issues after childbirth, like hemorrhaging.” The roots have also been used to treat inflammation, nausea, and sleep issues.
It’s not just the ancient Chinese who inspire her. She reads ancient teachings, alchemical texts, and sacred geometry and herb books to help her create products “that uplift people and bring them to a new level.”
With this diverse knowledge, she creates nourishing oils and other “magical things” - but at the same time, tries to keep the process simple. “I like to start with things that already work, like epsom salts,” she says, referring to the development of her luscious epsom salt bath soaks.
RIDING THE TIDE OF LEGALIZATION
Like many cannabis businesses in the state, Om Edibles has gone through some changes to comply with new regulations, a process Elisabeth describes as “bittersweet.”
“[There has been] a lot of adjustment,” she says, lamenting the discontinuation of their High Times award-winning truffles. Though navigating the changes has been one of her biggest challenges, she’s surprised the same child-proof packaging demands haven’t been made of the alcohol and tobacco industries. “Nearly every person who starts smoking cigarettes steals them out of their parents’ packs,” she says.
On the positive side, legalization has also made Elisabeth more open about what she does. She no longer tells strangers she's in catering if she thinks they’ll be uncomfortable with her true profession. “We’re coming out, and the cat’s out of the bag. I’ve become more and more honest about what I do.”
Elisabeth says she believes education and safe access to products will continue to alleviate the stigma surrounding marijuana. Now when encountering those folks, she says, try talking to them about patents. “Have you ever looked up the government patents on cannabinoids? It’s a powerful place to start,” she states matter of factly, explaining how there are cannabinoid receptors throughout the entire human body.
The development of California’s adult-use market - don’t call it recreational - will also help to break stereotypes. “Recreational use is connected to your mind and body, allowing you to try new things and have new feelings. In my opinion, all use is medicinal,” she says and suggests really getting to know the plant. “Connect with the herb… try every strain, try every form of consumption you can imagine.”
So what’s in store for Om Edibles in 2018? We were able to pry this hint away: be on the lookout for a yummy new edible. Until then, you can find a variety Om Edibles tinctures, epsom salt soaks and topicals on our live menu. Your body and mind will be glad you did!
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