Debi Bair is a Natural Health Consultant, Herbalist and cannabis advocate who reached for plants after a devastating car crash left her with more than 50 broken bones in 1997.
Initially prescribed the pain killer, Darvocet, she said she only took the pills for a few weeks, replacing them with cannabis and other beneficial herbs, as is her mode of operandi.
“My grandmother was full Cherokee, so herbalism is natural for me,” she shared. “I’ve always used plant medicine.”
Concerned about getting addicted, she initially just smoked cannabis to quell the pain.
“Cannabis wasn’t legal in my home state of Michigan at the time and edibles were hard to come by,” she said. “I had minor children at home and a medical state licensure I was putting at risk by using cannabis.”
Bair had worked in the healthcare industry as an Emergency Room Technician (EMT) and was also a certified herbalist, taught by an instructor through Susan S. Weed since 1998.
Susan S. Weed is a herbalist and author of a many books, including Healing Wise, Abundantly Well, and Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way.
“Doctors told me I’d never work again, but I was back to work four months after the accident,” she explained. “I finally left EMT job in 2008, due to a torn labrum – but it wasn’t clear if that was from the accident.”
Recently, she moved from Michigan to California, re-establishing Lil Debi and Happy Camp Trees in San Diego. Lil Debi is her herbal remedy brand, and she organizes retreats under the shingle, Happy Camp Trees.
When asked how she derived the name, she replied, “We are cannabis friendly and they are happy trees! I don’t want shame with this concept, this is medication, it’s legal, and I don’t want people feeling awkward or weird about partaking while enjoying a healthful and spiritual retreat.
Bair had bought 20 acres near Tippy Dam in the Manistee National Forest, with plans of turning it into a 420 friendly camp ground, but local officials, then the COVID pandemic threw a wrench in the works, and she decided to relocate to cannabis-friendly California.
“We are planning a girls trip in May with a female Chef from Detroit – Chef Marjorie Harvey,” she said. “We’ll gather in San Diego in a private setting, with 10 women guests who we’ll treat with cannabis infused dinners, plant medicine, healing, and spiritual awakenings.”
Chef Marjorie Harvey, of Divine Epicurean, took Third Place for Best Cannabis Chef in Michigan in 2021.
Bair ingests cannabis in many ways, as well as smokes for an immediate lift, but she developed her pain relief cream initially for treating the pain from osteoarthritis after the accident. Her pain tolerance is high, but when it hurts she said she needs a heavy hitter for relief, and that’s what this pain cream does for her.
She shares her homemade infused goods on her Instagram feed, posting everything from cookies, candies, medicinal capsules, and topicals, to bath bombs for relief.
“This recipe is specifically for arthritis pain, although I’ve had rave reviews from neuropathy patients, as well – with them stopping the use of pharmaceuticals altogether since using the cream,” she said. “One patient is in her 80s and had never used cannabis in her life. To me, that’s real progress for this amazing plant.”
Bair said that one four ounce jar lasts her about a month. Use is dependent on need.
Lil Debi’s Pain Relief Cream
Decarb 1 oz. cannabis*
Infuse organic coconut oil with cannabis in a slow cooker**
Strain through cheese cloth
Mix for cream:
3 T. cayenne pepper
1 c. infused coconut oil (can also use grapeseed or olive oil)
½ c. beeswax
Melt the beeswax in a double boiler
Add THC infused coconut oil & cayenne pepper
Once blended, place in glass jar
*decarboxylation: Spread cannabis over a baking tray, bake in the oven at 220 degrees for 20 minutes.
**Infuse oil: 1 oz. decarbed flower per one pound of butter or ghee – or whatever oil you’d like to use. Simmer on low in crock pot or rice cooker (lid up) for 3-4 hours to infuse.
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