Meet OHNE, the CBD period company for women and by women. Based in London, OHNE is run by best friends and co-founders Nikki Michelsen & Leah Remfry-Peploe- you can thank them for developing the UK’s first pro-period CBD oil. Nikki and Leah have been working hard to fight the taboos surrounding periods and CBD, one organic tampon at a time…
About OHNE & Founders
My co-founder Leah and I have been best friends since we met on our first day of uni almost a decade ago. We first had the idea for OHNE in 2016 when we realised the period product company of our dreams (organic, environmentally conscious, no excessively girlish branding) simply didn’t exist.
So we built it ourselves, launched on Valentine’s Day 2018, and OHNE has now grown into an incredible community of people looking to bust period taboos with us and help save the planet (and their vaginas) while they’re at it.
We currently offer 100% organic tampons on an entirely bespoke subscription model and Anti-Teardrops 1% CBD Oil UK, which is made with full-spectrum CBD (no cheap CBD isolates here, thank you very much!) as well as organic hemp oil and a variety of essential oils.
Q: What brought you to this career path?
Leah: We genuinely had no plans to go into business together, but then we realised how many problems there were with the period industry – and kept coming up with our own ideas for solutions to them – we knew we just couldn’t let it go.
Nikki: As for the CBD element, that came about just as organically (no pun intended) as we’d been trying out CBD for ourselves after hearing about it a few times. We totally fell in love with it and decided we just had to share it with our community.
Q: When did you first hear about CBD?
Leah: I first heard about it through my dad, as he had a friend who was using it to help him through his cancer treatment. Obviously, that’s a much more severe example than period pain, but it intrigued me so I looked into it and found out the crazy number of potential uses it can have.
Nikki: Through Leah, then it wasn’t long before what felt like every one of my friends started waxing lyrical about it.
Q: What’s the most interesting thing that has happened to you since starting your company?
Nikki: Probably the shift in the conversation surrounding CBD. There’s been such an explosion of attention and increasing recognition of its uses. People realising they can use this all-natural product to help them get through their period – and being loudly supportive of it once they do – is really amazing.
Leah: I’ll add that the one thing that’s remained the most rewarding and astonishing thing about running OHNE is how many of our customers love to shout about us on social media (1/3rd!)
Q: What is the most exciting thing about the CBD industry?
Leah: It has to be the next-level innovation we’re seeing across a range of industries – such as health, wellness, and beauty. We love all things natural and organic – genuinely organic (no greenwashing please) – and CBD is providing an all-natural alternative to a bunch of everyday products which is amazing. Also, we’ve seen that a lot of the CBD companies launching are female-founded which we obviously love!
Q: What has been your biggest obstacle?
Nikki: Oh without a doubt our biggest obstacle has been raising investment! It’s hard to describe the unique challenge of pitching a period brand to a room full of older men who won’t even touch your tampon samples. But luckily we’re now backed by a team of incredible investors who fully ‘get’ OHNE and our mission.
Q: Do you use CBD and what for?
Leah: I straight up use it for period pain – I get the worst cramps and I don’t like using regular pain medication like paracetamol, so I’ve always been on the hunt for other ways to help me get through the cramps and honestly nothing has worked as well as CBD for me.
Nikki – I use it for hormonal imbalances. I usually get bad skin around the time of my period and CBD has anti-inflammatory properties which really helps diminish breakouts and calm any redness. I’ve also taken to putting it on my temples when I start to feel PMS-induced anxiety or headaches and I’m really noticing its impact on my ability to function like ‘normal’ during this time.
Q: How do you stand out from the competition?
We’re the UK’s first pro-period CBD oil. We’ve also made sure that it’s super adaptable to being used in myriad ways – on the belly over the uterus, on temples, in baths. It’s important for us to create products that can help all kinds of people who have periods, regardless of how they want to manage their own unique cycle.
Q: To what do you attribute your success?
Leah: Yeah that’s key – having the ability to keep going no matter what barriers and obstacles crop up and finding ways over/around/through them.
Nikki: Us being so close before the business has definitely been a huge factor too – we could really rely on each other’s support from day dot.
Q: What is the one thing you wish you knew before starting a CBD company?
Leah: That so many people would have no idea CBD is legal and would assume we’re selling weed. But really that when developing a product that is pretty new on the market you’re going to face a lot of challenges that don’t necessarily come up when you’re selling something people know and understand.
Nikki: Like the fact that you’re *not* selling illegal drugs online.
Q: Are you working on any exciting new projects?
Nikki: Yes. We are expanding our range of products both CBD-related and non-CBD related… and something exciting in the tech sphere. All I can say is watch this space.
ONHE are certainly planning big things in the CBD sector, but will they be able to compete with the established companies. We'll be sure to check in on them in the coming months.