CBD oil popularity in the UK has spread to the small picturesque town of Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire. ‘The Tonic’ is a CBD wellness store specialising in the sale of numerous, quality CBD products such as CBD oils, CBD skincare, and even clothing.
The idea to open a CBD store was the brainchild of two Calderdale women, Michelle Oxley and Kate Henderson, who saw first-hand the effect CBD oil could have on those closest to them. Speaking to The Extract, Mrs. Henderson tells us that it was Michelle's family who initially used cannabis oils to help alleviate pain and suffering as well as improve her family's health.
Family illnesses treated
“Michelle's brother had MS for 35 years and towards the last 10 years of his life, he was pretty much wheelchair-bound. The muscle spasms would make his eyes flicker so fast that he couldn't see anything. But as soon as he had cannabis it would calm his muscle spasms and he could see his family again. His whole system would calm down and he could communicate with us again.” Kate says.
Unlike today, where medicinal cannabis is available in certain circumstances, cannabis was completely illegal at that time and to get this alternative treatment Michelle's mum had to break the law.
“Michelle's mum would go to a dealer to get cannabis because it was the only option and the only thing that would give him some respite from the MS.”
Michelle then learned about CBD oil and initially gave it to her cat who was showing signs of dementia. “It certainly helped her” Kate says, but it was the effect CBD oil had on her father that really struck her. Michelle's father was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and was displaying symptoms such as paranoia and anxiety. Prescribed pharmaceutical medicine left her father in a virtually vegetative state and so began a search for alternatives to ease his pain.
The natural, organic nature of CBD oil appealed to Michelle and she sourced a 4% bottle which she then gave to her father. “Michelle's father had Alzheimer's which CBD may help for 15 years. She started to give CBD oil to him and the response to it was phenomenal. The effects were so amazing that she got completely on board and then got me into CBD too.”
Within two days of using CBD oil, Michelle's dad’s overall health began to improve and both her parents got “their first decent night's sleep in years”. This inspired Michelle and Kate to open a CBD store so they could help other people who might benefit from this powerful compound.
Kate says: “Michelle had always been a therapist but never ran a business, whereas I had a marketing background so together with our belief in CBD we felt this could work”. Aware that CBD oil was in an unregulated market, Michelle and Kate searched far and wide until they came across a Dutch supplier who could guarantee quality, organic, 3rd party tested CBD oil.
Personal CBD use
Kate and Michelle use CBD themselves daily. In Kate’s case, she primarily uses it for pain management. “I am a mountain bike cyclist so between falling off the bike and my daily run it has damaged my knees”. She continues “I also use it for scoliosis and PMT, and I find it has a positive influence on my sleep and general wellbeing.”
Kate says that Michelle takes it for social anxiety and symptoms of menopause. She also finds it gives her great relief from using cbd oils for arthritis that she has in her hands as a result of years of massaging people. Kate says their customers are a mixed bunch but primarily women who say they use CBD predominantly for anxiety, with pain management with cbd oils being the second most popular reason her customers use CBD.
Kate and Michelle have a growing range of quality CBD products and are gaining a reputation as the place to go to help with a range of ailments. “The fact that we have a physical shop makes people travel from as far away as Leeds and Manchester because they want to talk to someone and be reassured of what they are buying,” Kate says.
The shop has been open since April 2018 and Kate says plans are afoot for further expansion, “Within the next couple of years we hope to have at least two more shops opened.” She says. Kate believes this to be a very reasonable goal for two main reasons. “We believe in our customer service and in the quality of our products, which are fully tested to ensure we only sell the highest quality CBD.” She says.
In terms of regulation in the CBD market, Kate believes it is badly needed and it will remove the snake oil salesmen out there in the UK at present and reassure customers that what they are buying is genuine CBD whitelabel.
Kate says “We are desperate for regulation, yes we're a member of the CTA, and yes our products are 3rd party tested for quality, but it doesn't really mean anything until the government reinforces the idea that only regulated members may sell CBD products.”
The Tonic is open Monday to Friday 10-5 and Saturday 10-12.30.