Hello Strong Ladies. My name is Joanna Cathcart, I am the founder of Hempine CBD and I would like to share the story of about how my company came to be. To give the full story, I have to go back a few years. Not all the way back to when I first fell in love with riding horses aged 6, as I’m sure many of us have similar stories there, but back to 2017 when my husband Nick decided to launch his CBD company (RAISED SPIRIT), which was the UK’s first organically certified CBD company.
Although Nick and I are both English, we first met in Las Vegas, when I was on a mini-trip with some friends and Nick had just completed an 11-week stint out there filming for a martial arts series. He was a professional athlete competing at the highest level (UFC), and knew a LOT about nutrition, movement, recovery and supplements. Although the majority of athletes in his sport were taking “under-the-counter” supplements to increase their performance, Nick was always a “clean athlete” as he believed that Nature provides us with everything we need, and there are always negative side effects when taking unnatural supplements. One thing Nick did have in common with most of his peers was the love of the cannabis plant - super-popular amongst athletes of many sports. I would go on to learn that this was the athlete’s natural supplement of choice because it is such a powerful anti-inflammatory (helping with recovery), improves sleep (also recovery), acts as a pain-reliever, and aids in relaxation (recovery).
When Nick launched RAISED SPIRIT, I was gradually learning about the health benefits of CBD from him (a cannabinoid which is best sourced from the hemp plant – which is part of the cannabis family, BUT IT DOESN’T GET YOU HIGH!), and was very impressed with the amount of varied, positive testimonials being left by his customers. Nick would continuously bang on about the amazing multitude of uses the hemp plant offers to anyone who would listen, and most of it I had heard before from him a dozen times. But then one day my ears pricked up when I heard him say that CBD works the same for all mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles.
“What about dogs?”
“What about horses?”.
Hmmm… interesting. Very interesting. Well that was it, within the next five minutes I had made the decision – I needed to help get the word out that CBD is a far superior alternative for animals compared with what was currently available. It can help with all the most common ailments suffered… including arthritis, pain, anxiety, and injury-recovery.
I knew from my 6 years managing a show-jumping yard in Oxfordshire (where we lived before buying the farm in Devon), that horse owners reluctantly and repeatedly bought supplements that they had real concerns about regarding the side-effects, unnatural ingredients contained, or the actual difference they made. If they had known about CBD at the time, I’m convinced they would have been super-pleased to make the switch.
Hempine launched it’s first product in 2018. It was a super busy year for us, as we had spent two months in Portugal in the lead-up to our wedding there, were raising our two boys aged 3 and 5 at the time, and I became pregnant again with what would go on to be our third son. Oh, and we also moved house that year!
After consulting with Nick about what would be the best format for animals, Nick explained to me that the MOST potent way to gain the maximum health benefits from CBD, is to infuse whole, organic hemp flowers, in organic coconut oil. This is because CBD is fat-soluble, and coconut-oil is high in healthy fats. So the CBD binds to the fat in the coconut oil, which then increases its bio availability (uptake potential) – giving the most bang-for-your-buck, pardon the pun.
I designed the Hempine logo to be green (in testament to the hemp plant), octagonal (as a shout-out to the RAISED SPIRIT connection), with a pink heart (of course), and a playful horse and dog silhouette facing each other. Cute and practical… perfect!
Hempine launched 9 years after Nick and I had first met, and we had been gradually refining our understanding and appreciation together for leaning into the “natural way”. That is why we opted for home-births for all of our children, which I mention because natural-birthing is another topic I am passionate about, as childbirth is such a significant part of womanhood, and an amazing opportunity to discover what we, and nature, are capable of. It is a beautiful occasion to honoured and celebrated. It can also be the most empowering experience a woman can have.
I followed the “Hypnobirthing” approach, alongside a daily prenatal yoga routine to prepare for our homebirths, and managed to have three big (8 lbs 2 – 9lb 12), strong healthy boys, with no medication and no stitches, and I’m smaller than average height. The first birth took 5 hours and then they got quicker with each succession.
I breast fed and co-slept with each baby until they were at least 2 years old.
When our second baby was 6 weeks old and the eldest was a toddler, I was back working at the stables in the mornings. Not much time or energy was leftover at the end of each day for Hempine, which is why business grew steadily but relatively slowly, as it was only word-of-mouth that was bringing in new business.
It has only been since 2021, when after a 9-year chapter of breast-feeding and nappy-changing finally came to an end (?!), and our youngest has started pre-school in the mornings, that I have been able to put some more energy into the business and help it expand.
Which is has. Rapidly! We now have some top vets and horse therapists using and recommending us and are stocked in multiple stores.
Last November, we did a HEMPINE / RAISED SPIRIT combo stand at the Organised Equestrian show and it was a huge success! The audience were perfect for us as they were mostly into natural horsemanship, so appreciate and crave natural and organic healing options. We made so many great contacts and received such nice support from the other exhibitors.
We also met Jemma Aigner from LM Saddles at the show. Jemma has over 25 years’ experience and is like a horse encyclopaedia. She loved our brand so much and we loved her enthusiasm that we had to create our first HEMPINE brand ambassador!
So there is the (abbreviated) background story of HEMPINE – the world’s finest 100% Organic CBD brand ;-) … I hope you have enjoyed the read, and for the next article I will be going into more detail about the uses and benefits of CBD, and why and how in 2021 our family of five moved from a
lovely, sizable family home in Oxfordshire into a tipi on some land we had just bought in Devon, with no water or electricity, to start up our own off-grid hemp farm.
Ps- feel free to contact me with any questions on firstname.lastname@example.org – it’s always nice to make new connections and I’m always happy to help!