How father’s Alzheimer’s treatment inspired opening of Cannabidiol oil shop in Hebden Bridge

A natural supplement derived from hemp has a growing following and is just The Tonic for two entrepreneurs. Sophie McCandlish reports.

By Ian Hirst
Friday, 30th August 2019, 3:19 pm
Michelle Oxley with Kate Henderson in their shop selling CBD oil in Hebden Bridge
Michelle Oxley with Kate Henderson in their shop selling CBD oil in Hebden Bridge

Two Calderdale women were so inspired by the benefits of CBD oil they set up their own business which is going from strength to strength.

Michelle Oxley and Kate Henderson formed The Tonic Tribe after seeing the relief Michelle’s father found with the supplement while suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.

Researching a natural alternative to help relieve her father’s symptoms of anxiety and paranoia, Michelle said she struggled to find good quality products and, with her friend Kate, was inspired to start her own line of organic, high quality products.

Sign up to our daily Halifax Courier Today newsletter

The duo started looking into suppliers who would meet their tough criteria, finally finding one in Holland.

Michelle’s therapy room in Bridge Mill, right in the heart of Hebden Bridge, was converted into a shop and the Tonic Tribe was born.

“When my dad developed Alzheimers he suffered from symptoms which would make him fearful and angry. I was looking for something which would help relieve that and the CBD oil really worked for him.”

Convinced by the benefits of the oil, Michelle said she wanted to give other people the option to discover them too.

CBD is one of the chemical compounds found in cannabis but the amount in the oil, a trace element of the compound, is strictly controlled to fall within legal parameters and has been gaining a growing following.

Both Michelle and Kate said many of their clients are older people wanting to find alternative ways to deal with health issues.

Both women have taken the oil themselves to help with different issues. Kate, who is a mountain biker and fell runner said she found it helped with injury recovery and cramps.

“It is lovely to work with a product that is natural,” she said.

“We are always conscious about ensuring the products we use are ethical, which why our approach is organic putting purity, safety and quality first.”

Both Michelle and Kate said one of the things they loved most about setting up The Tonic Tribe was the face to face interaction they had with customers in the shop.

“People are looking more to nature for nurture,” Kate said. “And we love being able to recommend products we really believe in.”

Growing market for product

The CBD market in the UK has boomed and is now worth around £5.5m.

Cannabis is predominantly associated with the cannabinoid THC which is not present in CBD oil.

Legally CBD products in the UK must contain no more than 1mg of CBD per container, no matter the size of the container.

Everyone is different so get advice on where to start.