We caught up with traveling hemp self-care guru Melissa L’Heureux-Hache to find out more about what it was like to found a company with her partner, how she stays glowing, and how she uses her product line while she’s on the go.
Tell us about your brand and how you got started
Our company is the Great Canadian Hemp Company. I started the company with my partner Edan in 2016, to create a brand that was socially and environmentally conscious, and to raise awareness about hemp in Canada. We felt it was important to dispel misconceptions about hemp - it’s gotten a bad rep over the years because of its association with cannabis (and this was before legalization!). We also love that it grows right here in the country we call home.
We chose the name because we wanted people to know that hemp was the base of all of our products, although it has made it difficult for us to advertise online. Most social media platforms are American, and they aren’t as hip to hemp as we are in Canada! So we’ve had to get our boots on the ground and meet our customers in person - which we love! We have exhibited at wellness shows, green living shows, yoga expos, and of course hemp and cannabis shows. It’s been wonderful to meet people face to face and connect with a public who may not be familiar with cannabis, but are willing to learn about it in a wellness oriented atmosphere. It’s been part of an effort to break the stereotypes about cannabis culture, in favour of promoting natural, plant-based care.
Where are you based? Are the shows you do primarily in Canada?
We’re currently splitting our time between Ottawa and Toronto, but we do shows all across Canada! We’ve even done events in the US, Denmark and the U.K. By traveling so much with our business, we’ve been able to get an idea of how people perceive hemp abroad, and develop a sense of what the market is like elsewhere.
How do you feel about working with your partner?
Well, we met, fell in love and started the company together pretty much immediately! We had a concept in mind, bootstrapped it with our own savings, and are now both able to work it full time. I’m really lucky that I have a partner in this adventure that I can lean on, and who fully understands how crazy this industry can be!
Besides your love for hemp body care, how do your values align?
We are both environmentalists, and really let that show through our company initiatives. For instance, we started a program called Seed The 6ix, where we plant 6 seeds in Canada for every product we sell. We also have a recycling initiative to encourage our customers to do good by our packaging, and we donate to different charities every month. We think it’s important to stick to our core values as we build this business - for ourselves, and for our customers.
All that travel must wear you out. Tell us about how you maintain your self-care rituals while jet setting!
Since I’m always in a different country or time-zone, my self-care ritual is not so much a routine - it’s more like good habits that I practice through this unpredictable flow that is my life. Having a big water bottle is a must - hydrating is key for healthy skin. Plus, almost all of our products are less than 100 ML so I take my full care routine on the plane with me in my carry on! My go-to product for a flight is our Healing Balm - it’s unscented, so it’s perfect for public spaces, and can be used for dry hands, chapped lips, or pretty much anywhere that needs a little moisture! It doesn’t have any CBD in it yet, but hopefully we’ll be able to talk about exciting new developments soon. Cannabis infused topicals is definitely the industry we’re gearing up for.
What about when you’re not jet-setting off to a trade show?
The first thing that comes to mind when we’re home is how much we love using our bath salts to unwind from a long day. We also love taking 10 minutes to do a clay mask together. If you check out our website, there's a whole write up on how to use it, but also how important it is to practice mindful self-care. It makes our skin look great, but we also have so much fun and always have a good laugh when we end up looking like cliché, green-faced spa goers.
Can you use any of your products in the bedroom? How do you see this incorporated into self-care?
We have a phenomenal hemp body oil that can be used for massage, an aromatherapeutic bath, or touching extra sensitive spots - perfect for fun in the bedroom. Whether you want to use the body oil on your own or with your partner, taking the time to give yourself pleasure is important. Maybe it’s just me, but conventional lubes are unappealing - they don’t have a natural texture and most are based with synthetic chemicals that I don’t want on my body, let alone in my body. I eat a plant-based diet and don’t like consuming foods with synthetics, so chemical-filled lubes are out for me. The last thing I’d want would be to taste synthetic blueberry cheesecake while making love with my partner!
What are your thoughts about cannabis and sex?
I definitely think there’s a big place for cannabis in the bedroom. It can be new and exciting, can increase sensitivity and awareness, and can really help you feel present in the moment. A lot of people have anxieties that might affect their ability to enjoy sex, whether it’s self-confidence or being with a new partner, and cannabis can help them relax and reach orgasm that much easier. At the end of the day, it’s all about pleasure, and being present in that moment with your body and your partner.
How can JADEO readers DIY a lube with THC while waiting for the regulatory framework to open up on cannabis topicals?
Although infused topicals aren’t regulated quite yet, you can absolutely DIY your own. To do so, you can purchase either CBD or THC oil from a Licenced Producer and mix it in to your favourite, body-safe lube (or body oil of choice!). Alternately, you can make your own from scratch by infusing coconut oil with dry flower cannabis over the period of a week or so, or google how to infuse the oil using a slow cooker. There are plenty of resources online, so do what feels best - although using a strain you already know works with your body and your preferences is always a good start.
Stay Informed. Stay Healthy.