Tarryn and Lisa have created NZ Hempress, a cute down-to-earth hemp brand focused on spreading the majesty of hemp to every corner of New Zealand. We caught up with them to talk about the hemp health revolution, helping New Zealanders and who’s giving them the “stink eye”.

How did you start your journey using Hemp to heal? 

Lisa- In November 2018, I made the life-impacting decision to separate from my partner and continue as a solo mother with my two children.

Although an empowering move, the stress of the transition impacted me emotionally and physically resulting in stress-induced psoriasis. The more stressed I became, the worse it got, which dramatically affected my confidence. A friend of mine introduced me to a man who produced a hemp oil, which I was told may help with my skin.

I tried the oil and woke up the following day feeling an improvement so significant, it was a lightbulb moment. The anxiety lifted, stress – gone,  I was able to take a breath for the first time in weeks. I was mind blown. 

Over the next two weeks, psoriasis on my skin cleared. In amazement, I started researching more on the benefits of Hemp and I fell in love. As I continued learning I became so passionate, I was adamant that others needed to know about this elixir. One of the many people I shared the oil with was my friend Tarryn who had a chronic case of hives but I’ll let her share her experience. 

Tarryn – When Lisa first told me about the oil, I was having an allergic reaction to wheat. 

I’d had hives all over my body for 3 months and I would have done anything to get rid of it. 

Then Lisa showed me all these little receptors that exist inside our body for cannabinoids and how many of these receptors were inside the gut. Given the reaction was coming from my gut I figured it was worth a shot and I noticed it eased the itching almost immediately. 

I noticed over the next couple of weeks that my sleep improved, I also had no more pain in my knees. So naturally, I was sharing the oil with my friends and family. One of my friends who I shared with had an amazing experience with her son who had neurological challenges, after seeing that I was well impressed. 

We all drove to meet the formulator and after a long discussion and sharing our commitment and purpose to help people, we asked if he would partner with us so we could bring this oil to the market. He said yes and NZ Hempress was born. 

How do you feel about the upcoming cannabis referendum? 

Hopeful, optimistic. Hopefully, enough of our generation and younger, enroll to vote so that it balances out a very one-sided view from a lot of the older generation. Something to consider is that this is not a vote on whether we or anyone else likes cannabis. This is about putting in place systems for safety, health awareness, regulations for contamination, on something that is very much happening regardless and has proven to cause more harm because it’s unregulated. People also deserve to be educated and with the amount of prejudice the referendum is up against it doesn’t encourage a situation where people make an informed choice. The fear is that this will be an emotional vote. The hope is that people get their heads out of the sand.

One thing we do feel really strongly about is what it will do for accessibility for people who are in pain and only have steroids and opiates as the alternative, which a lot of the time is not effective. Sadly, even though the medicinal use for cannabis is there, most doctors won’t prescribe it. And the cost to fulfill the prescription for the ones who do is horrendous. 

Will a “Yes” vote in the referendum affect you at all? 

Perhaps, but not to any significant extent that we can see. 

There are 2 main industries that the referendum effects. 

The recreational use of cannabis is what we’re voting on. And the medicinal side of cannabis which has already been given the green light…

Our industry is in hemp of which there are many industries. Textiles, environmental, cosmetic, building, and also the dietary and supplement space just to name a few. 

Hemp has no recreational benefit so the referendum won’t affect us there. And although hemp does have medicinal and therapeutic value, the level of therapeutic compounds in our products are not classified as medicinal. So it doesn’t affect us there either. 

We’ve seen some footage of you being out in the community talking to people about hemp. Generally, what is the reaction people give you? 

We really have not been met with much resistance at all. We do occasionally get the old stink eye from some of the older generations but most of the time we can win them over with a big smile, a bit of charm, and some really straight to the point education. Something that has shocked us the most is how overly medicated the average New Zealander is, and how much suffering they are trying to manage on a daily basis. So while sometimes the reaction is judgemental, usually we are met with curiosity and often despair. 

Where would you rate New Zealander’s general knowledge regarding hemp and cannabis? 

Exceptionally low, below average even. 

And we can both say we’re speaking from experience. When we came into the industry we didn’t know a lot – other than cannabis works, and it works ridiculously well. 

Most people when they think cannabis, think first of its psychoactive effects followed by a smaller portion, aware of some kind of medicinal value, and an even smaller percentage aware of the environmental solutions hemp brings. When they think of non-psychoactive cannabis – hemp, we often hear “oh we use the real stuff” which suggests how little people really understand the value of both kinds of plants. 

For a start, both hemp and “marijuana” are cannabis. Hemp is the original crop. “Marijuana” is cultivated by man for its higher levels of the psychoactive and also medicinal cannabinoid THC. However, if you plant Mary J next to her sister hemp, hemp will turn her back to her original state – low THC. THC is only one of over 130 known cannabinoids, not to mention the other valuable properties of the plant that make it so useable by the human body. If people really understood how all of the other cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG, CBN and the other compounds like terpenes synergistically interacted with the human body, perhaps they would consider other more useful ways to benefit from the plant rather than smoking it – which destroys almost all the other compounds making it purely psychoactive and more likely to lead to a paranoid high because the other cannabinoids are not there to balance it out. 

Dig deeper:

CBD, discovered in the 1940’s, is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid, which occurs naturally in cannabis. When consumed, it triggers similar responses to the ones our bodies use to organically bring our endocannabinoid system (ECS) to homeostasis; the state of internal harmony.

What is the most common question people ask you?

“What is the difference between our oil and CBD oil?” 

Our oil contains the full spectrum of all the compounds that occur naturally in hemp. A CBD oil is a medicinal level of the cannabinoid CBD, that is often isolated and therefore missing the other hundreds of cannabinoids and terpenes that make it more bioavailable by the body … 

Also, we don’t have the high percentage of the compound CBD in our oil to technically classify it as any kind of CBD oil, by NZ regulations. However, if you ask the average person about our oil, they will most likely refer to our oil as CBD oil because it does what one would expect a CBD oil to do. A common misconception is that in order for the body to respond, more elevated levels of CBD is better. But a holistic approach usually prefers – less is more, and suggests that endo- cannabinoids (the ones our own bodies create when the endocannabinoid system is activated)  are superior to supplementary cannabinoids. 

We use a very holistic approach introducing a full spectrum of hemp to the body through a method of titration, encouraging the system to wake up. This method has proven to be highly effective. 

Can you tell us a little about what NZ Hempress is all about?

We are leading the mission on educating kiwis about the health benefits derived from hemp so together we can free our families from physical and mental barriers by providing the highest quality hemp products. 

We are passionate about sharing what may be the most important system of physiology in the body: The Endocannabinoid System. A system that was discovered mid-1990 by researcher Dr. Ralph Mechoulam, and crazy story, most people have never heard about it. It was found that the ECS is an integral part of our physiologies responsible for maintaining order and balance across all other systems of the body from the circulatory digestive and reproductive, to the nervous system. So to think it’s a coincidence that our body responds so well to cannabis seems a little ignorant. It’s our mission to bring this to light.

What is your most popular product and why do you think it’s so popular? 

It’s definitely our oil. Because it’s solving and bringing relief to major challenges for people! We have an average of 40 reviews per week, with an average star rating of 4.5 / 5 which you could say makes the oil 90% effective. That being said the ratings we get with lower stars also sometimes say “it’s too early to tell” so it could be even higher. We also give everyone a 14-day money-back guarantee to remove any feelings of risk. 

We love your Instagram! How can people find you?

Cheers! #nzhempress 


Lastly, where can people get NZ Hempress products?www.nzhempress.co.nz

We’re also stocked in health stores around NZ so pm us to check your nearest store.

Start the conversation