Denise Tam is Cofounder of Heavens Please, specialized in CBD to help people’s mental and physical wellbeing.
Denise Tam, owner, and co-founder of Heavens Please a CBD and cannabinoids wellness select store based in Hong Kong. She advocate holistic wellness, she sees health as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Before founding her brand she had been moving around between different jobs, but she’s always been in a position where helping people and solving problems. For more than 5 years she was in luxurious hospitality, where she got to learn what love and care truly mean. She believes that wellness in all aspects is equally important. She is recognized as a Gen. T leader of tomorrow for shaping Asia’s future, driving positive impact, and catalyzing change in Asia.
This interview appeared first on Planet China Vol 11, Celebrating Women who push boundaries.
Could you tell us a bit about you?
I am a witch and have a love of plants, especially poisonous ones and entheogens. Apart from running Heavens Please I spend much of my time devoted to studies of the occult, plants, divination, and magic.
Studies have shown that CBD has a wide range of therapeutic properties to help to deal with several issues such as anxiety, stress, depression, sleep, disorders, pain, inflammation, muscle spasms, etc
What was your inspiration for creating “Heavens Please”? What are the main principles of your brand, and what is the main concept behind it?
The time Heavens Please was created, is a time when people are struggling with the present condition. We see the needs to balance, to reconnect with nature, and the resurgence of cannabis. Heavens Please is about taking a holistic approach to life and wellness, with a focus on hemp, cannabinoids, and botanicals. We wanted to help bridge the gap between those who had no idea about plants, and those who are experienced users of cannabis, to help them further understand why plants are invaluable to human development and sustainability, also to reduce stigma on the plant through education and experience. Instead of a routine schedule, we ask the public to build their own ritual through awareness to create emotional, physical, and spiritual balance for their own wellbeing, where they’ll find their peace and heaven. With the range of products we provide in our line of offering, there are different choices for everyone – from those who wanted to try what CBD is, to advanced users, to those who want to introduce CBD and cannabinoids to family and loved ones. We only offer clean, organic products from a place we trust, from those that will give back to nature and the community.
She has a deep understanding, and compassion for stressed people and society
Can you tell us about CBD and what it’s used for? What are the therapeutic properties? What are some stories of CBD changing people’s lives?
CBD is Cannabidiol in short, which is one of the many active compounds present in hemp/ cannabis, it can be used in many ways – as a wellness supplement, in food and beverages, in skincare and body care products, intimacy, and as medicine. CBD has high therapeutic potentials and works through the Endocannabinoid System to return us to homeostasis – our internal and external balance. It is anti-inflammatory, stress, and pain-relieving, anti-oxidant, and can improve quality of sleep, heart health, skin regeneration, and increase focus. A girl named Charlotte Figi developed epilepsy from Dravet Syndrome as a baby and her parents searched everywhere for a cure. After learning about medicating with cannabis from another child, they contacted the Stanley brothers, who have developed a cannabis strain high in CBD but low in THC in hopes to help Charlotte relieve her condition. Within minutes of administering a highly concentrated CBD extract, Charlotte’s muscle spasms were greatly reduced, and with continuous use, her epilepsy condition has greatly improved. This case is then widely reported amongst the US media, and gained lots of attention on CBD that it changed local cannabis laws. The cannabis strain gained its name – Charlotte’s Web and sparked the beginning of the widespread use of CBD and other cannabinoids across the country and the world.
Since knowledge is power, she aims to lift the long-held stigma on cannabis and hemp through education and culture. Heavens Please also host information events
What does maintain wellness mean to you? How CBD can help people’s mental and physical wellbeing?
Maintaining wellness is a balance of our physical, emotional, and spiritual state not just the mere absence of sickness or diseases. The three is a whole, lack of care for either one causes stress and creates an imbalance within us. CBD relieves mental stress and anxiety because it works with certain receptors and enzymes to control serotonin levels to increase signaling between neurotransmitters. When the body is able to maintain a healthy level of serotonin, mood, energy, and stress levels can be balanced. Other than receptors near our brain, there are lots of receptors on our skin that can absorb CBD, which plays an important role in decreasing inflammation on the skin, protecting from bacteria and radical damages. CBD also has a pain-relieving aspect no matter used internally or externally. Because the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) controls other bodily systems including the Central Nervous System, Digestive System, Immune System, and Reproduction System, a healthy ECS will help us regulate our stress response.
Heavens Please, founded by entrepreneurs Denise Tam and Terry Wu, sells CBD supplements alongside CBD-infused beauty products, high-quality CBD oils, and coffee beans on its e-commerce site. They believe in the healing power of plants, especially Hemp (Cannabis Sativa), a plant that is so versatile, it can feed you, clothe you, house you, and even heal you. Their brand supplies also the city’s first CBD beer made by OH CBD Beer HK. They invested in being plastic-free, every one of Heavens Please’s items is available in glass jars and containers, and cardboard packaging. Heavens Please products are organic, vegan, ethically sourced, vetted for purity by third-party labs and compliant with Hong Kong legal standards.
What are the biggest misconceptions about CBD would you like to see change and overcome?
In the beginning, when we first introduced CBD to Hong Kong, it is “will I get high?” This is the most asked question when it comes to CBD because people still don’t know how to differentiate the different compounds, the difference between CBD and THC (it’s a psychoactive cousin), and that there is so much more within a plant than just one single demonized compound. Now with more people getting familiar with CBD, issues and questions on dosing arise. People easily confuse with the more (higher dose) they use, the more relief they will have, which is a wrong concept. With CBD and cannabinoids (which extends to the application to any other matters), you should find your optimal dosage by starting little and add on until desired effects are achieved instead of starting right off at a high dose, which may induce uncomfortable side effects that will cause a bad impression and hesitation.
What role can CBD play to cope and overcome daily life stress during COVID 19 time? Can it help people to be more relaxed during the Pandemic?
CBD as a plant-derived compound has many uses, it can replace lots of the current supplements people are currently using, and as a more natural, organic alternative. During COVID-19 times, there may be stress-induced by various situations and uncertainties, which may cause endocannabinoid deficiency. The intake of cannabinoids like CBD will help balance the ECS and increase levels of cannabinoids and anandamide inside our body, which regulates our hormones, mood, pain perception, appetite, and memory. Retain an optimal amount of cannabinoids within us is vital to gain a balanced, healthy life during the pandemic. Although CBD will be effective whenever you feel the need to use it, it is best used continuously for the best results. It gives you a chance to understand yourself and create awareness within the self, once you get ahold of how your body works you will start to learn how to be more relaxed without relying on anything. By the way, Israel already has preliminary studies on how CBD may be used as a potential treatment for COVID-19. The immunosuppressive functions of CBD and other cannabinoids might be used to fight off its harmful and fatal effects developed by the cytokine storm (a type of hyper inflammation), while a healthy, non-overreacting immune system is needed to produce an immune response to combat the virus. It shows that CBD can inhibit viral cell entry and spread and can be a potential treatment for related respiratory diseases. Although it shows much potential there is still a need for ongoing clinical trials to prove the efficacy.
Humans and our culture had been evolving along with plants especially cannabis that is widely recorded with its medical and ritual or ceremonial usage across cultures and religions.” – Denise Tam
What do you love most about what you do? What are the biggest challenges that you have faced?
I love that I can create what’s entirely mine and spread what I love. This gives me a chance to meet new people and learn new things constantly to help me continue my path. Hemp and Cannabis are sacred plants to humans, they were used since antiquity to achieve long life and expand consciousness. The biggest challenge I’ve faced is building Heavens Please with Terry, he is not only my business partner but also a partner in life, so much communication, and tuning have to be done in order to be aligned to work towards the same goal. We are self-funded and started from scratch, it is not easy to build everything by just the two of us, especially when we have the vision to bring back cannabis and hemp as a daily necessity which has been demonized by the government and media for almost a century. Running a hemp-focused business also has its challenges, there were lots of rejections coming from other shops and businesses when we started out, as no one understands the regulations and is hesitant to work with us. Another worldwide issue is that hemp or cannabis-related products are unable to be advertised on social media, restrictions on audience reached and bans on payment accounts by PayPal and Stripe as they don’t accept CBD businesses.
Hemp fibers and products can replace most of the unsustainable materials or harmful substances that we consume in our daily lives. For example petroleum, plastics, polyester.” – Denise Tam
Could you please tell me a little about your experience as a female entrepreneur?
I have always dreamed of having my own shop since I liked to share interesting, quality, and beautiful things. This is my first time starting a business at this scale, within the two years, I’ve learned so much and met inspiring people around the world as well as in Hong Kong. I had the chance to visit Bangkok and Las Vegas for their cannabis expo which opened my eyes to so many things, and the opportunities we can create for the world and in this industry are unlimited. We don’t only sell products at Heavens Please, we also consult other brands and individuals to build their own brand and product formulations, I get to learn from people from other industries, which is a very fun experience. However, one thing I observed is that we have to always remember our intention, why we started. Keep going but do not lose track of where you want to go, what I want to do is there within my mind’s eye but there are so many ways and methods to achieve the goal. Constantly revise what I’m doing and through reflection and introspection, make adjustments to myself and towards my work. Adapt to changes according to current circumstances and the environment is important too.
What messages are you looking to promote with your brand for CBD? What are your views on sustainability, and how do they influence your work?
To free people’s minds – legalization of all plants including cannabis, and the use of plants is essential in our life in order to develop and maintain our well-being, to help modern-day people reconnect with nature and become one as a whole on all aspects with conscious lifestyle choices. CBD is just the beginning of our time to let the public start to understand what cannabis and hemp really are, and how to utilize this plant’s full potential. Although our ancestors had been using this plant for millennia in all religions and cultures, we are only now realizing how important it is and the science behind it. Sustainability is achieved in many different ways. Using hemp and cannabis-derived products like CBD is supporting a sustainable practice since hemp itself is a highly sustainable crop, cultivating hemp can absorb toxins from the land, uses less water and pesticides, can produce a variety of biodegradable materials to replace current existing plastics and fibers, every part of the plant can be used. It consists of essential nutrients for human health such as omega fatty acids and protein and fiber. Knowing that one single plant can help reduce waste and create so many opportunities, it is my honor to be working with this plant and spread goodness with our people. Other than selling CBD and other cannabinoids products, I choose to use hemp fiber as stuffers of our packaging which can be composted in two weeks. Through education and experience, we bring people closer to the idea of self-sustainability by raising awareness of ourselves and the Earth and universe. As a witch, I learn to communicate and pay attention to nature, that we are a part of the macrocosm, that we need to protect our environment to sustain life and so we can provide for the future. The world is deteriorating at a fast pace that is why we need to return to nature, to awaken ourselves to reconnect with the land to fulfill our responsibilities as living beings on this planet.
Heavens Please focus on holistic wellness through the usage of plants and natural healing to promote the balance of the Endocannabinoid System to form a healthier lifestyle, to elevate the spirit, mental and physical wellness with a sustainable world in mind
Progress towards sustainability is a priority issue of our era. What would be the top thing that you would change about the way we treat the planet if you could?
Minimize our destructive force, bring back awareness, and live with consciousness. Once we learn to balance our heart and our mind we will understand we should treat the planet just as ourselves. Actions and intentions are equally important, Earth is a living thing and we should treat her with care and respect. Be free of previous constraints on how we used to do things, how we used to live on this planet, we can always change, and we should embrace change. Take immediate action to create change within your community even just a tiny step. Death is inevitable, it is within our everyday lives, without death, there is no progress and evolution. The dying of an idea, a concept or a habit keeps us moving thus facilitates changes. Our connection with the living and dead spirits means our responsibility to take action to save our world for survival, return to our natural, authentic, wild animal self, not the robots we’re becoming of this world.
Photos courtesy of Denise Tam & Heaven Please