Hemp Oz Founder and social entrepreneur, John Leith admits he never imagined himself at the forefront of the Hemp and Health beverage industry. In fact, it was by complete accident that he found himself starting Australia’s first hemp beverage company, Hemp Oz, and introducing Australians to his unique Hemp Oz Kombucha.
For John, it was a case of Hemp Health Beverages choosing him, rather than the other, more traditional, way around.
Having embarked on a master’s degree in Business Innovation as a means of expanding his existing business portfolio. His studies took him across the globe, and the high-intensity, punishing schedule of travel and study began to take its toll on his energy levels and general health. Or so John presumed. John never imagined it was anything more than run-of-the-mill fatigue. Yet, when he ended up in hospital, John learned his symptoms had developed as a result of Type 2 Diabetes.
“I woke up in the hospital and was told I had Type 2 Diabetes, completely out of the blue! I was in total disbelief and I was even more devastated to learn there was no cure,” recounted Leith.
The shock diagnosis forced him to re-evaluate his lifestyle choices and make a change or risk succumbing to a career-ending chronic illness. “I was determined to look after my health, and I tried all the traditional treatments – but in the end, I needed a natural, complementary alternative.
He needed to improve his diet and ditch the sugary drinks. Searching for a health-boosting, sugar-free drink alternative proved difficult. “When my health professional suggested I try Hemp and Kombucha as a treatment, I was initially sceptical. I thought it was an illicit drug!” With his own research and reassurance from his health professionals, he decided to give it a try.
John set out to create his own kombucha infused with hemp oil. Blending the gut-health benefits of Kombucha with the complete nutritional package of hemp oil, John discovered his homebrew was a match-made-in-heaven for both the body and tastebuds. Unlike any other kombucha, it was a next-level health drink.
Improving gut health is vital to keep the whole body healthy. For John, the benefits on gut health, immunity and energy-levels after drinking his home-made Hemp Kombucha were obvious.
“After drinking one litre a day, my diabetes symptoms improved dramatically. The doctors were stunned. I was inspired,” said John.
“I couldn’t believe something so delicious could be so healthy for me! I loved the crisp, refreshing taste that pops and explodes in the mouth, all with zero sugar.”
While health advice often focuses on what you eat, what you drink can be just as crucial. “Unlike many other beverages, Hemp Oz Kombucha has extremely low sugar, so it’s quality hydration that moisturises your body from the inside out.”
“When I discovered what the powerful combination of pure, unpasteurised kombucha with the boost of hemp did for my gut and overall health, it was only natural to want to spread it around,” John explained. “The rest, as they say, was history!”
Hemp: The Not-so-Secret Ingredient
A pioneer in the hemp health craze, John discovered hemp was indeed a nutritional wonder-food! The seeds and oil were packed with wholesome goodness including high-quality, plant-based protein, dietary fibre, linoleic acid, Omega 3,6,9 as well as many essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients. This discovery also led him to uncover the role of medicinal cannabis in improving the health outcomes for many patients with chronic pain or conditions like epilepsy, including his own family member.
Sadly, hemp has been wrongly associated with the illicit drug, marijuana, and while Hemp is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant species, it is chemically very different from the illicit version. In Australia, Hemp products are derived from hulled hemp seeds which contain virtually none of the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). To put it simply, Hemp won’t get you high, so is perfectly safe to consume.
Hemp was legalised in Nov 2017, and soon after John launched his unique Hemp Oz Kombucha, the first of its kind in Australia, made the traditional way, unpasteurised and pure, 100% Australian made. He selected Australia’s premium organic botanicals and sourced all ingredients from local, sustainable suppliers. Profits from the sale of Hemp Oz products supports a charity – United in Compassion – which advocates for better patient outcomes and access to medicinal cannabis. Profits are also invested in research and education.
“Having Type 2 Diabetes, I owe my life, and my quality-of-life, to hemp and the live probiotics in Kombucha. Now, who would have thought, this amazing health product is my life!”