Many people struggle with anxiety and depression that sometimes leads to suicide, and it’s incredible to hear recovery and success stories like Johnathan Henry‘s, whose life was transformed by the help of CBD and therapy.
Johnathan is the founder of Rejhenesis CBD. His journey to the cannabis world began in pursuit of a holistic and natural alternative to anti-depression medication.
In this episode of The Hemp Revolution Podcast, Johnathan talks about his struggles and his 360° turn from suicidal to successful cannabis and hemp entrepreneur.
Don’t miss out!
I’m living proof that CBD has been beneficial. To me, it’s just an amazing, amazing thing and I wish more people knew about it. – Johnathan Henry
Some Topics We Discussed Include
2:48 – Johnathan talks struggle with anxiety and depression, and his suicidal attempt
6:26 – How his life changed after discovering CBD
8:54 – Rejhesis started as an e-commerce business
10:59 – Starting Rejhesis’ own line
12:03 – The biggest challenges of building and managing a CBD business and how he combats it
12:50 – Why he opened a shop directly behind his old job
15:30 – About their marketing strategies
20:50 – What’s next for Rejhenesis
People Mentioned / Resources
Connect with Johnathan Henry
Connect with Sonia Gomez
Sonia Gomez: What’s up, guys? So you guys coming to you from Denver, Colorado on another episode of The Hemp Revolution Podcast where we are sharing and telling the real story of cannabis and hemp from the eyes of the entrepreneurs who are pushing this incredible industry forward. My guest today, Jonathan Henry, along with his wife and son, the name Rejhenesis came about. Ramona, Ezra, and Jonathan Henry and, Enesis, Enesis?
Johnathan Henry: Rejhenesis. Rejhenesis. So we’re playing on Rejhenesis.
Sonia Gomez: I love it. I love it. And that word actually means new beginnings. His journey began in the world of CBD as an alternative to anti-depression medication. He did not like the withdrawal symptoms of pharmaceuticals, so he stumbled upon CBD in his pursuit for a holistic and natural alternative.
It helped for a really long time, and then he felt better and actually stopped. And in December of 2018, he was on the verge of suicide due to stress, depression, and anxiety-like so many others have shared their story here. He went on for a year-long journey of self-healing and in unison with extensive therapy. And CBD began to feel much better.
He quit his job and opened Rejhenesis CBD with his family. They are a small business looking to grow out their line of products and help the community by educating in their area and hemisphere. Here to share more about his story and how he got involved in the industry and what he’s doing to create change in his community. Help me welcome my good friend Jonathan Henry. How’s it going?
Johnathan Henry: Doing okay, thank you for allowing me the platform.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, totally. I’m so excited to have you guys on I really enjoy bringing folks on from all different facets of the industry and at all different levels of success. You know, no one’s born successful in this industry. So I’d love to hear a little bit about who you are and what your background is and how you ended up in the cannabis and Hemp craze.
Johnathan’s Struggle with Anxiety and Depression, and His Suicidal Attempt
Johnathan Henry: So, a little bit about me. My wife and I, we’ve been married almost 20 years since right after high school we got together and we welcome our first son five years ago. His name is Ezra, and my wife’s name is Ramona. And my name is Jonathan. And I say that that’s how the name came about. And it was actually kind of weird because I didn’t see it. At first, I had a dream. And oh, people like, Oh, this guy’s crazy, but I’m not. I had a dream. And I woke up, and I wrote it down.
Because this is during a time where I was really struggling with my depression. And my anxiety. I used to run a very large corporation. I was the manager of a Fortune 500 company.
Sonia Gomez: Wow
Johnathan Henry: And we did an acquisition where I went from 14 employees to 60 employees overnight, and I was the sole manager there. And I did that for a year. But prior to that for eight years, I had run a small branch. And eventually, it just became overwhelming. And like Sonia said, I actually couldn’t handle it anymore. And I was on the verge of suicide. I had the plan. I was going to get a tie, and I was going to hang it up. It was my work tie and I was going to hang it up on the door and I was going to hang myself. And the letter would say, my job killed me.
And my son flashing from my eyes and stop that plan. And for that year, right after that, this is December 28, 2018. Because there are a lot of things leading up to that. My son at Christmas called me The Grinch because I just didn’t have the energy. I didn’t have the drive to do anything. And my son is what saved me from doing that. And I’m glad he did because I couldn’t imagine him going through this world without, you know, his father.
And then eventually, almost every single day, I went through therapy. I was in ICMP, Intensive Case Management Program. I was in work stress and work health programs. I went through probably five or six different antidepressants, SSRIs and anti-anxiety pills and all those types of things and oh my gosh, the withdrawals coming off of some of those were [crosstalk]
Sonia Gomez: So intense.
Johnathan Henry: Oh, you would never believe some of the withdrawal symptoms like nausea, vomiting. They honestly didn’t work for me, because if they had worked for me, I wouldn’t have been depressed for that year as my thinking. It was probably longer than that because I was on pills for a little bit longer than that. But when I hit the wall, I knew I had to do something different. And I went to a very intense therapy. I was fortunate to have good insurance to do that because the bill was not cheap. You know, I paid out of pocket a lot of money. But the insurance took the brunt of the cost.
How His Life Changed after Discovering CBD
So eventually, I think it was June, I was in Las Vegas. And I had forgotten my medicine. I was in Las Vegas and I didn’t have any medicine. And I felt like I was dying. The pills that I was taking. I didn’t have them. So I went to a CBD shop in Las Vegas, and I got a vape, a CBD vape. I remember I was on Koi back in the day. It was Koi. That was it. That was the it brand for me when I was vaping CBD. So I grabbed some Koi. I mean not Koi, I don’t remember this particular brand, but I did. And it kind of helped. But it didn’t take the simpler way because I don’t know if anyone out there has been on SSRIs.
I got brain zaps, so it felt like manager seizures constantly for about two days. I was throwing up. I just felt exhausted, just awful. So I got back into Bakersfield. I told my wife I said, um, I need to go back to the doctor and tell them we need to do something different. We need to take me off this medicine. I can’t do it. And I went back and they took me off. And I kind of started to take myself off of these meds.
And I think after June so we opened in July after June, I didn’t take any more depressant medicine because I went strictly to CBD, and it was working so well for me it was easing some of my symptoms. And we started Rejhenesis in unison with the CBD, I did another intensive treatment, which is called RTMS.
There’s people out there that are struggling with depression, and none of the medicines are working, I recommend that you look into it, because what it is it’s six weeks, five days a week where you get a magnet put on your head, and it stimulates your brain cells, the ones that are not working to wake up. And I can tell you today that with CBD, and the treatment that I’ve gone through, I haven’t had a depressive episode in a very long time. So my treatment was done January 17. But prior to that, it started in October. I haven’t been depressed since October of 2019.
Sonia Gomez: Wow. What an incredible story. I’m super grateful for your sharing and congratulations on your success and recovery. So many people are struggling with depression and anxiety and even still, you know, now we can definitely see folks who are, you know, completely transforming their life because they’re using holistic remedies like cannabis and hemp to combat the symptoms of depression and anxiety and however they choose to holistically address things like PTSD, anxiety, depression, and so on and so forth. You know, we’re seeing a ton of success with holistic modalities.
Talk to me a little bit about your guys’ business. What is your main focus there? Are you just a CBD resale store? Do you have your own product line? What kind of experience are you providing for your clientele and customer base there?
Johnathan Henry: So originally when we first were going to start our CBD business, we were only going to do e-commerce. But I don’t know a lot of people, there’s so many different products out there for CBD. And I’m going to be the first to admit not all of them are great. Some of them are amazing, but not all of them are, they have very flashy labeling and all these things. And I’m not going to kid you, I got caught up in some of the flashy labelings of some of these brands. And originally, we were going to open but I found this particular product that I wanted and I’m not going to throw any names out there. But I got lasso into this product. And I built my store and my marketing, initial marketing around this particular product.
So the catch was you buy this product and you’re going to get the processing machine free. And I did about I think 20 bottles of this product. I waited six months and I never got the processing machine. So it was stuck with 20 bottles of this product that I couldn’t even use. And I try so so so many times to get my money back and I never did. So my initial investment in my business on product alone was about $20,000 just in product.
And we were doing well, you know, even without that staple of the business, whatever our branding and what we were doing, we’re gonna bring the first machine to our city, and it just never came to fruition. So I ended up doing more research and if anyone’s thinking about starting a CBD business, I recommend doing a lot of research prior to jumping in, because if you don’t do the research, you will lose money, you know, you will lose money. So I was fortunate that I had a pretty good following here in Bakersfield had a lot of friends, and we were steady. You know, I was getting people coming in every day and they were buying the things that we had.
Starting Rejhesis’ Own Line
But Eventually I realized that we wanted to branch out and start our own line. Our name is so unique. We want to have control over what went into our products and what people were getting. So yes, we did start our own line. We have face creams. We have face serums. They have plant based shampoo. And we have a lotion. And now we have two tinctures we had ones called Tasty Tangerine. It’s for focus and energy. It has terpenes in it that helped with focus and energy. And now we’re working on a tincture for stress. It’s called tranquility. It has terpenes as well as some melatonin to help with the stress and helping with sleep.
Sonia Gomez: Wow, so cool. Not everybody that has a storefront actually opens their own product line as well. So that’s really cool to hear. And you have your hands in multiple sectors of the business. I’m really interested to hear from you what have been some of the challenges that have presented themselves to you while you You know, starting and growing these areas of your company,
The Biggest Challenges of Building and Managing a CBD Business and How He Combats It
Johnathan Henry: The stigma of CBD. People think that I’m selling marijuana and I want to be the first to say, I’m not selling marijuana. And even if I was, I don’t see who it’s hurting, you know, because the people at a dispensary you have to have or California is actually legal. But in Kern County, they do not give the licenses out freely and most of the people that have their licenses have been harassed and I think a few of them have gone to jail. I don’t know the specifics behind it, but in our county, it’s very conservative and they do not want marijuana dispensaries here. And even when I opened my shop, I have detractors in our area that did not want me here.
Why He Opened a Shop Directly Behind His Old Job
Another funny story A lot of people don’t know this, but I actually open my shop directly behind my old job was directly behind because of that. Yes. And I did that for a specific purpose. To remind me to not fall back. I didn’t have a fallback plan. I let all my Professional Licenses go because I didn’t want to have a fallback plan. I did not want to go back. I didn’t refer back to that. Because I don’t plan on falling back. I plan on going forward. So I let everything go. I made it a point to rent the shop directly behind my old job. So I can see them as I go to my shop every day. And remember what I left.
Sonia Gomez: Wow, pretty incredible. So for you the biggest challenge has been the stigma, how are you combating the stigma?
Johnathan Henry: [crosstalk] A lot, a lot of education just talking to people. I would say it’s kind of hard to bring up the conversation about CBD, because you don’t know who’s pro and who’s not for CBD. So I kind of eased into it just a little bit and I just kind of talk to people as I go. So if I’m going to start So I see a magazine that says, hey CBD, and like, Oh, you know, CBD even if their interest their interest is piqued, then I’ll start talking about the brand.
I also go to a lot of the smoke shops around town because they were always smoke shops and he should sell some e-cigarette juice. I’m like no, because I didn’t open my shop. My shop is not for e-cigarette juice is not for nicotine. It’s for holistic benefits for people that want to alternative to medicines. So the another problem that I have is getting the product out there. I think that’s another thing.
When you’re a small shop like ours, the name recognition is very, very difficult to break into. So I can’t compete with a Koi or a CBD and be these guys that have 100 million dollars or whatever to spend on marketing. It’s just word of mouth, friends and family. So that is also one of the hardest things I think in the industry is to get your name out there. Your platform is amazing. And we appreciate you for helping us get our brand out there like that.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, absolutely. Well, let’s talk about the marketing and exposure piece for just a second because I think it’ll be super valuable for folks who are tuning in and for you as well. What are you doing to market your business right now? Sounds like it’s still pretty grassroots. But I’d love to hear in more detail what you guys are doing to market your business both locally, and a little further.
Johnathan Henry: So I have paid for advertising, like in local magazines, we paid for local papers, those type of things, and I’m gonna be honest with you, none of that panned out. We spent a little bit of money on that. So me, personally, I wouldn’t recommend that because no one reads those things anymore. Because I think we put 30,000 adverts out, in and around our community, and I could probably tell you that me have gotten two or three people call me from those adverts. So that was difficult.
Facebook and Instagram, they have made it extremely difficult for me to advertise. I was doing everything to try to get advertising on Facebook, but they keep disabling my account. So that hasn’t worked. We bought a cricket and we made signs Rejhenesis CBD and we put them out in various locations around town that seemed to work better than anything else, just getting some signs out there and that’ll pique people’s interest.
But mostly it’s just Instagram and Facebook and LinkedIn. Those are the three main areas that we’ve had. Oh, yeah, I’m also a friend of mine is a YouTuber. We actually got some business from, we were on his videos, and we got some business from that as well. So the same story I’m telling you guys now and we did get some business from that. So I think YouTube, if we can get our YouTube following better I think that’ll help as well.
Sonia Gomez: Finish this sentence for me. If I could just do X, that would totally fix our problem.
Johnathan Henry: If I could totally [unintelligible] if I could move locations, it will probably fix our problem. Because our location is kind of tucked back away. It doesn’t have we don’t have a store front, we have a store, but it’s not in the front like a shopping mall.
Sonia Gomez: Uh huh.
So you would increase traffic to where you are, or tell me that one thing again.
Johnathan Henry: So yeah, well, maybe let’s change that. I don’t know. That’s a hard question to answer because there’s a few things that I would think that we can change. And I have two questions to ask.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, yeah, please do.
Johnathan Henry: Yeah. So um, if we could have a better storefront location, I think that would increase the traffic, that would helped us out a little bit more. And also maybe like an angel investor would solve our problems, someone that knew how to just a little money to get some marketing out there. Like I know there’s other marketing companies out there that will do a great job and getting our product out there because believe me the product great. It’s just getting out there in front of thousands of more people to actually experience it, you know what I’m saying? So I think those two things getting an angel investor and getting a storefront location would be ideal to get in our store and our brand, very popular around the world.
Sonia Gomez: Or at least in your local community. They’re a very important mentor of mine told me that it doesn’t take much to be a seven figure company, and if you can get, you know, 1000 people within 100 miles of you to buy $1,000 worth of product a month, you’re going to be running a pretty successful business. And it seems more complicated than it sounds but the good news is, it’s not very difficult to build a local following and a local community around your project or your product or your passion.
It just takes consistency. It takes commitment, and some really, really incredible things can happen. You know, I’ve watched and experienced these theories firsthand. And although CBD presents itself with some unique challenges, it’s not impossible to navigate your way through. Talks me a little bit about your team. Is your wife involved with you in the business?
Johnathan Henry: She is, but she also has a full-time job. So we both have full-time jobs. This is something that we started and we don’t want to become rich off of what we’re doing because we don’t sell our products for a lot of money. We sell our products to make them affordable for our community. We didn’t want to go in and make millions of dollars. We knew that wasn’t gonna happen today or tomorrow. We came in to make a living for our family. That was our goal. And it’s just really my wife, myself and my sister in law. She does a lot of my Instagram pictures. She does a lot of editing on some of the videos that we put up those types of things, but it’s just the three of us that are involved in the business day-to-day.
Sonia Gomez: That’s awesome. And what do we have to look forward to from you guys? What is it that you are looking to achieve this year?
What’s Next for Rejhenesis
Johnathan Henry: So what we’re looking to achieve, we’re actually thinking about starting a podcast and the YouTube channel. We’re gonna name it Rejheni Talk. We’re gonna do a lot of CBD education. We want to do some videos and just kind of show what CBD has done in the transformation. Like I have some videos of myself going through the treatments. I have pictures of myself, like very depressed. I mean, this wasn’t even anything planned, but just to show the transition of how I was to where I am. Because I’m living proof that CBD has been beneficial to me. It’s just an amazing, amazing thing. And I wish more people knew about it. The benefits of CBD.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, yeah, I can totally hear that. Well, that’s really incredible. I’m super excited to have you on and to hear your guys’ story and the efforts that you’ve put into growing your business. Where can folks find you if they want to follow along with your journey? What you’re up to?
Johnathan Henry: It’s Rejhenesis CBD, one-word R-E-J-H-E-N-E-S-I-S CBD. That’s our Instagram and our Facebook. If people want to check out our online store, it’s BakersfieldCBDshop.com
Sonia Gomez: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for spending your time here with us today. And for those of you guys who are tuning in, thank you so much for being a part of our family at the Hemp Revolution and medicalsecrets.com. As you know, it is our mission to empower you with the truth about cannabis. So that you can make educated decisions about how you want to care for yourself, the people that you love, and the conditions you may be suffering from or otherwise participate in this gorgeous gift of life that we are getting to enjoy here.
If you’re someone looking for products that you can trust, check us out at medicalsecrets.com and if you are a budding entrepreneur or business owner in this space, we would love to hear your story. Please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll look forward to connecting with you there. I’m your hostess with the mostess, Sonia Gomez, and this is the Hemp Revolution. We’ll see you on a next show, guys.
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