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My Storey

My journey to CBD oil and Big Chief Hemp

I’m Mandy, the founder of Big Chief Hemp and would like to share my storey with you.

I’m often asked why we started Big Chief Hemp and what got me into Hemp and CBD products.

CBD has been a gift to me and my family, Mother Natures Gift.

Full CBD range wooden heart

Growing up in the army

I was born in the early 1970s, in the legendary Pied Piper town of Hamelin in Germany, the year after my father joined the army.

Throughout my childhood, my family moved back and forth between England and Germany.

When I was 11 or 12 years old, I learnt Judo at the army barracks close to where we were living, at that time, in Germany. This was an incredible experience. We entered many competitions and trained hard.

The Dandelion is the official flower of the military child

And so it begins

Fast forward a few years, I’m now in my early 20’s, living in England and my dad has left the army. I am working as a credit controller and raising a beautiful daughter.

One morning, I woke up and everything changed. This morning would be the day that my life was turned on its end. I woke up with my neck and back in agony, which made me think that perhaps I slept at an odd angle and strained a few muscles while sleeping – so I gave it a few days.

The pain wasn’t getting any better; it was getting worse. I couldn’t open doors, I couldn’t stand up straight, and I couldn’t sit down without being in pain. So, I made an appointment with my GP.

The long and short of it; Diagnosis: Facet Joint Degeneration & Degenerative Disc disease.  Most of us get this in old age, I just came early.

Arthritis at 28?!

To improve my core strength and to try and create more support for my spine, physiotherapy is recommended.

But as the months went by, the pain was getting worse and worse – there was no way I could continue physiotherapy; it was too painful.

It was back to the drawing board, and this time my first pain specialist, suggested that we tried steroid injections.

A few weeks after the injections, the pain in my back was even worse than before the injections.

keep taking the tablets

It was beginning to feel like everything I tried was just making me feel worse, and in even more pain, but didn’t want to give up. Called my GP again to see if there was something else we can try to relieve some of the pain, so I was then referred for an MRI scan.

When the results of the MRI came back, I was given the same diagnosis. The Pain Clinician “It’s not that we don’t believe you, but we can’t find anything else other than your original diagnosis”.

So, I was told to keep taking the pain medication that I was prescribed and hope that one day the pain eases.

Is it all in my mind

I didn’t go back to any specialists for two years after this, purely out of embarrassment. Was it all in my head? My pain levels were much higher than they should be. Was I just weak?

My life had changed so much in just a few years, and the doctors couldn’t help me.

I had gone from an active independent woman to struggling to get out of bed or lift a pan without being in extreme pain

IS judo responsible

During this time, still working full time, and after two more years of pain, I decided to contact my GP again to see if my spine could be re-examined.

I was referred for a CT scan (computed tomography), so the doctors could have a different look at my spine.

After just a few days, I received a call from the surgeon’s secretary asking me to go to the hospital as soon as I could because the surgeon was staying in his office after work waiting to talk to me.

I knew this had to be important, so I left the office, grabbed my daughter from the after-school club and rushed over to the hospital.

Arriving at the hospital and sat down in the surgeon’s office. The radiologist had found a fracture in my spine, tucked away.   *This is almost five years since my issues began.

Sounds odd, but I cried with joy, the doctors have found something to treat, and it wasn’t my imagination. 

It transpires that; must have fractured the lower spine in my youth while my body was still developing.

An old injury

An old fracture that will not heal.

Double spinal fusion

The surgeon advised I would need a double spinal fusion to fuse a few vertebrae to try and eliminate painful motion and restore the stability in my spine.

During the surgery, he had to remove a bulging disc altogether and popped in a cage in its place.


What did my future hold?

Now moving into my 40s; new kneecaps are required; I’ve had an arthroscopy on both knees and am too young to get the knee replacements.

All in all, my body has aged much quicker than it should have.

My career came to an end; our entire Accounts team faced redundancy.

So that was that. My storey.

Thought, that was my last job as I deemed myself unemployable.

Grieving for myself

Since my first diagnosis, my marriage broke down, made redundantly, and my body was gradually losing mobility.

Grieving for myself I’d gone from a physically independent and financially independent woman to suddenly, not so independent.  A big shift.

Seems daft now, but I resented having to use a wheelchair occasionally.

Until you realise you are still one of the lucky ones.  Cognitive behavioural therapy through the NHS. A fantastic online chatroom service.

The online Therapist taught me mechanisms to realise the positive things about myself and to look at what had been achieved, and still to achieve, in my life.

‘Glorify who you are today, do not condemn who you were yesterday, and dream of who you can be tomorrow’ – Neale Donald Walsch

pain relief

Since the first day, I felt back pain I had been trying various pain relief medications; my GP worked with me to try and find the best combination of medication and dosage that would help me.

We tried so many pain killers and anti-inflammatories, but they either didn’t agree with me, had too many side effects that I didn’t want to risk, or made me feel even worse, I’m opioid-intolerant.

My Pain Management Consultant (Consultant Anaesthetist), works with me so I can have a treatment that keeps me alive/sane; ‘Pulse Denervation’, every four months. I feel blessed;

The fabulous NHS give me the procedures needed, twice per year. I pay for one further treatment a year privately.

Without these injections, I simply cannot function; life is unbearable, utterly impossible.

discovering cbd

One day I decided to start looking for herbal remedies.

We discovered articles about the plant “Hemp” and its potential benefits to the environment and as an alternative to plastics.

After some thorough research about Hemp, I found out that it was the CBD oil (Cannabidiol) and other Cannabinoids in Hemp that was behind potential wellness benefits. I decided to give it a try.

After talking about Hemp and CBD with one of my neighbours, she said that she had also heard about CBD and would bring me some Hemp paste to try.

Big Chief hemp is born

While using CBD oil myself,  found it to be very expensive and couldn’t understand why.

Wanted to bring CBD oil to the market at a reasonable price so more folks could reap the benefits of this natural product – so launched Big Chief Hemp. 

All the while maintaining my independence and creating a new path for myself.

Am passionate about the benefits of Hemp derived products and provide naturally grown broad-spectrum CBD Oils and Hemp products. 

We are pleased to offer a premium product with an improved price tag and work towards being farmers of this incredible plant.

My dream is to have a hemp farm in the UK and begin a CBD charity for those who cannot afford the Oil regularly…One day! watch this space.


its a journey

You can join me on my journey, and join our Pow Wow, subscribe to my Newsletter. It is not issued monthly, just when we have some news.

And see where My Storey goes

 If you would like advice about any of our products, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, simply email us at [email protected]