People looking for relief from a variety of physical conditions can pursue conventional treatment, but now there’s another option to explore in Marshfield: Happy Hempster Herbal Essentials.

The Happy Hempster specializes in CBD oil — that’s cannabidiol, derived from the hemp plant. The store opened in November in its out-of-the-way location at 152B York Drive in Marshfield, and people are finding it in hopes of finding help for conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, loss of appetite, neurological disorders and even acne. (It is a little hard to locate the first time; it is directly behind Prairie Plaza Shopping Center on the Springfield side of the big gray diesel shop building. Several big, green “Happy Hempster” signs that point the way

A hemp store may be new to Marshfield, but hemp itself has a very long history. Romans engaged in a hearty hemp trade. China was making hemp paper in 100 BC. Early American colonies required hemp cultivation, and even George Washington was a hemp farmer. The U.S. Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper. Vincent Van Gogh painted on hemp, and Henry Ford experimented with building a car made out of hemp plastic.

It’s a history that owner Darrell Keil loves to share. Keil, the owner of the Happy Hempster, is a true hemp enthusiast who touts the sustainable crop’s usage in textiles, paper products, food and more almost as much as he does its therapeutic value.

And he stresses one point above all others: hemp is not pot.

Keil explained that his store’s products come from industrial hemp, which is legal in the United States.

“Industrial hemp is not marijuana,” he said. “Marijuana is high THC, which is what gets you high. Hemp is low in THC and high in CBD, and that’s where the health benefits are.”

THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive chemical providing the high that marijuana smokers seek.

People looking to get high would be greatly disappointed in the offerings of the Happy Hempster, where all products contain a maximum level of .3 percent THC. “You can take ten times the recommended amount of anything in here and you’re  not going to get high,” he said. “You’ll turn green before you even begin to get high.”

One reason Keil likes to talk about his products is that there is a vast misunderstanding in the community about what he sells. One business person expressed concern, Keil said — “He said, ‘Oh, he’s selling something that makes people lazy or dumb.’” But CBD oil doesn’t make people lazy or dumb, according to Keil. Instead, it seems to make a lot of his clients feel better than they have in years.

A visit to his shop on Black Friday revealed a brisk business for the new shop. One older man came in just after the store opened to look over the offerings. “I have a big problem with chronic back pain,” he said, revealing that he has had four cervical surgeries. “I’m looking to get off my opioids,” he explained. “I’m tired of taking them. They’re hard on the body. I heard a lot of people are getting relief from CBD.”

His wife, who accompanied him on the exploratory visit to the store, said that her brother has Stage 4 cancer, and he has felt relief from CBD oil.

Actually, Keil’s own grandfather, a private man, had been hospitalized, unable to walk, his single kidney shutting down, no strength at all. His family was afraid he wouldn’t make it until Thanksgiving. But Keil started him on a course of CBD oil, and the improvements were astonishing. “During Thanksgiving dinner, Grandpa looked like he basically went back about five years,” he said. “His color’s back. He’s walking without a cane. He even cooked dinner for Grandma about two weeks ago.”

Keil uses it, too. He has been using a tincture twice a day for ten weeks, and he said he’s sold on it. As a big guy, he said that he suffered from knee and back pain, as well as years-long insomnia. “Every day between 2 and 4 in the afternoon, I had to take ibuprofen or I just about couldn’t function,” he said.

But Keil has not had taken ibuprofen even once since starting on CBD oil — this despite the fact that he is on the lowest dosage recommended for his body weight.

Andrew Condray works for Keil in the store. He’s the one who brewed the pot of CBD-oil coffee on the cold Friday in question.

Condray said that he made some mistakes in his younger days. “I got down to the point where I had to ask for help to get out of bed,” he recalled. “A 29-year-old shouldn’t be like that.”

His CBD oil has turned things entirely around for him. “I get up ready to rock through the day,” he said. “My pain is gone and I’m able to fully function to get through the day.”

He paused.

“Coffee helps.”

Customer Bailey May of Marshfield said that she works in a warehouse and lifts 50-pound bags all day, and she had experienced terrible back pain as a result.

“It has helped me sleep better,” she said. “I see a lot of benefits to it.”

The CBD oil that the Happy Hempster offers comes in a lot of forms — not just the tincture that is administered as a liquid under the tongue. Hemp takes the form of chocolate-covered pretzels, gummy bears, coffee and tea, a smokeable dried flower, vaping oil and more. The store has CBD bath bombs, soap and shampoo as well.

A full line of pet products is also on site, including hemp rope pull toys and CBD-oil snacks. Keil said that one of his clients reported success in administering hemp to two of her dogs, one that was elderly with arthritis and the other that was small and nervous. The old dog, which had previously struggled with stairs, now runs and plays without pain; the young dog has achieved a level of chill that makes the whole household relax.

Keil hears these stories all day, and he can’t get enough of them.

“I started this place because mainly I like to help people,” he said. “Yes, I’m a business man, and I like to make money, but I’m not in this to get rich quick. Everyone who knows me knows that I’m doing what I can to help others.”

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