Navigating the Cannabis Jungle with Hempfield ApothecaryJul 29, 2022 09:31AM ● By Sheila Julson
Hempfield Apothecary is the manufacturer of Hempfield Botanicals. All products are made in Lancaster County, and they are a certified Current Good Manufacturing Practices facility that follows the standards in place for drug manufacturers. The line is vegan and certified cruelty-free. As a Certified B Corporation, the company meets social and environmental standards for employees, the community and the environment. Hempfield Botanicals products are also tested by a third-party laboratory.
Owner Heather Kreider grew up in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, in a family that used nature’s medicine cabinet for ailments. Her parents snacked on whole foods such as pumpkin seeds. Her grandmother Ida had a library of books on holistic healing and whipped up remedies made from natural ingredients in her kitchen.
As an adult, Kreider worked as an aesthetician then returned to school to become a registered nurse, working in hospitals and a rehabilitation facility where she treated patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries and car accidents. She says, “I found that it wasn’t my passion. I loved caring for and nurturing people, but the nurse-to-patient ratio was very difficult.”
Kreider eventually suffered from anxiety and depression, and developed intense migraines that at times affected her cognitive skills. She and her husband Nathan, a massage therapist, began making handmade natural soap as a therapeutic, stress-relieving hobby. The hobby turned into a business, Makes Scents, but Kreider took her quest for natural healing even further by researching the cannabis plant.
“As a nurse, I’m very research-driven. I like to see facts. I don’t like to get information from the internet,” she explains. “Once I started looking into medically-based research on cannabis, I used medical marijuana when it became legal in Pennsylvania. It treated my anxiety and nearly cured my migraines.” She also began infusing cannabidiol (CBD), a beneficial cannabinoid of the cannabis plant, into her body care products. That became the blueprint for Hempfield Botanicals products.
Building on her nursing background, Kreider worked with compounding pharmacists to formulate the Hempfield Botanicals line of CBD tinctures, lotions, salves, facial creams, muscle recovery topicals and pet products. When the 2018 Farm Bill was passed expanding commercial hemp cultivation, Kreider already had a product line in place and ready to market.
She has recently expanded Hempfield Botanicals to include Hempfield Apothecary. More than a retail store, it is a welcoming place where people can heal while learning about cannabis. “It’s an adjunct wellness center for those that have been affected by trauma and mental health disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression,” she explains. “I teach others about how cannabis, when used correctly, can help them treat conditions.”
Kreider offers classes such as cooking with cannabis, art therapy, restorative yoga and sound meditation. Hempfield Apothecary is not a medical marijuana dispensary, but Kreider does partner with area facilities to educate patients about different strains and what may work best for their condition. Because many people use cannabis products as medication for pain, anxiety and sleep issues, Kreider believes that people need to know how to use it and what to look for when purchasing products.
“There was a big buzz over CBD when it first hit the market, but that’s not the only thing we need to focus on. There are other cannabinoids of the cannabis plant that are just as beneficial. We look at the whole plant,” Kreider notes. “For example, CBD is great for pain and inflammation, but cannabinol (CBN) is great for sleep.” Cannabinoids could be considered the “traffic control system within the body,” Kreider says. “Our cells communicate back and forth, and cannabinoids controls the stop-and-go signals so the body systems flow smoothly.”
The cannabis for all Hempfield Botanicals products is sourced from Pennsylvania farmers, most of which are in Lancaster County. Because of a lack of regulation on the federal level, it’s a "buyer beware" market, Kreider notes, sharing, "There are a lot of inferior products that contain little or no pure cannabinoids."
Kreider has always been drawn to nurturing professions, but she says that Hempfield Apothecary is the most rewarding venture she’s ever pursued, enthusing, “I finally have a passion for what I do."
Hempfield Apothecary is located at 100 W. Walnut St., in Lancaster. For more information, call 717-874-8480 or visit HempfieldApothecary.com.