By Sinclaire Sparkman
Lebanon’s first full-service hemp store opened recently, and Blu’s owners say business is booming.
Blu’s hemp store offers a variety of cannabis products, including capsules, creams, smokable flowers, coffees, teas, edibles and even CBD toothpicks. All products at the store meet FDA standards on the legal amount of delta-9-tetradyrocannabinol or THC.
Donna Ybarra opened the store in her realty office with the help of Cathy Wair. Ybarra said her grandson, Levi Blu, inspired her to open the store after CBD oil helped in his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“He’s had a lot of different traumas in his life, and it has caused PTSD, and they’ve diagnosed him with schizophrenia. The trauma is severe. They put him on all different kinds of medicines, and sometimes they would just make it worse. I started following marijuana, and the lower dose of THC is supposed to help with schizophrenia. I saw the hemp convention. He was what got me there, and I learned that hemp has very little or no THC,” Ybarra said.
She started giving her grandson a legal cannabis medicine called Rapid Releaf, and after 10 years of taking anti-psychotic medications, he now only takes cannabis medicine.
“It’s calmer. He’s able to focus more. I started giving it to him to help him sleep and sometimes to calm him down, too. We just started giving him the Tennessee Homegrown. I still have to be careful to not give him too much of whatever has the THC in it, because someone that is psychotic does not need a drug that will make them more psychotic. That’s what I learned about marijuana. That’s not the right thing for him. That’s why I give him the CBD,” Ybarra said.
Wair said she and Ybarra wanted the store to be more than just a dispensary.
“Our most popular products are the oils. We pretty much have everything for everyone,” Wair said. “We wanted to keep it local as much as possible, so we have the Tennessee Homegrown out of Murfreesboro, and some come from Nashville or other places around.”
Blu’s carries many CBD products with no THC, as well as some healthy hemp edibles with no active CBD or THC. It also offers vaporizers, pre-rolled flower, capsules, coffees, teas, jewelry, shirts and products to help pets with hyperactivity and hip and joint issues.
“We had someone come in today about their 16-year-old dog for the hip and joints treats and it has helped. He was purchasing his second bag of treats. Treats are for calming and for hips and joints. The oils and sprays are for calming and pain,” Wair said.
Blu’s is at 210 W. Gay St. in Lebanon in the same building with Uptown Realty.