Right Thyme Herbs & Oils is located in Sandyville and is owned and operated by Lucinda Blake.

Blake sells a variety of herbs and oils, health supplements, hemp products, soaps, and books. The shop also sells other items on consignment by local artisans, such as jewelry. She also carries Blue Smoke, JQ Dickinson, and Appalachian Mountain sauces, which are signature brands created in West Virginia.

The bulk of Blake’s inventory consists of herbs, spices, and blends in different forms. She carries around 400 types of herbs, all of which are smokable or can be used in teas in powder form. She is working on getting capsules as well. Some of the blends offered are already prepared, while others are blended at her on-site processing center.

Fourteen years ago, Blake was in a serious motorcycle accident on her Harley Davidson. She required double knee-replacement surgery and had severe pain and inflammation. It was then she decided to create something to help with her condition. Blake combined several ingredients to create a salve.

Since then, she has given samples to others to help aid in their aches and pains. By the time she opened her shop, her salve was one of the most requested items.

Blake also sells cannabidiol (CBD) products, which are her most popular items. Cannabidiol comes in many forms and is used for many common ailments. It is an appealing option for those who are looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs, Blake said.

Cannabidiol is one of the 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and causes the “high” that is often associated with marijuana. Unlike THC, cannabidiol is not psychoactive and does not produce a “high.”

Cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC is typically referred to as “hemp,” while cannabis with higher levels of THC is typically referred to as marijuana. Blake said this is an important distinction. None of the products at Right Thyme are considered marijuana because they all contain less than 0.3 percent THC.

Under federal law, CBD products can contain less than 0.3 percent THC. This is due to the Agriculture Act of 2014, also known as the 2014 Farm Bill, which was passed by Congress.

Blake has obtained the proper licensing in order to process and handle hemp flower. She also created her own line of CBD products – called 320 – made with hemp flower. This product is Farm Bill compliant, made in the United States, and contains less than the legal limit of THC.

Blake said she is meticulous about labeling her products, so customers will always know whether their CBD product contains THC.

CBD is at the forefront of West Virginia’s growing hemp industry, Blake said. It also is an example of how society’s perception of cannabis is changing. Numerous states have legalized marijuana for either medical or recreational use. West Virginia recently passed its own medical marijuana law that will soon result in dispensaries opening in the Mountain State and will allow state residents with qualifying conditions to obtain cannabis with a prescription.

Legal recreational use of marijuana in West Virginia is not far behind, Blake said, even though it is being held up by politicians with an outdated view of cannabis.

While many products at Right Thyme are at the leading edge of state and federal cannabis laws, Blake said, one look inside of the shop is enough to realize Right Thyme is not the type of retailer one would associate with drug culture. In other words, it’s not a head shop.

Wikipedia describes a “head shop” as a retail outlet specializing in paraphernalia used for consumption of cannabis and tobacco and items related to cannabis culture and related countercultures. That definition, Blake said, does not describe Right Thyme.

“Since all our herbs are smokable, we do carry dry vape pens and oil pens, but this is not a head shop,” Blake said. “We are more focused herbs and oils at this time.”

Another item Blake carries is kratom, which is an opioid alternative. Kratom is the common name for Mitragyna speciosa, a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family native to Southeast Asia. It is legal for use in the United States and can be purchased at tea stores, convenience stores, and over the internet.

According to WebMD, kratom offers relief from pain, depression, and anxiety. Scientists say it may hold the key to treating chronic pain and may even be a tool to combat addiction to opioid medications.

Most herbs have a laboratory created synthetic version – Valium is the synthetic version of valerian and Asprin is the pharmaceutical version of white willow bark.

“There are a number of herbs that have been turned into pharmaceuticals,” Blake said. “Generally our customers who request kratom are older, sixties and seventies, who suffer with severe pain in their knees, hips, wherever, but do not want to undergo replacement surgeries, they use this and it knocks out the pain with little to no side effects.”

However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers not to use Mitragyna speciosa. According to fda.gov, “There are no FDA-approved uses for kratom, and the agency has received concerning reports about the safety of kratom. FDA is actively evaluating all available scientific information on this issue and continues to warn consumers not to use any products labeled as containing the botanical substance kratom or its psychoactive compounds, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. FDA encourages more research to better understand kratom’s safety profile, including the use of kratom combined with other drugs.”

Blake disagrees with the FDA stance on kratom. None of Blake’s customers have reported any adverse side-effects, and she herself has used the product without any issues.

Blake has offered instructional classes in the past on handling herbs and hemp farming; however, due to the size of her current location, she lacks the space needed to be able to do so efficiently.

Also located in her shop in Sandyville is Black Bear Print & Graphics. Dennis Lessard is the manager and graphic designer on site. He is able to print, copy, design, fax, and create forms, brochures, flyers, and other promotional materials.

Within the next few years Blake hopes to expand to a location in Fairplain and open a Whole Foods-style store with a micro-brewery and restaurant, but for now she will continue working out of her store in Sandyville.

“I am not a doctor or a practitioner, I simply own an herbs store. However, if you know what your ailment is, add herbs to that and Google it,” Blake said. “If you bring in the information you find, I can help you locate the herbs that are recommended or blends that are suggested for your specific condition.”

For more information contact Blake at 304-273-1645, check her out on Facebook at Right Thyme Herbs & Oils, or visit her website at rightthymeherbs.com.