Students participate in a yoga lesson lead by yoga teacher Craig Lonas as part of Core Element at Cannapalooza on South Lawn on Thursday. (Photo by Gabriel Milby)

Cannapalooza: Students host CBD education and yoga event

Samples of CBD products were being offered to students as they passed by South Lawn Thursday during Cannapalooza, an event put together by four WKU students and One Love Hemp Dispensary.

Amelia Bowen is a public relations senior from Campbellsville and helped put together Cannapalooza as a senior capstone project. The other three public relations students on the project were Sarah Bimmerle, Sam Bodemann and Lily Bosecker.

“We thought it was a super unique and creative thing, and nobody else was doing anything like it,” Bowen said.


The event had two educational games: a “CBD discovery wheel” and a “CBD cornhole quiz,” Bowen said. There was also an interactive art installation where attendees could stamp their fingerprints on a painting of a hemp leaf that Bimmerle designed, which will go to the dispensary as a memento of the event. Bowen gave out stickers, Wyld CBD seltzers, Myco Girl Micro Stack gummies and discounts for One Love Hemp Dispensary.

Amelia Bowen drinks a CBD seltzer at Cannapalooza. This event was an educational fair that aimed to educate the student community on CBD and is part of a senior capstone project for the public relations program. (Photo by Gabriel Milby)

Bowen said that in the first half of the semester, the group did research on campus to understand students’ opinions about CBD. She said many students thought that CBD is illegal in the state of Kentucky.

According to the Kentucky Cannabis Information Portal, an organization discussing legal trends of cannabis use in Kentucky, CBD oil has been legal in the state of Kentucky since 2014. The website also explained that CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound derived from the hemp plant that can be used for medicinal purposes, and its usage is legal in Kentucky if it is derived from hemp and not cannabis.

“We realized, once we started doing research, that a lot of people are aware of CBD but don’t know what it is or how it can impact them,” Bowen said.

Lauren Bratcher is the owner of One Love Hemp Dispensary in Bowling Green. She said that the dispensary sells CBD and delta-related products.

“More importantly, we teach and we educate about cannabis: how it can be used for health, how to use it properly, how to use it safely,” Bratcher said.

Bratcher is the deputy director of Kentucky’s chapter of NORML. NORML is the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, an organization that has been advocating for reform in cannabis laws since 1970, she said. Bratcher said she felt the event went well for educating students.

“I think we’re able to drop some knowledge on a lot of students that kind of always saw cannabis as something to get high with,” Bratcher said.

Two students prepare for a yoga class at Cannapalooza held by Core Element on Thursday on South Lawn. (Photo by Gabriel Milby)

CBD helps to reduce inflammation from the body, but taken internally, it can regulate blood sugar and reduce anxiety, Bratcher said. She said THC addresses pain.

“We’re really trying to teach people that it’s not all about THC,” Bratcher said. “There’s so many other cannabinoids you can use to better your health without ever getting into the intoxication.

Bratcher said that One Love Hemp Dispensary will rebrand to Hilltopper Hemp and move to a new location in the Greenwood Mall in May. She said that Kentucky NORML will be hosting the 420 Music Fest on Saturday at the White Squirrel Brewery.


She said that medical cannabis will be legal in the state of Kentucky starting in January of 2025.

“It’s gonna be a big rush for people to come into Kentucky and start cannabis businesses, and it’s gonna bring a lot of income into the state,” Bratcher said. “We’re really excited about that; it’s just gonna take a little while to get it off the ground.”

Craig Lonas is a yoga instructor who led a CBD yoga session during Cannapalooza. Participants drank Wyld seltzer or took CBD gummies before doing the yoga session. Lonas has been teaching yoga since 2019, but this was his first time teaching CBD yoga. He said he thought it went well and that he would like to do it again.

Craig Lonas of Core Element leads a yoga class at Cannapalooza on South Lawn on Thursday. (Photo by Gabriel Milby)

“I would teach any kind of yoga if it meant that more people get to come and practice yoga,” Lonas said.

Lonas said that he uses CBD to help recover from injuries and that young people often are not aware of its benefits. CBD helps the body regulate its endocannabinoid system, which regulates stress hormones, Lonas said. He said CBD helps people calm down, which when combined with the movement in yoga, helps people relax more.

“The good thing about coming to a WKU event is that people are going to be spirited. People are going to be excited, and I know the world is getting increasingly harder for young people,” Lonas said. “If there’s anything that I can do that would set this apart from any other class, that would be helping WKU students know that they deserve to be happy; they deserve to feel safe in their bodies, and they deserve to be okay.”
Lonas said that he is working on opening a yoga studio called Core Element and currently teaches classes at SoKY Marketplace.