Native pot retailers flip to ‘gray market’ of CBD for pets

Kyle Kaminski

After Bryan Madle’s 8-year-old dog Arlo made a difficult recovery from surgery for a torn ligament in his hind leg, was in pretty rough shape. The official prediction: It was unlikely that the once wildly athletic Golden Retriever mix could walk, let alone run, without a limp.

Eight weeks after surgery, Arlo’s muscle tissue was still not regenerating fast enough to make a difference. The dog was in pain. Madle was eager to do something – anything – to help.

And like apparently everything else in the world, it was cannabis that helped make everything better.

“We decided to use CBD as a kind of end-of-life care to make him more comfortable without really thinking that there would be a significant change. Within a couple of weeks, he just stopped limping. A few weeks later, we were amazed to find that he was healing. The vet asked what we were doing; The only thing was we added a CBD treatment to help, ”he said.

In addition to offering some of the best cannabis strains in Michigan, nearly every recreational marijuana dispensary in Greater Lansing has also taken on the lucrative market for cannabidiol – or CBD, the second most common ingredient in the cannabis plant. It’s in tinctures, gums, ointments, even suppositories. Several stores also sell CBD for dogs and cats. And while it won’t get you high, many customers (and pets) have found cannabidiol treatments effective at treating pain, anxiety, inflammation, insomnia, and other common ailments.

Before we proceed with Madle’s track record, it’s important to note that he has a legitimate interest in promoting her. He and his partner, Sarah Birney, run Blooming Botanicals, a wholesale CBD production laboratory in Lansing that also contains a CBD tincture made especially for pets.

Still, he credits CBD with the complete turnaround that helped keep Arlo mobile in its later years.

“Our vet casually told us to continue like this,” said Madle. “Anecdotally, I’ve heard of people who have miracles with it. The advent of the pet tincture speaks for itself too. For better or worse, people simply tend to take much better care of their pets than their own bodies. “

The placebo effect is real: CBD is said to be effective; therefore, people think that it is effective. But when people watch their pets recover, it can serve as some sort of gateway to their own use.

“Pets can’t tell you if they’re getting better. You can only see the results, ”said Madle. “Many regular CBD users pick it up for themselves after seeing the success it has had on their pets.”

And CBD is ubiquitous. A tincture for pets has been part of the Blooming Botanical range since day one. Skymint, Pure Options, Homegrown Cannabis, Pleasantrees and Bazonzoes, and others have also stocked up on CBD products, including several pet products like Arlo. Most quality dairies keep some varieties of CBD gum behind the counter. These edibles also helped get Family Video to the finish line before it closed late last year.

Platinum – probably best known for its awesome vaporizer cartridges in stores across Lansing – also launched a new line of CBD products for dogs last month that is fast becoming quite popular with curious pet owners, said co-founder and president George Sadler.

“This is a growing market as more pet owners discover the benefits of CBD,” Sadler told City Pulse in an email last week. “I had an older dog and CBD was helping him in the last few months of his life. It was only natural that we would offer a line of pet CBD to our customers. Many use CBD as a daily supplement. Sleep and stress are two things that are in high demand. “

Sadler recommends that human and animal consumers “go slowly” and increase the dose over time.

But what do the real medical professionals propose? And is it really safe for humans and animals?

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill last December that for the first time allowed licensed veterinarians to consult with pet owners about the use of marijuana, hemp and CBD products. But that doesn’t mean they actually pick up the phone. I have tried to seek advice from a number of veterinary practices in Greater Lansing, including my longtime veterinarian in Haslett. None of them agreed to an interview. One bureau still found it illegal to even mention the treatment.

“I think without FDA approval there is still something driving that hesitation,” added Madle. “It’s also the enduring taboo in the cannabis industry. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years almost every veterinary practice would stock up on CBD products. “

Research published by the World Health Organization shows no statistical potential for abuse or addiction and “no evidence” of health problems related to CBD for humans or pets. Still, the FDA has not approved the ability of CBD to treat or cure any disease, nor has it allowed CBD to be added to products intended for human or animal consumption.

As a result, a Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development spokeswoman said that CBD products such as gummies and pet treats are illegal in Michigan, may be viewed as “adulterated,” and may be confiscated. Of course, that doesn’t really happen in Michigan, where CBD is helping drive more than $ 1.2 billion in sales to the cannabis industry this year.

Rick Thompson, owner of Michigan Cannabis Business Development Group, said cracking down on CBD products was both physically impossible and politically unpopular.

“Imagine agents raiding Walmart for having CBD water on their shelves,” Thompson said. “There should be no enforcement of bans for products that have not shown any damage in the past.”

He also remains optimistic about future growth: “I guarantee that veterinarians who refuse to admit to a reporter that they recommend CBD for pets will have many stories from pet owners who have been successful with CBD products. Over time, veterinarians will learn more and ask their clients for information, drop their hesitation and believe in the benefits of CBD for pets. “

Kyle Kaminski is a City Pulse employee and cannabis enthusiast who has smoked marijuana almost every day for the past decade. Every week Kaminski tries, gets really high, and writes about some of the best cannabis products available in Greater Lansing.