Last month, this column featured local glassblower Ben Birney and some of the extravagant bongs being produced at his studio on the north side of Lansing. When I heard that his sister Sarah Birney and her husband, Bryan Madle, were running a CBD production laboratory in the same building, I just had to return to find out more about this local cannabis-focused family.
Madle and Birney launched Blooming Botanicals in 2016 when they returned to Lansing from living abroad in Costa Rica. There, they studied the health benefits of herbs and superfoods with a focus on environmental sustainability. And as it turns out, that hippy stuff translates well to the cannabis business. They expect to get products into the hands of 2,000 customers this year.
Blooming Botanicals tinctures and balms are available for direct purchases or wholesale orders at bloomingbotanicals.com. Several products are also on the shelves at dozens of yoga studios, gyms, chiropractic offices and pot shops statewide — including Bazonzoes and Botanical Co.
“We wanted to put something out there that was actually going to target the issues where people needed help and that’s inflammation, anxiety and sleeplessness,” Birney explained.
Cannabidiol — or CBD — is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients in marijuana, derived directly from the hemp plant. Taken alone, don’t expect it to get you high. But plenty of research supports its effectiveness in treating anxiety, muscle inflammation, insomnia and more.
The endocannabinoid system — otherwise known as the body’s “bliss system” — stretches through the entire body. When we feel stress, pain, anxiety or negative feelings, our body releases enzymes that block endocannabinoid receptor sites and shut down the bliss system.
CBD helps to remove those harmful enzymes and get the system back into working order.
When you smoke a blunt, those cannabinoid receptors are also what enable you to feel stoned. So, in addition to helping with stress and other ailments, don’t be surprised if you feel a bit higher than usual after taking a weeklong regimen of CBD supplements and hitting the bong.
“We also decided very early on with this health mindset that we weren’t going to use any artificial flavors or sweeteners, fillers, dyes. All of these things are common to make it more of a tasty, sugary snack. These are also the same ingredients that cause inflammation — the same things we’re trying to combat,” Madle added. “We focused on synergy rather than additives.”
Because the FDA hasn’t signed off on CBD’s ability to diagnose, treat or cure any diseases, Madle and Birney always caution customers to do their own research. And when they talk about the potential health benefits of their products, they never make promises — only suggestions.
After six days of regularly taking a tincture dose once in the morning and once at night, however, I can vouch for the benefits firsthand. I’ve had a much easier time falling asleep, less stress from balancing my usual workload at City Pulse and a bit more buzzed after a joint.
The latest product lineup includes tinctures infused with natural herbs like turmeric and black pepper to ease inflammation and lavender to ease anxiety and promote a restful night’s sleep. They each come in varying sizes and strengths. There’s even a variety specifically for pets.
Madle said those testimonials have served as the strongest evidence of its benefits. Some customers will feel the placebo effect of CBD regardless of whether it truly helps. But when a dog or cat stops limping after only a few doses, it can be difficult to question the efficacy.
“Sometimes pets can be the gateway to convincing family members to try it out,” Madle said.
Blooming Botanicals is hosting an event from 3-7 p.m. on June 18 at The Botanical Co., 3535 Capitol City Blvd. Free CBD samples will be available, as well as a live glass blowing demonstration from Ben Birney. Email email@example.com for more details.
Kyle Kaminski is City Pulse’s managing editor and a cannabis enthusiast who has been smoking marijuana just about every day for the last decade. Almost weekly, Kaminski samples some of the best cannabis products available in Greater Lansing, gets real high and writes about them.