By Mike Luce
As anyone who has cared for an ailing or distressed pet can attest, we would do anything for our four-legged (or two-legged, or even no-legged) friends. Unconditional love even extends to those creatures who seem to exist solely to torture us. Small wonder then that we spend upwards of $70 billion annually on all manner of pet products. As the owner of a rescued pit bull, I can attest to contributing a not-so-insignificant sum to this figure.
What does this mean for those of us in the cannabis business? Look no further than the growing interest in cannabidiol-based products intended for (or adapted to) use on animals. While we continue to learn more over time about the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid receptors, there is reason to believe that like us animals (including mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish) have CB-1 receptors and CB-2 receptors. Thus, like us, animals should benefit from the therapeutic effects of CBD. While we might like for them to tell us directly (what is it that happens at 4am to cause such pandemonium), there’s no lack of anecdotal evidence and observable behavior to support this belief: noticeable changes in demeanor and physical well-being.
In collecting a broad range of data from current and potential CBD users (of the human variety) to craft our forthcoming “The CBD Consumer Experience” whitepaper, we sought feedback on the use of CBD with pets. For example, we found that one fourth of current CBD users have also administered a CBD product for a pet.
Interestingly, those who are using CBD for their pets, the reasons for usage mirror those of current CBD consumers. (With the obvious exception of “aggressiveness”.)
Elsewhere in the report, we noted that pet owners share the same concerns as current and potential CBD users. Respondents identify issues such as formulation, transparency, and sourcing as product attributes given extra consideration prior to purchasing and administering animal-focused CBD products. As the category continues to evolve, we expect to see exciting developments in research and testing that better enable us all to weigh choices among an increasingly diverse range of products reaching the market. Similar to the ongoing conversation with health and wellness providers, we expect the mindset of veterinarians and caregivers to evolve over time as well. What we know today is that the same is true for introducing CBD as to our own wellness regimen: do plenty of research and take a “low and slow” approach. (And take care to avoid products containing THC.) Combined with close, careful attention, and ideally in consultation with a supportive veterinarian, your animal companion stands to benefit from the therapeutic effects of CBD.