It seems like every 4th of July there’s an onslaught of stories about fireworks and the stress that they cause many dogs and other pets. Rather than trying to work against the popularity of this type of celebration, pet owners are taking other measures to help keep their animals safe and calm. One such strategy is the use of non-intoxicating CBD products. This use is helping to spur the cannabis industry to record highs with no end in sight.
These canine cannabis users account for a growing percentage of the drug’s use, and pet owners continue to be drawn to products that contain CBD. Again, these products contain non-intoxicant cannabis ingredients. The pet products are geared mostly toward dogs and cats and they are used for ailments such as stress, anxiety, pain, and even seizures. The popularity of such products is snowballing, even in the absence of scientific data and drug trials. Both vets and pet parents don’t seem phased by this lack of data, as more and more owners are touting the positive results that these products provide to their furry friends.
Owners whose pets suffer from seizures, arthritis, joint issues, anxiety, and allergies are often disappointed by the results their pet has with more traditional products and medications. With the advent of CBD products for pet relief, they now have additional options for their beloved furry family members. Many pet medications cause a lot of unwanted side effects, a fact that is a major cause of the explosive growth in natural products for pets. By adding CBD to these products, owners hope they become more effective.
Money making market
According to data analytics firm Nielsen, in 2018 alone American pet owners spent about $33B on food and treats. This number does not even include toys, clothing, or other pet care items! To drill down even further, pet products that contained CBD ingredients rose to $32M in 2018, up from $8M during 2017. The same Brightfield Group who gathered the 2017-18 CBD data is also predicting that the market for cannabis and CBD products geared toward pets could grow to as much as $1.16B by 2022. And that is only in the U.S.!
Many fur parents go looking for alternative remedies when their pets experience stress due to environmental stimulants such as thunder and lightning storms and fireworks. These products appear to be door openers to other cannabis products. Owners describe the positive results that they notice with the initial problem, and that satisfaction prods them to consider more cannabis products for their pets. After all of the more conventional products are tried and found to be unsuccessful, these pet owners feel that they have no other option but to turn to cannabis and CBD products.
Because there is so much money potentially at stake, cannabis companies are scrambling to get products to market. While increased competition is a good thing, it is vitally important to know exactly what you are giving your pet. There are going to be wide differences in the quality of products available, and your pet may not respond well to all of them.
Vets have been reluctant to get on the CBD bandwagon, at least publicly, but that hasn’t stopped pet owners from acting on their own. They are looking to make their pets’ lives as happy and as comfortable as possible. CBD and cannabis-infused pet products have been the answer to many people’s prayers.
All hype, no substance?
Other than a small amount of data relating to some positive results with the use of CBD for the treatment of seizures and epilepsy in some canines, there is not a lot of data to back up the claims that cannabis products are helpful for dogs or other pets. The majority of claims site pet parent anecdotes rather than facts and hard science.
There are no current products that have passed the strict approval process of the Food and Drug Administration nor are there any official statements from the American Veterinary Medical Association that condones the use of cannabis or CBD in pet products. Of course, this lack of approval has done little to curb the popularity of these products.
It is interesting to consider the possibility of a type of placebo effect when looking at these products. Owners may think that their pet is being helped when there is no measurable difference in their health. Many vets are reluctant to prescribe cannabis products, but they will say that the potential for them to cause harm is quite small.
Searching for the next opportunity
One of the cannabis market’s largest companies, Charlotte’s Web, has offered a line-up of dog-friendly products since 2016. In addition to their early CBD oil for pets, it now offers balms, meat chews, and poultry-flavored oils to name just a few. They are just one example of early-adopting cannabis companies that are making moves to expand their market share. It has been interesting to observe how pet products often lead to owners trying cannabis for themselves.
Some furry friend owners are so impressed by the results they see their fur kids having with CBD-laced products that it spurs them on to try some human products themselves. It will be interesting to see if federal regulations for pet CBD and cannabis use change more quickly than those regulating their owners’ use. Watching how pets react to CBD products can help their owners feel more comfortable when trying such products that are designed for people. It is easy to feel comfortable with trying a hemp or CBD lotion for dry skin and from there consider moving on to other products.
No regulation = huge variances in quality
One of the major pitfalls of an unregulated CBD market is the wide range of quality levels between products. There are some really great options out there while many others are sub-optimal. Of course, there are a lot of other consumer products available that offer a wide range of quality, and people are still able to find the product that works for them. It’s always recommended that people use caution when giving their pets any type of ingestible, and suggest that your veterinarian is consulted with before doing so.
Similar to use by humans, it is exciting to consider all of the benefits that can be gleaned from the responsible use of pet products containing cannabis-infused ingredients. Owners who are considering the use of this type of product should do so with the aid of their vet, and be very aware of how their pets react, just as they would when administering a product made by a pharmaceutical company.
The cannabis industry shows no signs of slowing down, and with more companies getting on board the pet product train, the outstanding growth is likely to continue at an impressive rate. Industry insiders are excited about the innovations that are occurring in the pet product niche, and are continuing to grow their product lines. It will be interesting to see which market group reaches saturation first. All in all, it’s a win-win for everyone when pets are able to feel calm, happy, and healthy, especially when this is attainable by using a natural product with little to no side effects.