A Natural Remedy
Pet owners that use cannabidiol (CBD) products to treat their pets’ ailments
are spreading the word about CBD’s benefits, which is contributing to
substantial market growth.
BY LIZETT BOND
The history of cannabidiol (CBD) is long and diverse. The versa- tile cannabis plant has served as both food and textile; howev- er, its medicinal properties are storied and thread throughout
history. Today’s consumers are looking to those health benefits not
only for themselves, but also for their pets.
“Cannabis can be traced back at least 12,000 years, but has been
stigmatized as an illicit substance,” said Denise Strong, co-owner of
Pawz On Main in Cottonwood, Ariz. “It’s about time that CBD has
become available for consumer use.”
As more pet owners utilize CBD products for their pets and wit-
ness the impact, word-of-mouth referrals have contributed to sub-
stantial market growth, said Steve Smith, president and co-founder
of Pet Releaf in Littleton, Colo.
“The increase in the number of medical marijuana states has resulted in more coverage and greater awareness as to the medicinal
benefits cannabis offers, without the side effects carried by most traditional pharmaceuticals,” Smith said.
Heidi Hill, founder of Holistic Hound in Berkeley, Calif., has also
noticed how word-of-mouth is impacting the category.
“We believe pet people have a greater propensity and desire
to share information amongst themselves than many other segments of the population, and so word has been spreading rapidly, and organically, about the efficacy of these products,” Hill said.
Quality CBD products from reputable companies are relieving inflammation and pain from arthritis and other joint issues, boosting
the immune system overall, helping to fight cancer, and improving
skin, coat and allergy issues, gastrointestinal tract issues, chronic
pain, epilepsy and more, according to Strong.
Brad Solomon, partner at Prana Pets in Delray Beach, Fla., noted
that CBD is most often requested for pets experiencing seizures, followed by joint issues in older dogs.
“We hear about people who are carrying their dog up the stairs or
lifting them onto the couch, and they purchase CBD to improve the
quality of life for their elderly dogs,” Solomon said. “It is also being
purchased for cats and other pets.”
In addition to these qualities, phytocannabinoids are recog-
nized in helping pets with general and separation anxiety, and
for end-of-life comfort, said Julianna Carella, CEO and founder
of Treatibles in Oakland, Calif.
“Phytocannabinoids are very effective in bringing calm and bal-
ance to pets suffering from myriad conditions,” Carella said. “As pet
parents search for a natural approach to the health and wellness of
their pets, cannabidiol has become a very attractive remedy.”
Because all animals have an endocannabinoid system that assists
in maintaining the physiological, neurological and immunological
systems of the body, phytocannabinoids, which occur naturally in the
cannabis plant, have many applications, according to Carella.
Dogs are especially responsive to phytocannabinoids as they
have the highest concentration of cannabinoid receptors in their
brains and bodies compared to other animals, including humans,
“If there is a deficiency of endocannabinoid production, the system’s multiple receptors will utilize the addition of phytocannabinoids to help create balance and provide support for relaxing, repairing or restoring,” Carella said.
“CBD, when produced correctly and in full-spectrum [nonisolate]
form, is one of the most beneficial natural compounds on earth,”
Smith said. “By activating the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, in
the body of a dog or cat, a full-spectrum CBD oil is an extremely
potent anti-inflammatory, and turbo-boost to the immune system.”
“CBD hemp oils, along with CBD edible treats, make up 25 percent
of the monthly sales at Pawz On Main,” Strong said. “Dog food is
right behind the hemp sales.”
At Pacific Pets in Hillsboro, Ore., co-manager Ben Schmid said that
after several months of offering CBD products, increased consumer
awareness has led to proliferating sales.
“It’s definitely at the top every month,” Schmid said. “The greatest
thing about CBD is that it’s naturally occurring in our bodies already,
so there are no side effects and you won’t see an overdose as long as
there’s no THC.”
Having recently added CBD oil and treats to the product mix, Julie
Paez, co-owner of The Big Bad Woof in Washington, D.C., reported
strong consumer interest and consistent sales.
“I reorder product every week,” Paez said. “The liquid is expensive, so it’s not a fast-moving item, but it’s steady, and we are also
shipping it all over the place.”
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