The most recent additions to pet medicine cabinets are coming courtesy of the cannabis sativa plant.
Following faithfully in the footsteps of their aging owners, who are increasingly embracing medical marijuana as well as over-the-counter CBD remedies, dogs and cats are being treated for many of the same ailments (e.g., pain, inflammation, seizures) afflicting their humans.
“It seems like everyone in the world has jumped on the CBD bandwagon,” said Leslie Riddle, a former Radio City Music Hall Rockette whose Yorkipoo Puccini has benefited from its use.
“Every dog event I attend has CBD gifts in the goody bags. I know a few women that give their dogs CBD for anxiety, arthritis or traveling.”
And that means big business for the humans making the stuff.
The demand for pet products containing CBD (cannabidiol, a component of both the hemp and marijuana varieties of cannabis) has skyrocketed following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in December 2018, which expanded legal hemp cultivation and research. According to the Brightfield Group, the US pet CBD market grew to over 10 times its 2018 size in 2019 and is expected to reach $563 million by the end of this year.
Dr. Zac Pilossoph, a veterinarian who serves as the chief medical officer for Cansultants, cautions that there has been a relative lack of research into veterinary cannabis, in large part because of the legal restrictions against the plant.
He added, however, that the clinical research that has been done, along with “subjective feedback primarily from pet owners,” holds promise for pain relief from osteoarthritis and inflammation and seizure control.