It’s been a while since cannabis first began crossing over into the mainstream, yet new cannabis brands and products continue to appear on the market. Competition among brands remains fierce, and as a result, many companies are looking at other applications for their innovations.
One application for cannabis that’s becoming increasingly popular is in the pet industry, where CBD products for pets, and especially CBD oil for dogs, are the latest in natural healthcare supplements.
Here’s a look at the growth of cannabis innovations, including CBD, and how cannabis brands are using CBD to offer a new therapeutic option for pet owners.
Growth of new cannabis products
Since lawmakers first began relaxing restrictions around cannabis sales and consumption, a growing number of small and large companies have entered the consumer market. With an increasing number of states, along with CBD in Canada, allowing cannabis companies to produce products for recreational as well as therapeutic use, more brands than ever are finding their ways onto the shelves of mainstream grocery stores and pharmacies.
All this activity has led to many innovations in the cannabis industry, from super-powerful marijuana strains to unique cannabis delivery formats. Since the early 2010s, consumers have had access to cannabis-infused vapes, edibles, creams, sodas, sprays, and almost any other product that can be imagined.
Another innovation produced by the corporate cannabis industry over the past decades is the development of CBD-rich products. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is one of over a hundred compounds called cannabinoids, which together produce the anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects the cannabis plant is known for.
Unlike other cannabinoids (most famously, THC) CBD is not psychoactive and doesn’t create an intoxicating effect. Instead, these plants and products are aimed at reducing inflammation inside the body without causing a high.
This has led CBD cannabis to find several applications in the human market, all centered on inflammatory and stress-inducing conditions. These include anxiety, arthritis, pain, and seizures. Many consumers also use CBD products to help deal with the symptoms of chronic disease and injury.
Recognizing CBD’s ability to combat inflammatory conditions, the FDA recently approved the first mainstream prescription CBD treatment, in the form of a drug for rare forms of childhood epilepsy.
CBD and pets
Because household pets, and especially dogs, commonly suffer from the same inflammatory conditions that CBD is able to treat, increasing numbers of owners and brands are focusing on the use of CBD as a therapeutic pet supplement.
A large number of pets and their owners deal with issues like anxiety, arthritis, pain, and seizures on a daily basis. While vets are able to prescribe pre existing treatments for these issues, those treatments are often intensive and carry the possibility of unwanted side effects. They may also be prohibitively expensive for owners.
As a result, owners are turning to CBD products in the hope that they’ll provide a more sensitive and less intrusive form of support for their pet. Recognizing this demand are several pet-specific CBD brands that only cater to the pet industry, as well as the release of pet-specific product lines from the larger preexisting cannabis companies.
Today’s CBD pet products
Most CBD products for pets come in the form of either an oil tincture or as an infused snack. In oil tinctures, CBD extracts are blended with a carrier oil, chosen to help aid digestibility and ensure a minimum amount of CBD is lost to the metabolism. Common carrier oils include hemp seed oil and fractionated coconut oil (also known as MCT oil).
CBD snacks and treats may be made in-house by brands themselves, or sourced from an external supplier, depending on the expertise of the cannabis company. These treats are then pre-infused with a CBD extract, allowing owners to easily portion out their pet’s dosages throughout the day.
Perhaps the most important innovation in terms of pet CBD, however, is the switch from marijuana to hemp cultivation. Whereas the majority of traditional cannabis products for humans are made from potent marijuana plants, all CBD products for pets are developed from hemp plants. These less intense strains of cannabis contain very low amounts of high-causing compounds such as THC, which has the twofold benefit of making them federally legal, and completely safe for pets to consume.
Pet CBD products are further separated by spectrum, which refers to the number of secondary cannabinoids contained within the extract. Full-spectrum CBD products contain large amounts of CBD alongside a mix of other non-intoxicating cannabinoids such as CBC, CBG, and CBN. A true full spectrum extract will capture the entire range of cannabinoids present in the original plant.
Broad-spectrum products contain a smaller selection of cannabinoids, while products made with a CBD isolate powder should simply contain pure CBD.
The future of pet CBD
With clinical researchers and owners alike recording positive effects from CBD supplementation in pets, it’s clear that the demand for pet CBD is based on genuine care for pets’ needs.
As more pet stores begin to carry a range of CBD products, consumer demand is likely to further rise, and more cannabis companies can be expected to respond with new, more enticing CBD innovations.
Right now, premium pet CBD brands are already pushing the envelope, with products tailored to specific conditions like canine arthritis. These contain extractions specifically formulated to prioritize certain cannabinoids and come infused with herbal supplements like chamomile and turmeric.
In the longer term, the continued popularity of cannabis products is likely to result in official regulatory bodies weighing in. If given the green light, this may result in CBD products hitting the shelves and prescription pads of veterinary clinics across the country.
Interesting related article: “What is Cannabidiol?“