Although his small pet food store sold CBD or cannabidiol products, Frank Shaw wasn’t convinced that they were effective.
He changed his mind when his dog, a young Shar Pei named Gracie, got sick and stopped eating a few years ago. Out of desperation, Shaw, co-owner of the Three Dog Bakery franchise in northwest Las Vegas, started smearing a ginger honey CBD product in Gracie’s mouth.
She started eating again almost immediately. Shaw even tried some honey himself one night when he had an upset stomach. It worked for him too, he said.
“Once people put their pets on this stuff, they tend to stick to it,” Shaw said. “In this sense, the demand for these products has definitely increased.”
According to Forbes, the pet CBD market is projected to reach nearly $ 630 million in sales this year, up nearly $ 200 million from last year. Research firm Packaged Facts reported in a 2019 survey that 11% of dog owners and 8% of cat owners have used cannabis supplements or treats for their pets.
However, just like the overall cannabis market, the pet CBD market is still mature, said Meghan Joachin, owner of House of Paws pet store in Las Vegas.
“There are a lot of CBD products that I’m just not sure about; There’s a lot of malarkey out there, ”said Joachin. “But CBD works. CBD gave my bitch five more years before she died. “
Joachin said she’s picky about which CBD products she wears, but she believes in a local hemp company, This Stuff Is Good for You. The company started with local farmers markets. It now has its own hemp farm in Pahrump.
In addition to CBD oils that are used orally, the company markets organic dog treats with flavors like pumpkin and peanut butter. Business is doing so well that the company plans to open a new headquarters soon near the intersection of Buffalo Drive and Sahara Avenues. Its products are sold in several western states.
“The pet industry is a big part of our business,” said Michael Cabarus of This Stuff Is Good for You. “We have over 30 pet stores, many of which are corner shops in the Las Vegas Valley. The science behind CBD is simple: pets have CBD receptors, just like us. CBD is good for the nervous system and helps a lot with inflammation and sleep. “
CBD products for pets are primarily used for dogs or cats, but Cabarus said that some of his customers own horses.
“People are becoming more and more aware of these products and their possibilities,” said Cabarus. “This is a very large, disruptive industry. It won’t stop. “
Jeff Dunn, a pharmacist co-founder of the Utah-based Farmer & Chemist, said that CBD works well for relieving anxiety in dogs.
He said June and July are usually popular months for selling pet CBD products as dog owners fear the July 4th fireworks will create stress and anxiety.
“We put a lot of emphasis on education about CBD, which is basically just the benefits the plant has but without the hallucinogenic properties of THC,” said Dunn. “To some extent, it’s still the Wild West in this industry. I would say that the amount of pet products in our business is still a small part of that, but it’s definitely growing. “
As with the entire cannabis market as a whole, guidelines and laws governing CBD use can vary from state to state. Federal law still recognizes cannabis as a List I drug, on par with drugs like heroin and cocaine.
A law went into effect in Nevada on October 1 that allows veterinarians to recommend and administer hemp and CBD products that contain no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) without any sanctions from the state veterinary examiner .
The bill was introduced in part because it was unclear whether veterinarians could recommend or even talk about CBD products and treatments.
A representative from the Nevada Veterinary Medical Association – a section specializing in the profession – said veterinarians are still cautious about speaking publicly about the new law. Many did not call back for comment on this story.
“There’s a lot of research out there; this stuff works, ”said Joachin. “I’ve been helping people with CBD for about six years. It is a natural dietary supplement and is becoming increasingly popular. “
This story appeared in Las Vegas Weekly.