While CBD is still lucrative, its glow has diminished a bit over the past two years – at least for humans. Animals are still a very new market where pet owners are constantly looking for ways to make older or fearful animals feel more comfortable.
The $ 125 million CBD pet market is projected to grow nearly 60 percent over the next six years, and one Denver company has a big head start. Pet Releaf, a CBD pet food and wellness company founded by Stephen and Alina Smith and Chelsea Gennings, has placed products with over 7,000 retailers across the country and they are now being sold online in Europe, having recently signed a deal with e – Alphagreen trading platform.
We caught up with Stephen Smith, President and Co-Founder of Pet Releaf, to learn more about what’s next for CBD and animals, whether zoos are investing in the hype, and more.
Westword: How far has the science of CBD and animals come in the last few years?
Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep Westword’s future free.
Stephen Smith: There have been significant advances in the research behind CBD from across the industry. As consumer demand continues to grow, so does the need for more information. It is vital that the industry continues to provide up-to-date and relevant scientific data to its consumers. As an example, last year we carried out a field study on the subject of heavy mobility with our SENTESA Tri-active Formula CBD capsules. We collected new data on safety and efficacy in this 28-day, randomized, multi-site, multi-site study in dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of severe mobility problems. In addition, pet parents reported significant improvements in their dogs’ happiness, calmness, mobility, and energy. Many vets are looking for in-depth research and data to recommend CBD to their patients. So we wanted to make sure everyone at Pet Releaf is comfortable selling our brand.
When it comes to animals, what diseases is broad spectrum CBD best used for? What about full spectrum CBD? Or is one preferred over the other?
We believe in the use of full spectrum CBD in all of our products. The hemp plant provides hundreds of phytocannabinoids that mimick the receptors in our bodies. Every single cannabinoid found in the hemp plant can offer additional benefits, and when all of the cannabinoids work together with CBD, you get a more consistent and effective result. Scientists refer to the full spectrum as the “entourage effect”. Think of this as strength in numbers! If you start removing some of these key players it becomes a wide spectrum. Not only will you have to use heat and chemicals to remove these cannabinoids, but it will also become less effective as fewer cannabinoids will work to fight the disease.
Are zoos and animal shelters already using CBD?
Yes, there are many current stories about zoos and sanctuaries offering CBD to their animals; Most recently there was a story about a zoo that offers it to its elephants in Poland. We are also seeing more and more farmers using it on livestock, from their cows to their chickens. In the past few months we’ve teamed up with a few zoos across the country as zookeepers, often even as pet owners, have become more familiar with using CBD on their own animals and seeing the benefits it offers them. In addition, the use of CBD in horses has continued to increase significantly as so many horses can also benefit from a supplement that can promote rest and relieve joint discomfort. Aside from traditional pets like dogs and cats, most mammals’ endocannabinoid systems work very similarly, and they can receive the same benefits from CBD.
You have just entered into a major partnership in Europe. Hemp has been around a lot longer in Europe than in America, but what about CBD? How far has CBD advanced in Europe and how educated are consumers there?
Much like the US, there is significant momentum when it comes to CBD and understanding the natural benefits of CBD. Consumers have access to the same data and research as US consumers and we are seeing a significant increase in demand for this product across Europe. When it comes to the pet side, there is still a lot to learn in Europe, which is why we are delighted to be one of the pioneers in this market based on our long-standing reputation for always delivering the highest quality. effective products. We look forward to further educating European consumers about the benefits of our products as we continue to expand across the region.
Based in Denver, with the rest of the world opening up to hemp and CBD, where do you see Colorado fit into the global market as the hemp trade grows?
Colorado is one of the early adopters of hemp and CBD, which means that not only are we making great strides in production and manufacturing, but we are continuously paving new paths for the whole country and the world. Many states and countries expect our state to be innovative and to advance their efforts in regulatory matters. I also sit on the Board of Directors of the US Hemp Roundtable, so we are always up to date on important regulations and restrictions not only in the US, but on a global basis. As the rest of the world opens up, I see this have a significant impact on the growth of our industry and economy in Colorado.
All CBD companies talk about consumer education, but that usually relates to humans. Is it harder to educate consumers about CBD for animals? What are some differences?
We are fortunate that pet parents really care about what they put in their pets’ bodies. We often hear the phrase, “My pet is healthier than me.” Since our pets cannot talk to us, pet owners take more precautions before introducing anything new to their companion, possibly about the actions they are taking for themselves. We are proud to offer you full transparency and to take the time to talk to customers so that they know the benefits our products can offer their pets.
Speaking of the need for education, let’s say I’m in dire straits and no longer have any human CBD tincture. Can I steal something from my dog?
Pet Releaf was inspired by our dog Mattie. As she got older, of course, she had some mobility and discomfort issues. When the drugs failed, we wanted to find a holistic and safe alternative to the prescribed drugs with crazy warnings and unspeakable ingredients that I wouldn’t feel safe in my own body. It was important to our family that when we give something to our companion it is safe to take ourselves with us. Myself, as well as our entire team and many of our consumers, also use Pet Releaf. Our products are organically grown, safely extracted and combined with ingredients of human quality.