By 2028, CBD’s market size is expected to reach $4.79 billion. And with the surge of new pet owners due to the pandemic and cannabis’ growing acceptance, these numbers may be a conservative estimate.
Pet CBD companies like Innovet Pet say that while the pandemic first looked like it was going to put a damper on CBD’s soaring popularity, things quickly turned around. By October 2020, alone, 11.4 million US households had already gotten a pet due to the pandemic. And these aren’t your traditional pet owners either. With many preferring to call themselves pet parents, instead, the amount of care and money spent on pet health and wellness is exploding.
This has created interest in CBD for pets from all sides. In 2019, Purnia, owned by Nestle, announced its decision to invest in the production of CBD-infused dog food. Making up over 68.0% of pets that take CBD, dogs still dominate the total share of companion animals that CBD is available for — though cats are starting to give them a run for their money.
Estimates show about 24.0% of US pet owners used CBD products either for themselves or for their pets. Furthermore, findings have shown that if you take CBD, you’re significantly more likely to see if it can help your pet.
What Is CBD?
Derived from cannabis, in particular, the hemp variety, CBD products share many of the medical benefits associated with marijuana, but without the ability to cause a high. In the United States, federally legal CBD products cannot have more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This prevents the active chemical in cannabis from causing a high, making it significantly safer for kids and pets to use.
First, gaining popularity among those that struggle with drug-resistant seizure conditions, CBD’s ability to trigger homeostasis (internal balance) in regulatory systems such as the immune and nervous systems, has led to it commonly being used to help with inflammation, pain, appetite , and anxiety in addition.
What CBD Products Are People Giving Their Pets?
In the early days, the only way to really give our pets CBD was through CBD oils, and while still the most popular form, CBD infusions like active hemp extract CBD Pet treats with steak and cheese flavors and CBD multivitamins and wellness supplements are taking advantage of a growing trend.
Younger generations, like millennials and Generation Z, are significantly more dedicated to caring for their pet’s health with preventive measures like wellness supplements and healthier treats despite their higher costs.
CBD Pet Research
Significant research on CBD’s safety and effectiveness in dogs and cats hasn’t made much progress over the past few years, though the few studies that have come out show promising results.
However, this hasn’t discouraged pet owners that give their pets CBD, with veterinarians seeing increasingly more pet owners ask about CBD.
Perhaps, this shouldn’t be surprising, as a recent study found that 73% of consumers who buy pet CBD also use CBD themselves. And they are no longer shy about the fact, with the same study showing that in 2021, veterinarians had more than twice the amount of inquiries about CBD vs. 2020.
While CBD is noted for its attractive safety profile, there are some concerning side effects that are largely ignored by those that take or give it. CBD is metabolized by CYP enzymes, which we rely on to correctly break down many medications, especially prescription ones. This can cause a drug interaction, potentially increasing or decreasing either drug’s potency.
This is why it is great news to see pet owners being more open with their veterinarians about giving CBD to their pets. While a concerning side effect, a veterinarian can easily monitor it, allowing for many pets to use prescription medication in tandem with CBD.
CBD’s Use Around The World
Legalized on a federal level in 2018, while no one appears to love CBD more than the US and Canada, CBD is legal in many countries around the world and widely used. In Europe, CBD is legal in Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Austria, France, Greece, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
South Africans made big news when they became the first African country to legalize CBD. And while most Asian countries take a hard stance, treating all cannabis products the same, South Korea has legalized it and accepts it.
Like in the United States, the great majority of these countries make a distinction between hemp and marijuana, with most still federally criminalizing marijuana and high-THC products. Japan legalized CBD in 2016. However, while other countries limit THC to just traces, in Japan, your CBD has to be completely THC-free.