By Ivan MorenoHemp Industry Daily

A December 2019 Nielsen study found pet owners are looking to CBD to help their four-legged companions with:

  • Back and joint pain.
  • Episodic and chronic anxiety.
  • Stress.
  • Arthritis.
  • General health and wellness.

Luke Mullins, vice president of sales at Mary’s Tails, told Hemp Industry Daily that the company is in 1,000 retailers nationally, with plans to double that by year’s end.

Mullins notes that Mary’s Tails is careful about how they describe their products to avoid the warning letters the FDA has sent to “unscrupulous operators” that make claims that are not scientifically proven.

“We believe that our tagline – keeping your pets happy, healthy and calm – is a great summation of our products’ benefits,” Mullins said, adding that that they are mindful of the parameters federal agencies have set.

So while we believe in the value and efficacy of all of our products, we are not permitted to speak to those concepts,” he said.

Education is key

Despite the increase, there’s still a lack of knowledge from consumers about CBD for their pets and how to use it properly, Lange said.

“A lot of people don’t know that pets and humans or dogs and humans share the same endocannabinoid system,” she said. “I think a lot of people think of CBD as cannabis, thinking probably it could make their dog high.”

Gordon, from Functional Remedies, said veterinary clinics have been instrumental about educating the public.

“I think that is really where we’re seeing a turn from,” he said. “Yes, you can go buy them in retail, but you can also go buy them now from a trusted source, and that being your veterinarian who also wants these products on the shelf as well.”

In fact, Nielsen surveyed 100 veterinarians in April and found that they have a greater awareness than physicians about CBD, “at an incidence double that of physicians,” Lange said.

The FDA hasn’t given veterinarians the go-ahead to sell CBD, but it appears some are doing it anyway, although it’s unclear how many.The American Veterinary Medical Association asked for guidance from the FDA on whether cannabinoids can be safely given to pets and farm animals during an agency hearing last May.“The FDA should clearly articulate where various cannabis-derived products fall,” Dr. Ashley Morgan said.Morgan inadvertently got the whole 500-seat room laughing when an FDA panelist asked if veterinarians are giving pet owners CBD. “No,” Morgan said. After a long pause, she added, “Not legally.”

Gordon said he uses CBD on his own pets.

“I want to give them the ultimate care, just like my own children,” he said.

Ivan Moreno can be reached at [email protected]

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