Two proposed state bills in Utah and California aim to provide veterinarians with greater freedom to discuss hemp and cannabis-based medication for animals. According to the Cannabis Business Times, the two proposed laws are currently moving through the state legislatures and fall in line with a growing trend of consumers trying CBD therapies for their animals.
In Utah, lawmakers have proposed Senate Bill 209, which would provide licensed veterinarians with the freedom to discuss the use and effects of cannabis treatments on animals with pet owners. Therefore, the bill would allow vets to suggest THC and other cannabinoids from industrial hemp or medical cannabis for treating animals.
Similarly, government officials in California are working to pass Assembly Bill 1885, which would permit veterinarians to discuss and recommend cannabis products like medicine or supplements for pets.
It would present new opportunities for the marijuana industry since federal laws currently prohibit animal specialists from administering or prescribing medical cannabis.
Furthermore, the bill would protect vets from disciplinary or financial penalties for discussing cannabis-based treatments with pet owners. It would also require lawmakers to develop board-certified guidelines and cannabis quality control standards for veterinarians who wish to administer marijuana treatments to animals.
These legislations follow a growing trend among pet owners to try cannabis-based medicines for their animals. Although research has shown that talking to a professional helps people feel more comfortable giving cannabis-based medication to their pets, many still worry about how safe these products are for animals.
Currently, there isn’t enough research into the effects of cannabis on animals to conclusively discern whether or not the substance is safe for pets. However, dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid system like us and are more sensitive to the effects of marijuana than people.
Consequently, cannabinoids can cause detrimental toxicities to animals when ingested or inhaled from secondhand smoke, even in small amounts.
However, while THC can be toxic to dogs, it’s relatively safe. A lethal dosage of THC for dogs is at least 3 grams per kilogram of body weight or more. For this reason, your furry friend may be at more risk from other ingredients in an edible than the cannabis itself.
Some of the most prevalent edibles like brownies and cookies contain chocolate, which is extremely harmful to dogs. Similarly, some artificial sweeteners in edibles like xylitol are also far more toxic to animals than THC.
Pet products are becoming more popular in the CBD market. The goods have seen a steady growth trajectory of about 1.3 percent per annum, making them a significant part of the CBD industry. Moreover, the market value of animal CBD products has surpassed the $400 million mark in the past few years and is projected to hit $910 million by 2026.
One reason for this high value in CBD products for animals is the spike in pet ownership sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, marijuana and its products have become more acceptable in society. Consequently, this has opened the doors to the decriminalization of cannabis in many states.
According to recent research that surveyed more than 1,500 people, 70 percent of the respondents who had bought pet CBD products consulted a veterinarian beforehand. These findings show that pet owners are more comfortable purchasing and using CBD products for their pets after discussing the matter with an animal specialist.
More importantly, 90 percent of the pet owners surveyed in the study agreed that veterinarians should be allowed to prescribe CBD medicines and supplements.
Some of the most prevalent pet CBD products are edibles, particularly treats and tinctures. It’s because animals don’t respond to smokable flowers like humans, and it can be hard to use smoking accessories with your pet.
While newer pet owners usually prefer CBD treats, tinctures are also gaining interest as more people become open to the idea. Last year, cat owners who gave their pets CBD products fed their felines just as many treats as tinctures.
On the other hand, dog owners were more likely to provide edibles to their pets, with only about 39 percent preferring other forms of CBD products.
Only about a quarter of CBD products for pets are capsules. Furthermore, since product formats like topicals are used to treat skin conditions and arthritis rather than more common pet ailments, they are generally less common in the market.
The only significant barrier holding the pet CBD industry back is federal prohibition. Since the sector has been a considerable contributor to the overall cannabis market, many are waiting to see whether federal restrictions will be abolished.