Why are Pet CBD products the next BIG thing in retail markets?
It’s something industry watchers thrive on: monitoring trends to see what is going to be the next “Big Thing.” The pet industry has watched the rise of grain-free recipes in food and the advent of pet technology connecting pets and their people 24/7. Now, the focus is on CBD products derived from hemp—undoubtedly influenced once again by human lifestyle inclinations relating to the legalization of medical marijuana in states across the country.
Pet treats and other pet products such as transdermal gel pens, oils and supplements with cannabidiol (CBD) or other forms of hemp have become a pet category literally overnight.
Educating the Consumer
This has left the pet specialty retailers that stock these products scrambling to learn more in order to market the best available against the current backdrop without industry guidelines and standards. And further, in order to sell the products, retailers have had to don their educational hats to inform customers.
According to Jessica Rogers, who buys CBD products for the Chuck & Don’s chain of pet specialty stores, the company has done a lot of in-house research and written educational articles in its newsletters and e-mail blasts.
“Our team members have all been through training and have researched CBD and the different product lines we carry,” she said. “Many brands offer brochures or handouts that we also hand out to our customers.
“We have a CBD section incorporated in the health department in each store and hence merchandised together,” she added. “To date, the CBD oils are our top sellers, followed by CBD treats and edibles.”
According to Rob Kovler, founder of Animal Nutritional Products—a veterinary company that is now marketing to consumers “The most important question that a pet owner needs to ask is to query if the product uses an isolate or a full spectrum oil,” he explained. “Full spectrum oil is the most potent because it comes from the whole plant. As far as the extraction process is concerned, the best way to extract the oil from a whole plant is by a carbon dioxide process called CO₂ extraction. This process uses pressurized carbon dioxide to pull the CBD from the whole plant. CO₂ acts like a solvent at high temperatures, but because it’s under the boiling point, it’s considered cold, and processed to create the oil from that plant. Interestingly, this process is the best and most effective way to extract oil from plants generally.”
Julianna Carella, CEO and founder of Treatibles, concurred with Kolver, adding that the CO₂ extraction process does not denature the oil and is a very clean, environmentally friendly process.
“In order to adhere to current industry requirements, many premium full plant hemp extract products do not include the letters CBD on the packaging. Instead, they are called premium hemp oil extract products,” she explained.
“Product packaging can only tell part of the story. Some of the basics are covered, such as ingredients, dosage recommendations, milligram content and if the product is made in the USA.
“I encourage consumers to explore other avenues, like viewing the company’s website for more in-depth information or contacting the customer service department for a personal response,” she said.
“Another way to distinguish between products is to ask if the hemp oil used is from hemp that is grown in the USA,” Carella said. “If the source is Europe, that can often mean the hemp actually originates in China and is then processed in Europe. Hemp from China can contain bio-contaminants and heavy metals.”
The company is now growing its own organic hemp in four states— South Carolina, Oregon, Colorado and Kentucky—for its product line that includes grain-free functional chews in four flavors: pumpkin, blueberry, turkey and sweet potato. It also includes capsules in two potencies and dropper bottles in three potencies.
All manufacturers interviewed agreed that preclinical trials and anecdotal evidence collected independently of each other found that hemp oil or extract shows promise to be a natural relief alternative for many ailments including inflammation, muscle and joint discomfort, anxiety, behavioral-related issues for both pets and people. Below are just a few quotes.
“Our oils in bottles with droppers are our best-selling products. We recommend oil for dogs (and cats) suffering from more severe illness or injury and our Edibites treats for generally healthy dogs or those suffering from minor anxiety or a minor ailment,”
“The new product collections contain full-spectrum hemp oil with multiple cannabinoids including CBD, CBG, CBN and CBDA, which all work in concert to reduce anxiety, slow tumor growth, reduce bacteria, treat hot spots and skin problems, reduce pain, and provide a host of other positive benefits for pets,”
“Our product CALM anxiety, stress and fear in your pets. Pacific CBD Co oils can also be used for autoimmune diseases, cancer, and seizures.”