Pot for Pets CBD-infused animal treats are hot. By Erin Hiatt By now, most Americans are familiar with the healing properties of cannabis to treat human ailments like cancer, arthritis and anxiety. But what about treating our pets? Business is, in fact, booming for companies that manufacture pet treats made with cannabidiol (CBD), like Treatibles and RxCBD. Both brands craft consumables for canines. “Dogs have more receptors in their brains than any other animal,” says Julianna Carella, founder and CEO of Northern California-based Auntie Dolores, which makes a variety of cannabis edibles for humans and the Treatibles line of CBD pet products. “They’re more receptive than all the other animals to cannabinoids.” Dogs and humans both have endocannabinoid systems that process the cannabinoids in our brains. And just like humans, dogs have shown that they respond well to CBD, a cannabinoid with healing properties that lacks the high of THC. RxCBD, a 15-year-old Colorado pet-product company, added CBD to their products in 2014. Co-owner Debbie Cokes thinks the “no people food” rule should apply to a canine CBD product. “Some of these tinctures include cinnamon additives,” she points out. “One form of cinnamon is OK for a dog, but there’s another form that’s detrimental. Especially with a compromised animal, you want to deliver a pure product without additives and flavorings.”
Cokes and Carella both emphasize that proper dosing is key. From customer feedback, Carella has learned that 1 mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of pet weight is a good ratio. Treatibles CBD Pet Treats come in blueberry and pumpkin flavors, while RxCBD offers a gluten-free chicken flavor. Both companies’ products are natural and mostly organic. The FDA is keeping an eye on CBD pet-product companies, especially ones that promise cures, and warning letters were sent to Canna-Pet and Canna Companion in 2015. Cokes suggests that consumers research the sources of CBD used in pet products, and verify that a company has quality assurance and purity controls in place. Cokes says her CBD comes from Colorado and Europe; Carella’s CBD is from Europe as well. “We steer clear of anything that’s from China,” Carella says. “If it’s really low-priced, it could have heavy metals or bio-contaminants.” With the marijuana business growing by leaps and bounds, Carella thinks the future of pet CBD products looks bright. “We want to see more research,” she notes. “There’s no placebo effect here; animals can’t be persuaded by hocus-pocus. They’re just responding.” Adds Cokes: “As professionals in the CBD animal industry, we need to be very careful of over-promising or suggesting results.” Erin Hiatt writes about the cannabis industry. Follow her on Twitter @erinhiatt.