After the pet cannabidiol (CBD) category grew 946 percent in 2019, according to the Brightfield Group cannabis market research company, the coronavirus pandemic has increased the enthusiasm for pet CBD products. Pet Age recently spoke with Dr. Robert Menardi, director of veterinary technical and educational services at Canopy Animal Health, to learn what’s important to know regarding this booming sector.
Why is research and development considered a high priority at Canopy Animal Health?
At Canopy Animal Health, we are committed to developing CBD-based formulations that are safe for their intended use and ensuring that research is conducted safely, ethically, and responsibly. We were an industry leader in research and education long before our team even began developing products. We offer continuing education and certifications for veterinarians, robust and transparent information for consumers and retailers, and will continue to publish studies and new discoveries on our informational website.
Canopy Animal Health is committed to producing exceptional products that meet and exceed all health and safety standards. Our number one priority is to provide the veterinary community and pet owners with safe and effective hemp-based products. As the industry leader in pet CBD science, we are deeply invested in the research and have conducted over 25 studies to ensure the safe administration of CBD to pets. With a poorly defined regulatory landscape, it’s imperative that CBD products are backed with scientific studies and developed with rigor by experts in the field of animal health. Unproven claims that a product can diagnose, treat, cure or prevent a disease should be a red flag to consumers and retailers.
What data is available on the effectiveness of CBD with pets?
There is ongoing research being conducted on the safety and efficacy of CBD in companion animals, mainly dogs. Based on existing research, dogs appear to tolerate oral CBD well. In February 2020, our research team published a Preliminary Investigation of the Safety of Escalating Cannabinoid Doses in Healthy Dogs in Frontiers in Veterinary Science. Results of the randomized, blinded, placebo controlled study suggest that CBD seemed to have a favorable safety profile and that the evaluated formulation was reasonably well tolerated. We are continuing to conduct research specific to the safety of CBD in companion animals and will be publishing such research on our Canopy Animal Health website.
How does Canopy see veterinarians playing a role in the CBD pet sector?
Canopy Animal Health not only conducts research alongside veterinarians and scientists, we work with the veterinary community at large to further education on the safety and efficacy of CBD. We see ourselves as an industry leader in both research and education. We offer free, RACE approved continuing education for veterinary professionals with robust and transparent information to help educate them on the science behind our products and how they can be used to improve the lives of animals. We also publish studies and new discoveries on our website so that they are readily accessible to veterinarians.
How can retailers educate their customers on the benefits of CBD for pets?
We believe retailers should critically evaluate the products they carry, and be wary of products that claim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent a disease. Retailers should offer customers products that are easy to administer to their pets, are backed by scientific rigor, and produced by reputable manufacturers who understand the importance of customer education and make this information easily accessible. We recommend checking the manufacturer’s website for a Certificate of Analysis, which should be available via a quick-response code on the product label and explain exactly what is in the product.
The product offerings should include high quality ingredients and make that list of ingredients clearly visible on all product packages to ensure consumers are making educated choices about which products to purchase for their pets. Canopy Growth’s products will display the NASC Quality Seal to illustrate that all Canopy products adhere to the National Animal Supplement Council guidelines.
What plans does Canopy Pet Health have for 2021?
We are very excited to share that we expect a selection of our Canopy Animal Health products will be available in 2021. Our first products to market will be CBD soft chews and oils for pet-focused specialty retailers and will carry the NASC Quality Seal. In the meantime, we will continue to create educational materials for the veterinary community and pet owners, and generate new research data.