By Amy P. Castro
As pet parents continue to seek the best possible care and optimal health for their pets, there’s been an exponential increase in their use of CBD products. In fact, a 2018 report from New Frontier Data predicted that pet and animal CBD sales will reach $125 million by 2022. This would make pet and animal CBD one of the fastest growing sectors in the CBD market.
Chelsea Rivera, head of content for HonestPaws.com, agrees, based on the tremendous growth of the CBD market overall, not just the pet sector. “As popular as CBD is, I think this is just the beginning,” she said. “Market research projects that the CBD market will be worth $22 billion by 2022.”
The tremendous growth of this new pet industry has occurred despite the lack of FDA approval and the fact that veterinarians cannot yet legally prescribe CBD for pets. Pet parents are basing their buying decisions on the increasing amount of anecdotal evidence of other pet parents as well as the hundreds of articles online about the safety and efficacy of CBD for pets. As a result, they’re turning to CBD to improve the quality of life for their pets to treat ailments ranging from seizures and osteoarthritis, to inflammatory bowel disease, skin allergies, nausea and more.
However, anecdotal evidence alone is unlikely to fuel the tremendous predicted growth of the CBD pet sector. Many people, including Rivera, believe future growth is being fueled and will continue to be fueled by scientific research that’s beginning to be conducted. “At the moment, I think the only thing standing between where we are now and massive growth is more conclusive studies. Luckily, since the 2018 Farm Bill passed, those studies are being performed.”
The studies Rivera refers to include a 2016-17 study to assess the effects of CBD on dogs with seizures. The study, conducted by Colorado State University researcher Dr. Stephanie McGrath, looked at the impact of CBD on a small group of pet dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy. The results, released in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association in June 2019, indicated a “distinct” reduction of seizures in the dogs that received CBD. McGrath is conducting an additional study on a larger group of dogs.
As the CBD pet sector continues to grow, pet parents will become more aware of CBD and the demand for concrete, expert and scientific information about CBD will increase. As such, they’ll be turning to their local pet retailers as a source of not only products but information. Savvy retailers who want to reap the benefits of the CBD boom need to stay current on the latest information and research available about CBD so they can answer customer questions. For those selling CBD products, know that your customers will be looking for you to provide products with trusted, quality ingredients, just like they do for all the other pet products they buy from you.