While cannabidiol (CBD) products for pets may have once been considered a passing fad – time has shown that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, according to a report from Brightfield Group, consumers spent $26 million on CBD pet products in 2020 and forecasted the category would reach $629 million in sales by the end of 2021.
“There has been interest in CBD for quite a few years, but the interest has grown exponentially as pet parents become more informed and educated on the benefits of CBD and CBDA,” says Amanda Howland, co-founder and CCO for ElleVet. “It’s fantastic to see so many people advocating for their pets.”
Like many other pet categories, CBD also received a boost from the COVID-19 pandemic according to Matt Coapman, chief marketing officer at Paw CBD and cbdMD.
“We saw a huge uptick in pet CBD sales during the pandemic lockdown as people were at home with, and focused on, their pets,” he says. “More people adopted pets and found CBD could help transition them to their new home. And as they started to go back to the office, knowing their pets might have separation issues, they turned to CBD to help support their furry family members.”
Of course, overall category growth doesn’t necessarily equal runaway sales in individual retail stores. That’s why it’s important for retailers to actively seek out knowledge and stay informed about what’s happening in CBD.
“Following pet specific publications, attending trade shows and asking the brands they carry questions [are] great ways for retailers to stay up to date on trends in the CBD pet space and make sure they are in the know,” advises Caleb Gilmore, president of Suzie’s CBD Treats.
For instance, it’s become increasingly popular to pair CBD with other functional ingredients to address multiple issues in a single treat.
“Some of the most common reasons pet owners turn to CBD include anxiety (separation, noise aversion, etc.) issues and mobility and comfort support,” says Coapman. “While CBD in general can help overall wellness goals and promote a sense of calm and offer physical support, many pet products are now adding functional ingredients to boost the already powerful properties of CBD.”
When it comes to the science behind CBD products, manufacturers are also making big advances to enhance the health benefits of cannabinoid products for pets.
“Our research on the acidic forms of the cannabinoid molecules has proven that CBDA is essential for a good product,” says Howland. “CBDA is a major factor in the anti-inflammatory process and in the absorption process. Some species don’t absorb or retain much CBD at all, so CBDA is even more important for them. ellePet by ElleVet has always had a 1:1 ratio of CBD to CBDA.”
ElleVet is also one of many manufacturers who are turning their attention toward products for cats in a category that has historically been focused on dogs.
“Another development from the ElleVet team is our feline paste,” Howland adds. “Feline issues are always a challenge, and we are so excited to have a full spectrum, proven safe and proven effective feline product that is also dosed specifically for how cats metabolize CBD and CBDA.”