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Don't worry, pandemic pets are getting their share of pet CBD

Updated: Oct 6, 2021


with pet CBD

The pandemic has fueled cannabis sales. It has driven pet adoption. And while reports are mixed on whether those pets are being returned to shelters as people return to work, one thing’s for sure. A lot of them are with owners who love them and want to make them feel good — with pet CBD.


Pet CBD products are flying off shelves faster than expected. Hemp Industry Daily reports that market analytics firm NielsenIQ “has dramatically ratcheted up its projections for sales of CBD for animals.”


In 2020, Nielsen projected that pet CBD sales would grow from $175 million in 2020 to $225 million by 2025.


Nielsen has revised those numbers, ballparking $300 million this year and $500 million by 2025. That’s even as the per-unit price of hemp on the market is falling, reportedly some 4.5% from August 2020 to August 2021.


“CBD manufacturers say the coronavirus pandemic is driving the boom,” Hemp Industry Daily reports. “That’s because people are spending a lot more time with their pets and becoming more attuned to their pets’ health needs.”

“A higher percentage of people’s earnings are going to dogs after Covid,” Mark Elfenbein told Hemp Industry Daily. Elfenbein is chief revenue officer for Socati, a CBD ingredient manufacturer whose clients are increasingly jumping on the pet CBD trend, making products to meet pet owners’ growing interest.


Different numbers, similar growth

Earlier this year, research from another market research firm, Brightfield Group, found signs that soothing pets woes with CBD was already on the rise. More than twice as many people wanted to talk to their veterinarian about CBD for pets in early 2021 than in 2020.

Brightfield group projected pet CBD sales to grow from $426 in 2020 to $629 million in 2021, By 2025, Brightfield expected them to be $1.1 billion.

“In a space where veterinarians in their majority have their hands tied with limitations not only on recommending, but bringing up CBD, consumers have taken the wheel and started bringing it up themselves, en masse,” Brightfield analyst Jamie Schau told Forbes.


“Word of mouth has always been a key driver of organic CBD marketing and growth, but a doubling of consumer-initiated conversations with vets surrounding pet CBD is significant even against that backdrop,” Schau added. “This demonstrates that interest in this product category is immense, and when veterinarians are freed up to speak more actively about pet CBD, we expect it to spur a great deal of additional growth, especially among more hesitant pet parents.”


First dogs — then cats and horses?

Awareness and trust are growing across the CBD sector, evidenced by celebrity brands and advocates. Martha Stewart, for instance, launched a line of CBD products for people in 2019, then expanded to include CBD products for pets in 2021.


While research on the effects of CBD on pets remains thin, reputable companies hope to fill the gap. Steward told Pet Age she collaborated with manufacturer Canopy Growth because, “They have a very good research and development department.”


The caterer turned lifestyle-brand maven added: “The pet edibles actually took longer because they had to complete their research on the effects of CBD on dogs – because that’s what we’re dealing with right now. We don’t have cat edibles just yet but I think that would be a very good thing… We’re working on cats now, and we’re working on research for horses. [Canopy Growth has] been doing a lot of pet research.”


Additionally, the American Kennel Club has said that anecdotal evidence suggests CBD helps treat pain and control seizures in dogs. Dog owners report giving their pet CBD to help reduce inflammation, reduce nausea, stimulate appetite and reduce anxiety.

Some cat owners have also reported giving their pets CBD, and it is likely that as more CBD research becomes available, people will buy pet-specific CBD products.


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