With the general growth of the cannabis market in the United State for humans, it should be no surprise that our animal friends should also want to benefit from its use! The medicinal use of cannabis for pets has become more and more commonplace, as companies are popping up left and right that advertise CBD products to cats and dogs. Veterinarians as a group are professionally convinced that cannabis has a place in their pharmaceutical repertoire (1).
“While there are some differences in how cannabis affects pets compared to humans, they can benefit in many of the same ways people do.”
– Dr. Gary Richter, Montclair Veterinary Hospital
In a sense this a very different marketing strategy than cannabis companies traditionally employ because the packaging is not targeting the consumer (naturally) but their owner. Since cannabis use for pets is limited to CBD, whose packaging is much less regulated than THC, companies have a much greater freedom of design when it comes to packaging materials and content.
Many if not most cannabis pet products are sold in dispensaries, since veterinarians are not legally allowed to prescribe, advocate, or even discuss its use with pets. Most of these products come in the form of tinctures or edible treats. A common theme to the packaging of these products are cute animal photos, or paw prints of some kind, that show a happy pet free of pain.
For example, websites like 99designs offer the ability to create design contests in which multiple graphic designers generate content based on your requirements and the winner keeps the whole prize. Cannabis pet product producers like elijreinach use this resource to generate high-end packaging solutions, as seen from the winner of the contest he created below:
Figure 1. Winner of elijreinach’s “CBD Cannabis Oil for Pets: CBD Dog” contest and $449 (2).
It’s important to remember, though, that while CBD is a medicinal product, THC is not good for pets. At all. In extreme cases, THC can cause pets to die. And since the prohibition on veterinarians to prescribe cannabis products to animals, owners are forced to self-medicate. As a pet owner, it’s so important to keep this distinction in mind.
Cannabis products for pets are not just limited to therapeutic consumption. GreenBED®, a line of Hemp Animal Bedding, uses the natural tensile strength and absoption properties of hemp to create a more eco and animal friendly solution to caged animals. Since hemp pet beding is free of aromatic hydrocarbons (such as phenols) found in pine and cedar shavings, hemp animal bedding represents a pet cannabis product that is actually even better than the original (3)
As rules and regulations surrounding cannabis use for animals catch up with the science, the market, and the business, we predict that its use will become much more regulated. Think prescription drug more than holistic medication. And we think that makes sense. After all, the safety of our pets is our number one concern. Shouldn’t we want to make sure we are giving them the exact dose they need?