As of 2016, the pet industry in America was estimated to be worth upwards of 65 Billion dollars. Americans love their pets and are not afraid of spending money on them. It is, therefore, not surprising to learn that the cannabis industry has already started making in-roads into the pet industry. While the cannabis industry’s entry into the pet industry is still in its nascent stages, there are already some products available for both medical and recreational purposes. This article will provide a brief introduction into the unlikely overlap between the cannabis and pet industries.
Medical cannabis for pet pain relief
The process of developing pain relief medication is expensive. Pharmaceutical companies have to invest billions of dollars in R&D so as to get regulatory approval. It is, therefore, understandable that most of the drug development efforts are focused on human medicine, as it is more economically viable. This means that pain relief medication for pets is often ineffective or expensive.
One of the first applications of cannabis in the pet industry has been for pain relief. Pets that suffer from painful medical conditions such as arthritis, injuries or recovering from surgical procedures can use medical marijuana for pain relief. While pet medical cannabis has not yet been granted full regulatory recognition, the initial results have been positive and encouraging. More pet owners today are willing to try cannabis-based medication for their pet’s pain relief.
Medical cannabis for increased pet appetite
Another similarity between the effect of marijuana on humans and animals is that it can increase your pet’s appetite. Loss of appetite has been one of the more difficult issues to address in pets. Initial tests have shown that medical marijuana is very effective in addressing the loss of appetite in cats, dogs, and other mammalian pets that have a somewhat similar physiological makeup to human beings.
Non-medical use of cannabis by pets
Non-medical use of marijuana has faced more ethical challenges than the aforementioned medical uses. While marijuana use in humans is thought of as a personal decision, there has been some resistance from individuals who don’t believe that pets should be introduced to marijuana for non-medical reasons.
Regardless of the ethical issues, the non-medical pet marijuana industry has been growing. Marijuana has been observed to have a positive impact on the overall personality of pets. The market already has dog treats that are infused with marijuana. There has been a push within other pet food industries to introduce Cannabis-infused pet treats and foods in the market. Cats and dogs that previously preferred to isolate themselves become friendly and outgoing after Cannabis products are introduced into their diet. This is particularly true for older pets that are less willing to spend time outdoors or with their owners.
The future of the use of Cannabis in the pet industry
One of the most interesting developments for the pet industry has been the hiring of scientists and business leaders with experience in the Cannabis industry. Pet food making manufacturers have been particularly proactive in terms of positioning themselves to take advantage of any regulatory or scientific developments that would make it commercially viable to sell Cannabis infused pet food.