What Cat Owners Need to Consider Before Buying CBD
CBD is fast becoming one of the most popular supplements for humans who want a natural way to promote better health and wellness. From your corner convenience store to your local CVS or Walgreens, companies are rushing to get in on this booming and lucrative business. Amongst those products, you may have also noticed that our furry friends have not been forgotten.
CBD treats for canine companions and drops for finicky felines are also available, but are they safe? While our pets’ systems are different, there are similarities as well. Let’s take a look at how your cat can potentially benefit from adding CBD to their routine.
Where Does CBD Come From?
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is one of over a hundred active compounds in the cannabis plant. While the term “cannabis” has been used as synonymous with marijuana for decades, the truth is that cannabis belongs to a much wider plant family that also includes industrial hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill re-legalized industrial hemp and its derivative products at the federal level. This is where the legal CBD products sold across the country come from, not to be confused with high-inducing CBD marijuana products.
The difference comes down to THC–the psychoactive compound responsible for marijuana’s intoxicating effects. While industrial hemp has 0.3% THC or less by weight, marijuana products can have THC concentrations of 30% or higher. THC can be toxic to our furry friends, so always ensure you’re using hemp-derived CBD products.
So How Does CBD Work for Pets?
Just like humans, our pets have an endocannabinoid system that regulates many of their bodily functions from immunity to how the body interprets pain, fights inflammation, and controls digestion (and that’s just naming a few!). CBD promotes the optimal functioning of this endocannabinoid system, encouraging the proper production of hormones and neurotransmitters for efficient operation.
In addition, CBD serves as an analog for some receptors to the neurotransmitter they’re designed for, such as serotonin, one of the chemicals in our brains that moderates our moods and helps fight depression or stress. When used externally, such as with a pet CBD lotion or shampoo, CBD is naturally moisturizing and nourishing as it supplies a healthy dose of Omega fatty acids. When applied topically, it can also help calm inflammation caused by allergies or irritation.
Why is CBD Becoming So Popular?
We all love our pets and want them to live happy, healthy lives free of the pollutants and synthetic chemicals that inundate the world around us. CBD can help with this quest! As an all-natural alternative for wellness, CBD can be used in addition to and/or instead of traditional therapeutic regimens. CBD is generally well-tolerated by pets and may even help your pet avoid chemicals and prescription medications that could be harder on their bodies.
Special Considerations When Using CBD For Your Cat
When choosing to give your cat CBD products, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
CBD Is Not A Replacement For Proper Vet Care
Not all vets are on-board with CBD for companion animals, either due to personal beliefs or because of their state’s regulatory authorities. Despite this, it’s best to work with your vet for the overall health and wellness of your kitty. This is especially true if you are planning to use CBD as an addition to an already established treatment regimen for a diagnosed medical condition.
In addition, while CBD has a lot of potential benefits, it’s not a miracle or a cure-all. It’s an active compound, and its effectiveness is based on the organic chemistry going on inside your pet’s body. No matter what your vet believes, it’s important that you two work together to give your cat the best care possible.
Never Use CBD Products Derived From Marijuana
It bears repeating that THC is toxic to cats, so you should avoid products labeled as CBD that are derived from THC marijuana plants. Choose only high-quality, hemp-derived CBD products that offer a guarantee that they have 0.3% THC by weight or less — brands that can guarantee 0.0% or completely THC-free products are even better! Not only are these products legal federally, but they should not expose your pet to toxic levels of THC.
Start Off Low With Dosing
As you research your cat’s needs or get a recommendation from a CBD-friendly vet, you’ll find a dosage range for your cat, often expressed in milligrams-per-kilogram or pound. Pay close attention to this dose, but make the first few doses a quarter of that amount. Slowly increase toward the established dosage until the results you’re after are obtained. This lowers the chance of negative reactions from your feline.
Every Cat Is Different
While CBD is generally considered safe and well-tolerated by most felines, each cat has its own unique biological system. Just as two humans may get different results from a vitamin, supplement, or medication, the degree of effectiveness and the risk of potential side effects can vary cat-to-cat. Luckily, these negative side effects are relatively minor and stop quickly when CBD is discontinued.
The two most common negative reactions to hemp-derived CBD are:
⦁ Sedation: CBD can be calming, but sometimes it can be too calming. If you find that your cat is overly sleepy or lethargic, make them comfortable and let the sedation pass. You can try again with a smaller dose if you think you just gave them too much or you can halt CBD use entirely.
⦁ Gastric Issues: Oral CBD is absorbed by the stomach and intestines, and sometimes this can cause digestive issues. Nausea, vomiting, or constipation are all possibilities in this case. These also pass rapidly and can be alleviated by lowering the dose or stopping CBD treatment altogether.
Giving Your Cat The Best CBD Possible
Choosing your CBD products carefully will give your cat the best chance at reaping the most benefits from the cannabis plant. Choose a broad-spectrum CBD product that is formulated specifically for felines that contain CBD and other beneficial cannabis compounds. Cats’ metabolisms work differently than humans or dogs, so a product tailored to our feline friends’ needs will give you (and them!) better results.
Look for formulas that have been tested under the supervision of veterinary clinics, where they were evaluated by animal health professionals under humane conditions.
CBD can be a big part of helping your feline family member live a longer, fuller life so you both can have many years of love to come.
Special thanks to Aaron who contributed this informative guest post. Aaron (an avid pet lover) is a writer and copy strategist for ElleVet Sciences.
Why Drugstore Giants CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid are Cashing In on CBD
The next time you stroll down the brightly lit aisles of your local CVS, Walgreens, or Rite Aid, you might notice a few product labels sporting a friendly green hemp plant and three bold letters that read: CBD.
As cannabis continues to interject itself into the global health and wellness market, some of the country’s largest pharmacy chains have suddenly come down with the contagious CBD fever.
The widespread adoption of c annabidiol (CBD) products by national drugstore chains happened swiftly, almost as if it were synchronized. In the span of a single month, CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid all announced that CBD-infused products would be available at select locations.
CVS was the first drugstore franchise to offer CBD-infused creams and salves in mid-March 2019, followed by Walgreens rolling out products in nearly 1,500 stores across nine states in March 28, 2019. Rite Aid trailed close behind its two competitors, as CBD products hit shelves in more than 200 Oregon and Washington storefronts within the following month.
Why Drugstore Chains are Selling CBD
The pharmacy chains’ recent decision to start selling CBD-infused products follows the growing number of nationally recognized storefronts offering this non-intoxicating cannabinoid to customers. The CBD wave has already washed over the shores of many renowned businesses, from the aisles of the organic grocery chain Whole Foods to having its very own product category on Neiman Marcus’ website.
So why have CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid suddenly all started to succumb to the CBD craze at the same time? A large part of that answer, as per usual in these free-market decisions, appears to be customer demand. Joe Goode, a spokesperson for CVS Health, suggested that the wants and needs of consumers were a compelling reason to enter the CBD market.
“CBD is gaining popularity among consumers, particularly those looking for alternative care products,” Goode said in a statement to Weedmaps News.
Illinois-based Walgreens, the second-largest U.S. drugstore chain with more than 9,500 stores, followed its larger competitor, CVS, into carrying cannabidiol (CBD) products. Walgreens is testing demand in nine states. (Photo by Mike Mozart/Flickr)
Potential revenue likely also played a significant role in the trio’s decision to stock CBD-infused goods. The burgeoning market for CBD products is still largely untapped, but is already growing at a rapid rate, expected to exceed $16 billion by 2025, according to an analysis by Cowen & Co. published on Feb. 25, 2019. That same report included a consumer survey involving 2,500 participants, which found that 6.9% of adults are already using CBD as a supplement.
Combine that with the potential of the natural and organic personal care products, which was valued at more than $12 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $29.5 billion by 2028, according to Persistence Market Research , and you’ve got yourself a perfect recipe for revenue.
What Kind of CBD Products Will You Find?
Aside from offering a diverse spectrum of prescription medication, the drugstore franchises are also known for having expansive aisles stocked with health and wellness products. Some of the CBD-infused products that these drugstore chains will offer are similar to those that you’d already expect to find – including creams, topicals, ointments, and sprays. The primary difference is the addition of hemp -derived CBD, an ingredient which is intended to enhance the therapeutic properties of these naturally soothing products.
“Anecdotally, we’ve heard from our customers that these products have helped with pain relief for arthritis and other ailments, and we believe consumers will be looking for these products as part of their health offering,” Goode said in the statement.
You won’t find CBD-infused products in every product of your local CVS, Walgreen, or Rite Aid. Initially, at least, the scope of these CBD products will be limited to health and wellness products. For the time being, these pharmacy chains will not sell CBD products in the form of oils, tinctures, or other ingestibles.
While hemp-derived CBD was legalized under the Farm Bill on Dec. 20, 2018 , the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that, until regulations are put into place, it’s technically illegal to add the non-intoxicating cannabinoid to food, drinks, and dietary supplements.
Where Will CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid Sell CBD Products?
If you live in one of the following states where CBD products will be sold, here’s what you can expect to find on the shelves of each chain:
Select CVS stores are selling CBD-infused creams, sprays, roll-ons, lotions, and salves. Edibles and supplements will not be stocked in the store.
“We are not selling any CBD-containing supplements or food additives. We are working with CBD product manufacturers that are complying with applicable laws and that meet CVS’s high standards for quality,” Goode said in the statement.
CBD products will be sold at CVS Pharmacies in the following eight states, as of April 19, 2019:
In nearly 15,000 Walgreens stores across nine states, shoppers will find CBD patches, sprays, and creams in nine states. “The CBD-related items we are planning to carry are non- THC containing topical creams, patches, and sprays. This product offering is in line with our efforts to provide a wider range of accessible health and wellbeing products and services to best meet the needs and preferences of our customers,” a spokesperson from Walgreens said in a statement to Weedmaps News.
Walgreens will offer CBD products in the following nine states, as of April 19, 2019:
CBD products are sold in more than 200 Rite Aid stores in Oregon and Washington as of April 19, 2019.
What to Expect in the Future?
As the FDA develops regulations for CBD and the stigma surrounding cannabis continues to dissipate, the variety CBD products at CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid could increase in the near future.
“We’re entering slowly into this new category, and continue to actively monitor the regulatory landscape for CBD products and will expand product availability as appropriate and in compliance with applicable laws,” Goode said in a statement.
Despite the measured and restrictive approach that these nationally recognized convenience chains are taking, the recent string of announcements could indicate a lucrative relationship between CBD and these major drugstore chains. While the new products being offered at these drugstore chains are currently limited to select areas, an expansion into more states might follow as the demand for CBD grows.
Feature image: CVS Health, the largest operator of pharmacies in the U.S., with more than 9,800 locations, was the first of the three major U.S. drugstore chains to announce it is carrying products with cannabidiol (CBD). It has rolled out CBD products in eight states. (Photo by Jordan Lomibao via Unsplash )