As the head of his own cannabis company, Willie’s Reserve, the singer and marijuana activist is releasing CBD products for “furry friends.” Willie’s Rescue is the company’s new line of hemp-derived pet products, according to a release by parent company GCH.
“As longtime animal advocates and pet owners, our family believes that the hemp plant has benefited our own animals,” Willie and his wife Annie Nelson said in a statement. “We want you and your best friends to experience the potential benefits of hemp together.”
Willie’s Rescue, which does not contain THC, is making its debut at SuperZoo, a pet industry trade show taking place in Las Vegas this week.
According to the company, Willie’s Rescue “is supported by oversight and guidance from veteran experts in the pet care category,” via a partnership with Greg Forquer, a managing partner at the consulting firm PetsPhD. But CBD use for animals is still a highly-contested topic. While holistic-minded experts have recommended CBD to calm pets, especially during highly anxiety-inducing events like fireworks and other loud noises, there is still not enough data on the pros and cons of its use.
The compound can be prescribed for pets in California, which recently passed a bill allowing veterinarians to do so. And anecdotally, many have touted the benefits of CBD on animals, with numerous veterinarians and medical professionals confirming its safety. Not to mention that animal protection organizations, such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), have placed their stamp of approval on the therapeutic effects of hemp oil on pets.
However, CBD products in general are still being assessed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) despite its decriminalization in 2018. Due to the unclear legal status of cannabidiol, many startups specializing in human and pet CBD offerings must label their products with a “non-FDA approved” warning.
All in all, the CBD industry is still in the process of convincing the government that direct sales of hemp items to consumers is safe. For now, veterinarians will have to rely on individual state laws in order to recommend CBD products to pet owners.