CDC Warns of Using Vaping Products Containing THC – Alabama News Network

As the investigation continues into a national outbreak of lung disease associated with e-cigarettes and vaping products, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that persons stop using products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Based on data collected as of October 15, 86% of patients experiencing symptoms of the lung disease used THC-containing products in the three months preceding illness.

While not legal in Alabama, THC-containing vaping products can be obtained from informal or illicit sources. The products are being frequently used in Alabama, especially by teens and young adults.

As of October 29, 1,888 confirmed and probable lung injury cases associated with use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products were reported by 49 states (all except Alaska), the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Thirty-seven deaths have been confirmed in 24 states, including one death in Alabama. The median age of patients who have died is 44 years, ranging from 17 to 75 years old.

Alabama healthcare providers have reported 9 cases of lung disease associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping as of October 30. The 9 cases, 5 confirmed and 4 probable, are included in the national counts for the CDC.

Patients have experienced symptoms that include cough, shortness of breath and fatigue, with symptoms growing worse over a period of days or weeks before admission to the hospital. Other symptoms may include fever, chest pain, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Most of the cases are among adolescents and young adults.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) recommends all consumers of non-regulated vape products voluntarily stop using them until the national and state investigations into vaping-related deaths and illnesses are complete. ADPH has requested that healthcare providers report any cases of suspected serious respiratory illness they treat among patients who use electronic cigarettes or other vaping devices through the Report Card located on the ADPH website.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris especially urged women who are pregnant, youth and young people to refrain from using e-cigarettes or vaping products. In addition, he cautioned the public, “Never buy any type of e-cigarette or vaping products off the street, especially those containing THC, and do not modify or add any substances to these products bought at retail establishments.”

Alabama law prohibits the sale or transfer of vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery devices to minors. Other states have reported that counterfeit e-cigarettes are of special concern and some states have moved to temporarily ban the sale of vaping products.

Free help is available for Alabama residents who are ready to stop using e-cigarettes or vaping products as well as traditional tobacco. The Alabama Tobacco Quitline number is 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or residents may visit for help.

The Quitline provides individualized coaching to help any type of smoker or tobacco user, including e-cigarettes and vape, to quit. In addition, the Quitline offers up to eight weeks of free nicotine patches to those medically eligible and enrolled in the program. Quitline coaching services are available seven days a week from 6 a.m. to midnight.

For additional information on electronic cigarettes and their health effects, visit For more information on quitting tobacco, please visit ADPH Tobacco Prevention and Control at

Cannabis Review Site Leafly Takes On Debt Following Company-Wide Hiring Freeze – Crunchbase News

It looks like Leafly is rolling up some green in a new round of equity funding, which is bound to spark a little reefer gladness at the cannabis strain guide, dispensary review, and ecommerce company.

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Filing paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission this morning, the company disclosed it has closed $2.32 million of a $25 million round of funding. According to the filing, the new capital comes in the form of debt and options contracts which would grant Leafly’s creditors the right to acquire company securities at some unspecified date in the future.

Crunchbase News reached out to Leafly for comment, but did not hear back prior to publication. This article will be updated when we hear back.

Leafly was founded in March 2010 and was acquired by cannabis-focused private equity holding company Privateer Holdings in December 2011. It’s unclear how much capital Privateer Holdings invested in Leafly over the years, but the firm has raised over $200 million from its financial backers including Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund.

Leafly was spun out of Privateer Holdings in February 2019 and is once again an independently operating venture. The new capital comes at a time when Leafly is trying to pare down expenses as it finds its bearings as a rapidly-growing company under new leadership. Tim Leslie took over as Leafly’s CEO in March. Prior to Leafly, Leslie most recently led Amazon Prime Video’s global expansion efforts as the last act of his 20-year tenure at Amazon.

Last week, Business Insider obtained and published an internal memo Leslie sent to the company, notifying current employees of a hiring freeze and requesting that travel that is not business critical be either cancelled or postponed. Leslie wrote that the company has doubled in size, adding 150 people to its organization in the past seven months, since he took over as CEO.

Headquartered in Seattle, Leafly will not be flying satellite staff in for its end-of-year holiday party. Remote staff and those working in Leafly’s local offices will instead be flown out for the company’s summer party next year, and each local office will host its own holiday party. For the holiday season, fully-remote employees will “be receiving a gift certificate to take yourself and a friend or significant other out for dinner.”

Leafly may be putting a pause on hiring for all but the most important engineering and product roles right now, but there was no word of layoffs.

Competition is fierce in the legal cannabis recommendation business, which has grown rapidly as more states opt to legalize the plant and its derivatives. And it’s looking like a winner-take-most niche in the industry. Leafly’s principal competitor, Weedmaps, announced layoffs of 100 employees (approximately 25 percent of headcount) two weeks ago.

Though most states allow for some type of cannabis use, most often on medical grounds, expansion of the market has been somewhat slow over the past year or two. THC-containing cannabis remains federally illegal in the United States. Though the current U.S. administration is unlikely to liberalize federal drug policy, several Democratic challengers are promising to reschedule or fully legalize cannabis if elected in 2020 which would usher in a new wave of growth for the industry.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

As JUUL and WeWork stumble, their missteps are causing financial pain amongst their backers.

Crunchbase, the company behind Crunchbase News, has raised a pile of new money. $30 million to be exact.

Notably, it’s not only startups that started off life looking to build a neo bank who are building out banking-like services.

Faire, which operates an online wholesale marketplace for local retailers, has raised $150 million in a Series D round co-led by Lightspeed Venture…

Cannabis Canada: Pot industry added nearly $8B to GDP in August, StatsCan says – Article – BNN –

Cannabis sales in Canada expected to double next year to $3.16B: analyst 

Canaccord Genuity cannabis analyst Matt Bottomley expects revenue in Canada’s legal pot sector to more than double next year despite slower-than-expected growth. Bottomley said in a research note to clients that Canada’s cannabis industry should expect $3.16 billion in revenue in 2020, up from the $1.46 billion forecast for 2019. He added Canada’s cannabis retail figures should see a five per cent reduction in overall sales in September from the prior month to $121 million, but said subsequent growth should advance at a five-per-cent monthly clip. Bottomley expects growth in the recreational market to increase by just 7.5 per cent in 2020. Alongside its latest estimates for the Canadian cannabis industry, Canaccord’s analysts have revised sales projections for some of the country’s largest licensed producers such as Canopy Growth, Aphria and Aurora Cannabis.

BRNT secures multiyear white label deal with Valens GroWorks for 2.2M vape pens

BRNT Group, a company which has made its name making high-end cannabis accessories, is getting into the vape game. The company announced on Thursday a partnership with Valens GroWorks to produce a minimum of 2.2 million vape pens over the next two years. The deal, which is believed to be one of the largest publicly announced multi-year white label agreements, is expected to generate over $50-million in gross revenue for Valens, according to a statement released by both companies. The vape devices are expected to be available in select markets starting in the first quarter of next year and roll out across Canada later in the year.

Canadian pot producer hires helicopter to avoid possible frost on outdoor grow

Looking for a novel way to ensure your outdoor crop won’t be impacted by frost? Give your local helicopter pilot a call. That’s what 48North did, according to an Instagram post published by Devin Piche, the company’s master grower. A helicopter is able to float above an agricultural crop and essentially suck up cold air upward away from plants which could be damaged by a potential frost. “The helicopter was used to move warm air in a temperature inversion down into the crop area to keep the temperature above freezing,” according to Connor Whitworth, a 48North spokesperson. The cannabis producer is harvesting the remaining cannabis plants it is growing in its Good:Farm facility. Whitworth declined to further comment on 48North’s outdoor harvest, which it has previously stated expects to yield 40,000 kilograms of cannabis.

Alberta eyes 500 pot shops by 2021, no consumption lounges planned: regulatory official

Alberta is already the country’s market leader in the pot retail space – and it looks like it could get even larger.  Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis expects its store count to grow to over 500 within two years, according to the Calgary Herald, citing an official with the provincial regulator. The regulator has already green lit 306 retail outlets across the province, a number that will likely grow by 200 by 2021. However, cannabis consumption lounges don’t appear yet to be coming out anytime soon and would require legislative approval to establish those types of facilities, the official said.

Canada’s cannabis industry contributed nearly $8B to GDP in August: StatsCan

Canada’s cannabis sector – both the legal and illegal market – contributed $7.92 billion to the country’s gross domestic product in August, a figure that continues to grow from the $7.02 billion last October when recreational cannabis was legalized and above the revised $7.79 billion mark made in July, according to new data published by Statistics Canada on Thursday. The StatsCan figures also show Canada’s legal cannabis industry has grown by 116 per cent in the first 11 months since recreational marijuana was legalized. The black market’s cannabis output has fallen by 22 per cent in that same time, according to StatsCan estimates.


$3.55 billion
— The economic output that Canada’s legal cannabis industry contributes to the country’s gross domestic product in August, according to Statistics Canada

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Cannabis Canada is BNN Bloomberg’s in-depth series exploring the stunning formation of the entirely new – and controversial – Canadian recreational marijuana industry. Read more from the special series here and subscribe to our Cannabis Canada newsletter to have the latest marijuana news delivered directly to your inbox every day. 

Study Says You’re More Likely To Use Cannabis If Your Parents Did – Benzinga

By The Fresh Toast’s Brendan Bures, provided exclusively to Benzinga Cannabis.

A new study finds that even if parents limited marijuana use to high school, their kids were more likely to use cannabis than other groups.

A primary focus among health professionals and scientists as marijuana goes mainstream is limiting adolescent cannabis usage. There’s still plenty we don’t understand about how cannabis works with the brain and body, but one thing researchers assert is that adolescent use irrevocably changes the teenage brain.

Studies have shown differences in brain structures between nonusers and those who used in high school, including reductions of the amygdala and hippocampus. These structures control emotional regulation and memory, respectively.

This is why researchers recently focused on how substance use from a previous generation impacted the next. The study, published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, examined how various marijuana use patterns in parents affected their children using or not using cannabis. This study builds upon a previous paper that established subsets of marijuana users.

Users were divided into four unique groups: “chronic” (habitual, continuous users), “late onset” (those who begin consuming in late teens and early 20s), “adolescent-limited,” (who only used as teenagers), and “nonusers.”

Photo by Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance

As Futurity highlighted, this research really began back in the 1980s. Researchers tracked fifth graders at several Seattle elementary schools and followed their substance use patterns, developing data as to how alcohol and cannabis affected mental health, economic earnings, and later substance abuse problems. Once these individuals had kids, researchers started interviewing their children. As of publication, 360 children completed interviews as researchers began asking them about alcohol starting at age 6 and cannabis at age 10.

You might predict, as researchers did, how chronic use impacted kids. Compared to children of nonusers, kids of “chronic users” were 4.5 times as likely to use marijuana and 2.75 times likely to use alcohol.

Here’s what surprised researches. Kids whose parents only smoked during adolescence were 2.5 times as likely to use cannabis and 1.8 time to use alcohol. Even when scientists tested against parents’ current marijuana use, these rates held true. Children of “late-onset” users, however, were least likely to use marijuana, as were those of nonusers.

“The really important takeaway is that parent history of marijuana use is an important risk factor for kids,” Marina Epstein, a project director at the Social Development Research Group at the University of Washington, told Futurity.

© 2019 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Opinion: Increasing Access to Medical Cannabis for Veterans Can Be a Matter of Life and Death – L.A. Weekly

The online cannabis directory Weedmaps recently announced that they were going to stop accepting advertising from unlicensed cannabis businesses. Come January, once this has been fully implemented, I know veterans like myself and those I represent will still be faced with a lack of access to medical cannabis and will have to turn to other outlets like Google, Yelp and Craigslist to find unlicensed shops. I wish we didn’t have to go to illicit businesses, but local California politicians are turning their backs on us.

Medical patients and advocates have always been the driving force for cannabis legalization in California, but medical collectives that provide low-cost or free medical cannabis to low-income patients have been forced to close their doors in response to heavy tax burdens created by legalization. This was a problem inherent in Proposition 64, and an oversight that drove myself and veterans like me not to support the measure although we vehemently advocate for legalization. Now, despite legalization, medical cannabis is actually harder for patients and veterans alike to access. Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed Senate Bill 34 (Wiener), and state Treasurer Fiona Ma also championed legislation to give veterans better access to cannabis. These bills serve as an important step forward to restore patient access, but in order to really expand access, the governor and Treasurer Ma ultimately need local governments to cooperate.

At best, local governments are artificially capping the licenses available for cannabis retailers. But at worst, which is the case for 76 percent of cities and counties, local jurisdictions are outright banning cannabis retail licensing. This means that medical patients across the state lack access to life-saving treatments. This hits hard for veterans, who have been shut out of the market as both retailers and as patients. It is even worse when you consider how many jurisdictions are attempting to ban home cultivation, as well as the increasing number of retirement communities, apartment complexes and other lodging associations  taking the same stance.

Cannabis has been proven to help with PTSD, cancer and chronic pain, and has statistically lowered the suicide rate in states where it is legal. Despite this, veterans are continually shut out of the cannabis market and pushed toward opiates and other drugs that have negative, addictive effects on our mental and physical health. The VA estimates that 20 veterans commit suicide every day. We also suffer from inflated rates of depression and other disorders, namely 1 out of 5 veterans suffers from PTSD. Studies found that cannabis use is correlated with a higher ability to cope with stressful life events, especially among young men, and can help treat pain. VA physicians are unfortunately still prohibited from prescribing cannabis to veterans. In fact, no doctor in California can prescribe cannabis without fear of losing their medical license, thanks to its status as a Schedule 1 narcotic.

The positive effects of cannabis on mental health encouraged thousands of veterans to show up to the polls and vote in favor of Prop. 64 and the legalization of cannabis. But it was a bait and switch. And we are left with less access now than before legalization. Less. Our local leaders are failing to open markets and the state leaders are failing to pressure their local counterparts. We don’t have time to wait. Again, 20 veterans die by suicide each day. Each day our politicians fail to open legal access they fail veterans.

The bait was that legal access would help veterans and improve access. The switch: Only 23 percent of our counties and cities allow cannabis retail, and licensed retailers are often few and far between in most parts of California. The rest of the cities and counties have implemented arbitrary caps on licenses that are not even close to meeting the demand in the market. Consequently, veterans across the state are struggling to access the cannabis we desperately need.

A study by the American Legion found that 82 percent of veterans support the use of cannabis as treatment for physical and mental conditions. We have to pay out of pocket to treat conditions which resulted from our service, and that’s a hard reality to face, but finding a licensed cannabis retailer only makes it harder. Veterans and other medical patients often have to drive long distances to obtain their cannabis treatments, especially those living in rural areas.

Local bans and restrictive licensing caps on retail cannabis also make it difficult for veterans to start businesses in the cannabis industry. Many of us have been out-bid by monopolistic business owners, priced out by artificial demand created from arbitrary licensing caps, or shut out of the legal market entirely because of outright bans put in place by elected officials. Many veterans who return from service are attracted to work in this burgeoning industry, but more often than not, we’re unable to obtain a license to operate legally.

Local government officials who have continually ignored the will of their constituents who voted in favor of Prop. 64, who have ignored the will of veterans who put our lives on the line for this country — this is your wake-up call. Veterans are dying every day from suicide, and elected officials should have all hands on deck making every treatment option available to us. We need to lift local bans on retail licenses, raise restrictive licensing caps that keep new businesses out of the market, and we need to make sure patients, even in rural areas, have access to important cannabis treatments. We also need to make the right to cultivate cannabis at home a basic patient right for all residents in the state, regardless of where they live.

Sean Kiernan is CEO of the Weed for Warriors Project.

2 Signs That the Cannabis Bubble Has Burst – Motley Fool

Pot stocks have been struggling this year, and there’s little reason to believe there will be a recovery happening anytime soon. Cannabis companies ballooned to significant valuations and, although it seemed inevitable that a correction would take place, their values continued to skyrocket. Now, however, there’s growing evidence to support the idea that the cannabis bubble has in fact burst. Below are two reasons why there’s little doubt that attitudes on the industry have changed.

1. Investors have adjusted their expectations

Sales growth used to be able to drive share prices up in the cannabis industry, but that’s not the case anymore. This is a development that’s been evident for months now, especially with marijuana stocks cratering this year. One of the better examples of this is Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB):

ACB PS Ratio (TTM) Chart

ACB PS Ratio (TTM) data by YCharts

Even though the company has been achieving great sales growth now that the marijuana industry is open for business in Canada, that hasn’t been enough to keep the stock from falling as investors have been paying less per dollar of revenue. Multiples of more than 100 times sales were ridiculous, but that didn’t stop investors from buying shares in Aurora. However, from the chart above, it’s clear that toward the end of 2018 when there was a big downturn in the markets, investors had adjusted how much they were willing to pay for a stock like Aurora that had little to offer besides sales growth.

While sales growth is important, so too is generating cash and being profitable. And with concerns of a recession on the rise this year, it’s perhaps not surprising that investors have opted to go for safer, more value-oriented investments, which Aurora clearly isn’t. While the excitement might return to the industry if legalization takes place in the U.S., it’s unlikely that these astronomical valuations will be the norm again.

Cannabis greenhouse

Image Source: Getty Images.

2. Less activity when it comes to mergers and acquisitions

A year ago, rumors swirled that Aurora was in talks with Coca-Cola about a possible beverage deal, although nothing ended up materializing. Even bringing on big-name investor Nelson Peltz as a strategic advisor hasn’t led to any significant partnerships or deals for Aurora — certainly, nothing that has been able to get investors out of their seats.

However, it’s hard to blame companies in other industries from not wanting to get involved in cannabis.

For one, the illegality of marijuana in the U.S. still presents a big risk that large corporations may not want to take or expose their brands to. And secondly, given the headaches that Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) has endured with its pot investment weighing down its financials, companies aren’t going to be lining up to worsen their bottom lines while having to spend money to help keep cannabis companies operating. The once-exciting new industry to invest in is looking a lot more burdensome today.

Until cannabis companies prove to be more self-sufficient, there may not be as many deals being made. While there may be more modest deals like the one involving Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) and Biosteel, it may be a while before there’s a groundbreaking deal that has a real impact on the industry. The level of risk, unfortunately, has become too big to ignore, especially amid all the negative press surrounding the industry this year. Concerns around vaping-related deaths being linked to cannabis products and the scandal surrounding CannTrust growing pot illegally has given investors many reasons to think twice about what’s been a very volatile industry of late. 

What does this mean for investors?

For investors, the takeaway here is not to buy shares of marijuana stocks simply because they’ve dropped in value. While it may seem unlikely that Aurora and Canopy Growth could fall further in price, that could very well be a reality. The more that investors turn away from stocks with high valuations and more to price-conscious investments, the less demand there will be for shares of expensive pot stocks. 

However, there are still good options out there, as Charlotte’s Web (OTC:CWBHF) has been able to consistently post a profit and could be an alternative for cannabis investors looking for a better value buy. And by being focused on hemp, it’s also not exposed to the risks related to vaping marijuana. Investors simply need to be more careful in deciding which cannabis stocks to invest in and focus on those that have some solid, tangible results behind them, rather than just promises of future growth.

Covering Cannabis Risks on a BOP – Insurance Journal

Back in June 2018, AAIS filed its first CannaBOP policy to provide admitted markets a BOP that would cover the unique risks associated with cannabis businesses. While the admitted market has yet to fully embrace the cannabis businesses, this policy is paving the way for carriers to get involved with this truly emerging risk.

One speaker that the recent Insurance Journal Insuring Cannabis Summit noted that the cannabis segment is a true emerging risk unlike anything else that we’ve seen in many years in insurance. This is partially because of the tension that exists between the way that cannabis and cannabis products are treated by the federal government and the states.

One feature of the CannaBOP policy is how it defines its “basic territory”.

“Basic territory” means the United States of America, its territories and possessions, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

With respect to losses to “cannabis” or “cannabis accessories”, and losses arising out of or in any way related to “cannabis activities”, the “basic territory”:

  1. is limited to the state of California; and
  2. does not include land or property owned by the United States government.

The policy is limiting coverage related to the exposures of the cannabis business to the state of California, except for any land or property owned by the United States government. When you consider that almost half of the state is federal land, you understand that this is a significant limitation.

This is among the definitions that allow the policy to take a careful line between allowing coverage for a product that is legal in the state of California, while not allowing for illegal activity to occur (elsewhere, or within the state of California).

The Academy of Insurance is presenting our session Cannabis Risk Coverage Issues on November 7. You can sign up here.

About Patrick Wraight

Patrick Wraight, CIC, CRM, AU, is director of Insurance Journal’s Academy of Insurance. He can be reached at

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Atomic9 Vaporizer Review – Ganjapreneur

It’s clear just by looking at the Cloudious9 product line that the company is intent on standing out as individuals in vaporizer technology. A few years ago they launched the Hydrology9, a water-filtered dry herb vape that lights up like a lava lamp when operating in ‘Party Mode’. The Hydrology is revered as an at-home vape because it is a bit heavy and does tend to lose charge quickly. That is why the Cloudious9 team has introduced the Atomic9, a lightweight and low profile dry herb vape.

The Atomic9 fits discreetly in the palm of our hands and easily into a pocket or purse. It vapes at six optimal temperatures, 356°F, 374°F, 392°F, 410°F, 428°F, and 446°F. Each set-up contains a ‘Vapor Guide’ that explains what vape experience will result from each temperature setting. The entire Atomic9 is made up of 11 components and despite the elegant experience it provides, it’s simple to use.

How to use the Atomic9:

  1. Flip the mouthpiece open by following the arrow indicator. 
  2. Use the small silver slide on the body of the vape to slide the shovel up out of the chamber.
  3. Scoop herb into the heating chamber using the shovel and tamp lightly. Wipe away herb from the heating chamber to allow mouthpiece to close properly and close the mouthpiece. 
  4. If the vape is off press small oval button three times quickly to turn it on.
  5. Once the vape turns on it will begin heating to the last temperature it was set to. The screen above the oval ‘On’ button will read the temperature.
  6. Enter the temperature adjustment mode by holding down the oval button for three seconds. Once the mode is achieved the temperature on the screen will blink. Each press of the oval button in this mode will move the setting between each temperature. Once the preferred temp is selected hold down the oval button for 3 seconds and the vape will go back to heating mode.
  7. The LED light indicator with the Cloudious logo will be lit red while the chamber is heating. It will turn green once the desired temperature has been reached. 
  8. Once temps are achieved simply draw from the mouthpiece slowly, inhale and enjoy. 
  9. To turn off the vape, hold the oval button down for 3 minutes. The Cloudious9 cannot be turned off while in temperature adjustment mode.

We had a pleasant experience using the Atomic9 vape. Vaping around 374°F, the second temperature setting, the vape produces a true-to-flower flavor with a super light vapor. It heats to 374°F in less than a minute. At the next highest setting (392°F) there is a more visible vapor without too much sacrifice in the flavor. Even at 410°F setting the Atomic9 didn’t burn the ground Indica flower that we put in the chamber. When we were finished, the chamber easily emptied and all the herb was vaped evenly throughout. 

One full chamber in the Atomic9 would be enough for around 3-4 stoners to sesh with, no problem. But don’t forget to get a full charge before taking the piece out. Easily check the battery level by holding the operational button down for three seconds, then the Cloudious9 LED logo will light green to indicate full, yellow to show that it’s half, and red to indicate a low battery. To get a full charge plug the small, portable dry herb vape into a USB port for about 50 minutes. 

After using the Atomic9 we can safely say that it would be great to take on the trail for a low profile summit toke. It is small and light so it can fit easily in a fanny pack or jacket pocket. But despite the size it still has a chamber large enough for the core group to sesh together. This is a great portable dry herb vape and definitely worth recommending to someone who prefers flower.

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CBD Trends – Pet Age

Despite the tremendous growth of CBD in the pet space, many consumers are struggling to understand when, how or even if they should give CBD to their pets. For those who have made the decision to give CBD to their pets, there’s an increasing need to learn what’s actually in the CBD products they buy, including how much CBD is really in them.