At Local Pet Shops, CBD Is Going to the Dogs – Bedford + Bowery

With the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade coming up Sunday and prizes at stake, should the costumed canines of the East Village be tested for performance-enhancing drugs? It’s not just their chilled-out owners: Pets are increasingly under the influence of CBD.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved any cannabidiol products for animals, and even in states where medical marijuana is legal, it’s not legal for pets. While many states have legalized CBD for human use, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration still classifies it as a Schedule 1 controlled substance– same as heroin. Still, many companies are circumventing the legal status of CBD and marijuana by marketing the products as hemp-based. And as you can see from our video, above, CBD treats and supplements are flying off the shelves of local pet shops like Petopia, in the East Village.

U.S. retail sales of pet treats are estimated to reach $6.7 billion by the end of the year, up from $6.5 billion last year, according to a recent report by market research firm Packaged Facts. The surge in popularity of products containing CBD, an active ingredient in cannabis derived from the hemp plant, is helping to fuel the overall growth. Pet owners are interested in CBD treats for its anxiety- and stress-relieving components, but it’s also seen as an alternative treatment for issues like pain and allergies. 

But since these products aren’t FDA approved, they aren’t subject to the same quality control measures as other medications. As a result, there have been reports of animals harmed by contaminated or spoiled CBD products.  Add to that, not much research has been done into CBD, which can interact with medications, including ones prescribed by vets. 

CBD’s categorization as a Schedule 1 controlled substance means veterinarians can only talk about it if their clients bring it up. That’s led to a holdup in vets researching the effects of CBD. Researchers are only starting to broach the subject and no large studies on the effectiveness of CBD have been completed, though initial studies show promise.

Watch our video to find out if CBD is right for your pet!

Video by Millie Dent, Liz Gravier, and Marc Stewart.

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