The most important issue to understand with hemp products is sourcing. A majority of hemp CBD products are imported from places like China where plants are grown with pesticides and exposed to heavy metals and pollution. When processed, this hemp extract often contains worrisome levels of toxins and heavy metals. The FDA has warned that some of these imported extracts don’t even contain any active CBD. Last year, the DEA stated that, “Because it is illicitly produced by clandestine manufacturers, its actual content is uncertain and will vary depending on the source of the material."

To provide an alternative to these potentially dangerous foreign sources, American companies have begun to work directly with farms, including several in Colorado, to cultivate CBD-rich hemp plants. One of these farms is Botanicals – a family-run organic hemp farm that produces CBD plants in compliance with Colorado Department of Agriculture, the 2014 Farm Bill and the pending Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015. The CBD™ extracted from these plants is distributed nationwide – and this is the CBD we use in The Green Pet Shop CBD Pen.

We base the formulation off of a similar transdermal formulation that has been used in human products for many years. We tweaked the fragrance, dosage and formulation to retain the effectiveness, while making the product more appropriate for animals.

Transdermal means the application of a medicine or drug through the skin. In the simplest terms, a drug is placed on top of the skin, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Transdermal medications have many advantages, chief among them ease of application. Medications that can be absorbed through the skin bypass the need for pills or liquids, which can be a challenge to administer to some pets. In addition, because they are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, and avoid initially passing through the intestinal and liver, drugs that are administered transdermally tend to be more effective or work faster, and are more completely absorbed than some oral medications, allowing for better treatments.

This will be an enormous market. As more people learn about the benefits of hemp, we will see more and more pet owners exploring CBD as an alternative (or adjunct) to the pharmaceuticals offered by most veterinarians.

Initially, we see the largest opportunity in markets that are more open to/educated about hemp– especially Colorado and the West Coast.

Yes, senior pets are the largest market for this product– followed by pets with other special needs or conditions, such as anxiety.

As this is still a very new space, there aren’t many resources specifically dedicated to the use of CBD with pets. Many consumers find that the information that is available about human uses of cannabinoid therapies is based on animal research and/or relevant to any mammal.

For example, ProjectCBD is an excellent resource dedicated to sharing information, research and news about the many uses of CBD for a wide variety of conditions. Customers have been using this information to learn more about how to harness the benefits of cannabinoids for their pets.