She concluded that no part of the cannabis plant is currently approved for use in pet food and that companies in the industry that wish to use these products must first provide accurate research showing the products are both safe and beneficial in animal food. 5
Saar referenced one study on how mice with autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) showed an abundance of mucin-degrading bacteria species such as Akkermansia muciniphila, which was significantly reduced after treatment with Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) plus cannabidiol (CBD). According to Saar, the mice with EAE treated with THC plus CBD also displayed notably higher levels of short-chain fatty acids including butyric, isovaleric, and valeric acids versus naive or disease controls. The data gathered suggest that cannabinoids may reduce EAE and suppress neuroinflammation by averting microbial dysbiosis seen during EAE and nurturing healthy gut microbiota. 3
However, the nature of this protein resource does not come without concern. Saar advised that investigations into insect protein should happen immediately because it can take years of experience to create a balanced and delectable diet, complete feeding trials, and ensure no unforeseen complications can occur. She explained that one risk of utilizing insect protein stems from contamination factors including metal and chemical pollution, such as insecticides that can be found with black soldier flies. This species tends to accumulate heavy metal from their feed (particularly cadmium and lead). 1
So how exactly do bugs fit into the pet food equation? Saar noted the following environmental advantages of insect farming 1 :
Saar noted that although it is currently illegal to feed hemp or its by-products to livestock because of the unproven risk of cannabinoid residuals in animal-based products (eg, meat, eggs, milk), studies have shown that hempseeds and their derivatives may be a viable source of crude protein and essential fats to incorporate into the diet of livestock, without particular changes in growth performance. 2
It’s no secret that pet parents often scour the Internet in search of the next best thing for their pets—especially when it comes to nutrition. With the vast amount of emerging ingredients being used in pet food, it is necessary to understand the nuances of these components, and which can provide a robust balance of protein for pets.
According to Saar, life-cycle assessments (LCAs) have traditionally been published for mealworms, house crickets, black soldier flies, and houseflies, and they use benchmarks to provide comparisons of insect production systems. For example, one study found that mealworms used as a protein-rich food can be comparable to meat and milk. Similarly, houseflies and blackflies, as protein-rich feed ingredients, can be compared to fish meal and soybean meal. 1
Dr. Silver mentions in the article that the clients dog is still going strong thanks to the cannabinoid treatment. But it’s important to fully grasp what CBD gave this dog, as well as its owner. It didn’t just give the dog a few more weeks, months or years to live, it made that time infinitely more enjoyable. It offered the dog a quality of life that would have otherwise been lost forever.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis , it’s the compound that gives users the sensation of being high / stoned. While THC can be utilized for a myriad of medical conditions, it can be very dangerous for your pet.
Matthew J. Cote, brand manager at Auntie Dolores, a San Francisco Bay Area edibles manufacturer has its very own pet line of edibles called Treatibles. They decided to pursue CBD products for animals because aging dogs share quite a few of the same health problems as humans. If we could benefit so greatly from CBD, why couldn’t man’s best-friend?
Real Life Examples of CBD Benefits for Dogs
The stigma surrounding cannabis is starting to disappear, and people are finding all sorts of new ways to use this miracle plant. There is no question that cannabis is useful for a wide variety of conditions in humans, and many of those benefits translate to your pet as well.
Some people might find it hard to totally trust a story like this from a brand manager of a company that offers cannabidiol pet treats. But there are dozens of success stories circulating that are just like this.
Before you go rolling up a doob for your pooch, it’s important to fully understand the potential risks involved in giving your pet cannabis.
We have a far better understanding of the health benefits of cannabidiol for humans than we do for pets. And even still, we have quite a ways to go before we understand the true spectrum of benefits cannabidiol has to offer.
Maybe the lack of enforcement is because the CBD pet space is estimated to be worth US$175–225 million across all channels by 2025? Let’s face it, if CBD had been properly regulated and enforced from the beginning, state and federal agencies would not be in this situation.
Great question! The laws and regulations for CBD and hemp for dogs and cats are black and white. Further, with acknowledgement of such laws and regulations by federal, state agencies and AAFCO, it makes you wonder why there is failure to enforce them? It is not like inspectors do not see it when they walk into the store to determine who has properly registered their foods and treats to pay their yearly license/registration or tonnage fees. Or that the information from such companies and manufacturers is not clearly accessible on their computers at home or in the office.
When I am asked, “How are these ingredients in marketplace?” I often respond, “I don’t know. Good question.” I am also often asked, “What will it take for enforcement?” In my opinion, it will likely take animals getting sick or dying. Which is not the right answer!
Other unapproved ingredients not being enforced
Unfortunately, this issue gets further amplified because the barrier of entry into the marketplace is at an all-time low, since companies can sell directly to consumers and avoid brick-and-mortar distribution (and product registration) altogether.
Many CBD companies have utilized such claims and, surprisingly, some still do. However, given the FDA administering warning letters against companies who make such claims, we have started to see some companies clean up their labels. That said, only a handful have received FDA warning letters. In fact, to date, less than 20 CBD pet product companies have been warned by the FDA. Further, many of the companies warned do not really have a presence in the pet store channel.
By the way, none of those ingredients have scientific information to support their benefits, never mind any nutritional adequacy in dogs and cats. What is worse is that we do not even know if such ingredients have detrimental effects. After the canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) debacle, we as an industry should know better.
Thus, contrary to popular belief, or what some CBD manufacturers would tell you, hemp and hemp-derived products are not approved for usage in animals in foods and treats.