An anonymous survey of people buying hemp products online provided some insight on consumers’ hemp habits in the context of pet care. Who’s buying hemp products for their pets? Why? What value do pet owners find in hemp products?

In a recent journal article from the Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (JAHVMA), researchers evaluated the results of their anonymous online survey. Over half of the people buying hemp products online currently use hemp products for their dog – much fewer used hemp for their cats. For both animals, though, the majority of pet owners responded that they use hemp products to address pet illnesses diagnosed by a veterinarian. This includes:

  • Seizures
  • Cancer
  • Anxiety (separation anxiety and noise phobia)
  • Arthritis
  • IBS
  • Management of pain, nausea

The key differences between hemp and its more controversial cousin revolve around ratios of two cannabinoids, plant-based chemicals found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp grown for industrial purposes such as medicine, food, and fiber contains less than 0.3% THC, a cannabinoid known for its psychoactive properties. Instead, hemp largely contains a non-psychoactive cannabinoid – although this particular chemical does affect the nervous system. Additionally, hemp is derived from specific parts of the Cannabis sativa plant: the fiber and seeds.

Cannabis sativa-derived products grown for recreational uses have generally the opposite ratio of cannabinoids: more THC and less of the non-psychoactive chemical.

With a lack of conclusive research on the health benefits of hemp for animals, veterinarians have a difficult time relying on scientific evidence to recommend hemp products to their patients, and they cannot determine safe dosages of hemp or guarantee safe cannabinoid ratios in different products. However, the present study does make clear the interest pet owners have in utilizing hemp to support the health of their pets.

Read the full article:
“Consumers’ Perceptions of Hemp Products for Animals”
Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (JAHVMA), vol. 42, 2016.

 

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