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Would you give your pet a derivative of marijuana to treat some of their ailments?

The potential benefits of consuming cannabidiol (CBD) have been widely reported. The compound derived from the cannabis plant can relieve anxiety, pain, seizures, depression, inflammation and more — all while not causing the psychoactive high associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — but could it have the same effect on cats and dogs?

The answer is a resounding yes, according to employees of K9 Caterers in Glendale who have tried the product on their pets and are now selling it in the store.

After hearing stories about the healing effects of hemp oil from marijuana-friendly states like Colorado, K9 Caterers employee Larry Carito said he began doing his research. He was ultimately able to connect with a Colorado-based company called Pet Releaf, which he singled out because of its organic products made in the USA, and the CBD oils and infused edibles are now flying off the shelves, he said.

“It’s been about a week and I can’t keep it in the store long enough,” Carito said. “It’s amazing how everyone flocked to it.”

Pet Releaf offers four different levels of CBD concentration in its oils; higher concentrations are for larger dogs, while lower concentrations are for smaller dogs. The edible treats infused with CBD — or “Edibites” as the company calls them — also come in large breed or small breed variations with several different flavors. 

All of the products are made from the hemp plant, which is a member of the cannabis species but distinctly different from the THC-producing marijuana plant. While hemp has very low levels of THC and high levels of CBD, marijuana has the opposite.

This is an important distinction to make when selling the products in the store, said K9 Caterers grooming manager Amanda Madtes. In fact, the store gives out literature to any interested customer that explains the differences between the plants and reiterates that this is “NOT Pot for Pets.”

Photo courtesy of Amanda Madtes

Flyers explaining the differences between hemp and marijuana distributed by K9 Caterers (Photo: Amanda Madtes)

Of course, it makes for some interesting conversations with customers who may joke that “Oh, my pet will be stoned,” Madtes said, but she has also researched the products and tested them on her own pets to prove that isn’t the case. In fact, the results have blown her away, she said.

One of the things I have used it for on my own dogs — three are over 80 pounds — and two are very sensitive to fireworks and cars backfiring and stuff like that,” Madtes said. “I put the oil in their mouths and was seeing a massive calm down in 25 minutes.”

Another one of her dogs has an ACL on the verge of tearing in its knee, Madtes said, and the CBD products greatly reduce the inflammation and pain. As an added bonus, Madtes is even now recommending it to her customers as a way to relieve their dog’s anxiety associated with coming in for a grooming.

The products are completely safe and all but impossible to take too much of, but Madtes warned that the only complication is that animals with pancreas problems cannot use the products because coconut oil is used as a binding agent.

And no, kids can’t get high from them if they’re thinking they’ve found a way to do it legally, but just to be thorough, K9 Caterers won’t sell the products to anyone under the age of 21, Madtes said.

From what she has seen so far, Madtes believes treating pets with CBD has soaring potential.

“I think it might be the wave of the future when it comes to all natural ways to trying to calm them down and for pain,” Madtes said. “Anything we can do to help the animals, that’s what were here for.”

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