Kaya Mind, a Brazilian company that specializes in data and market intelligence on cannabis, hemp, and related products, found there are approximately 229 products currently available on the market, which come from 36 manufacturers in four different countries. In total, 58.9% of them are hemp-based and intended for dogs. But, while the industry is flourishing, a lack of regulation is hindering it.
A study on cannabis for pets conducted by Kaya Mind, a Brazilian company that specializes in data and market intelligence on cannabis, hemp, and related products, found that there are approximately 229 cannabis-based products available in the market that can be consumed by pets.
The report, titled “Cannabis in the Pet Market,” was released in July of this year and indicates that the products come from 36 manufacturers in four different countries. Of these products, 58.9% are hemp-based and intended for dogs, the species most commonly researched in scientific studies.
For more news like this, download our free cannabis news app.
Almost Half of all Cannabis for Pets Manufacturers Are Specialists
The data also reveals that 16 of the 36 manufacturers focus exclusively on the cannabis for pets market, which makes up 44% of the total. The remaining 20 brands offer products for humans as well as a line for pets or have some products specifically geared towards animals. This represents 56% of the total.
One example of these companies is Biocase, a Brazilian startup that produces cannabis-based oils, creams, and sprays for both humans and pets. According to the company’s CEO, Sergio Luiz Fadul, the diseases and conditions that “have been proven to improve with the use of cannabis” are varied.
“When we talk about cannabis for pets, we can see that mammals, birds, and reptiles have the same cannabinoid receptor mechanism in the nervous system and other organs as humans do. Consequently, they generate very similar effects. With this, cannabinoids, including CBD, also work for dogs, cats, cattle, goats, and horses,” he says.
The veterinarian specializing in animal physiotherapy and collaborator of the pain and palliative care ambulatory of the University of São Paulo (USP), Maira Formenton, corroborates with the executive’s statement. For the specialist, the main indications for using these medications on animals are chronic pain.
“Osteoarthritis, pain control and reduction of opioid use in animals with cancer, neuropathic pain, control of secondary signs to chemotherapy, such as nausea and nausea, among other cases,” she explains.
However, the doctor warns that the clinical studies on these medications’ impacts on animals have yet to advance as far as those for human applications.
“In humans, the research is more advanced, but for animals, there is still a lack of clinical trials to understand in which diseases the use of medication will be more effective. For example, there are studies about, mainly, the impacts of cannabidiol-based medication on chronic joint pain, seizures, and epilepsy in dogs, but it is still necessary to understand the impacts on specific diseases of pets, such as distemper,” he says.
The cannabis for Pets Market Is Not Yet Regulated in Brazil
The use of cannabis for pets is currently not regulated in Brazil, according to veterinarian Maira Formenton, who believes this is harmful to the health of pets with chronic diseases. “The lack of regulation means that in search of an alternative treatment for severe diseases, guardians may turn to illicit medications, leading to a lack of standardization, such as people producing the medications at home or in incorrect doses,” said Formenton. This can also expose animals to side effects such as intoxication or inadequate treatment results.
Cofounder and CEO of Kaya Mind, Maria Eugenia Riscala, notes that a bill (PL) number 369/2021 “aims to enable” the use of cannabis for pets. Deputy João Carlos Bacelar Batista, the author of the bill, states in the justification: “[…] There has been increasing use of cannabis products in veterinary medicine, despite the legal uncertainty regarding the prescription of these products by veterinarians…. [There is an] urgent need to regulate the sector, so that prescriptions and use are clearly supported by legislation and to encourage studies and the availability in the Brazilian market of more efficient, safe and quality cannabis medicines.”
Prejudice Also Represents an Obstacle
According to Maria Eugenia Riscala, in addition to the lack of specific regulations for pets, prejudice against the use of cannabis is another obstacle that hinders the progress of medication prescription. “This prejudice undermines the credibility of the information and, as a result, adherence to treatment. There is little information, for example, about animals having an endocannabinoid system [a regulator and balancer of various physiological processes in the human body] just like humans and can benefit from cannabis treatment,” she said.
The general director of Biocase also noted that the prejudice against cannabis-based treatments comes not only from pet owners but also from health professionals who, due to a lack of knowledge about the drugs and how to prescribe them, end up not recommending their use. “There needs to be a constant effort to educate these professionals and increase the base of knowledge and prescribers. Furthermore, the cost of cannabis-based medicines is another obstacle to their democratization of use, as well as the strict rules that still apply to the sale of such products in Brazil,” he said.
According to DrogaVET Veterinary Manipulation Pharmacy, veterinarians have kept up to date on the subject, even though it is more difficult to do so in Brazil than in the international scenario. The company also noted that manipulation allows for the correct application of the drug, particularly cannabis drugs that require extra attention to dosage. “As we work with manipulated medicines, we can offer the medicine in the exact dose needed for each pet, according to its weight and the pathology being treated, which allows for even greater safety in treatment. Additionally, the drugs can be manipulated into pharmaceutical forms and with flavorings that appeal to pets, which makes administration easier, a relevant factor, especially for continuous use drugs that can stress pets,” said the pharmacy in a statement to the report.
Investment in Cannabis for Pets
According to a study by Kaya Mind, the investment in cannabis for pets may vary depending on the size and species of the animal. The average price of products for dogs is approximately R$164.49 for small sizes, R$212.35 for medium sizes, and R$364.40 for large sizes. For cats, the price is not calculated by size because there is less discrepancy in the sizes of this species, which does not result in a significant difference in the average price per milligram of the recommended products.
The study also notes specific aspects such as the flavors that dominate these products, which are natural, bacon, and chicken. This is important information because many animals require more palatable products due to their difficulties in consuming them and guardians managing them.
The number of products listed, 239, does not represent the total number of available items but rather those mapped by the startup. Additionally, not all the analyzed products can be legally purchased in Brazil, as the current regulations (RDC 327 and 660) do not allow for veterinary use.
The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) authorizes the importation of cannabis-based products through medical prescription. In 2019, the agency regulated the research, production, and sale of drugs in the country by the pharmaceutical industry. However, the plants still need to be imported, making the drugs less accessible.
(Featured image by DALL-E 2)
DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third-party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Hemp.im, its management, staff, or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.
This article may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “become,” “plan,” “will,” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks as well as uncertainties, including those discussed in the following cautionary statements and elsewhere in this article and on this site. Although the company may believe that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, the actual results that the company may achieve may differ materially from any forward-looking statements, which reflect the opinions of the management of the company only as of the date hereof. Additionally, please make sure to read these important disclosures.
First published in Canal do Pet, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
Although we made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translations, some parts may be incorrect. Hemp.im assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translations provided on this website. Any person or entity relying on translated content does so at their own risk. Hemp.im is not responsible for losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated information. If you wish to report an error or inaccuracy in the translation, we encourage you to contact us.