CBD products for pets are flying off the shelves of Anchorage shops
Rocky, a 10-year-old Husky walked into AK Bark pulling his owner Laura Kanyer behind him. He tugged on his leash and scarfed down a dental bone within his reach.
"Tell me about the CBD oil and how to give it to him?" Kanyer asked Maddy Klever, the manger at AK Bark.
"We've got both the treats and the concentrated oil itself," Klever said. "The treats are kind of a lower price point so a lot of people sort of start off there. It's a little bit more hit or miss with the dosing is the only thing, I do tend to recommend the oil."
The store, packed full of fuzzy dog jackets and dried duck feet treats, is also one of the biggest sellers of CBD products for pets.
"About 50 percent of it is older dogs with arthritis. That's why I give it to my 16-year-old," Klever said, referring to her own dog. "The other half is anxiety, be it separation, fireworks, kind of circumstantial or chronic...to help them calm down and focus."
Behind her is a stack of blueberry and pumpkin flavored dog treats. To her left are rows and rows of CBD oil.
CBD is one of the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. But, CBD is non-intoxicating and won't get you high.
According to the American Veterinarian, CBD products for cats and dogs are expected to be one of the biggest trends in pet care for 2019.
The Associated Press reported the American Veterinary Medical Association asked the Drug Enforcement Administration to declassify marijuana so more research can happen about the impacts of CBD.
Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a neurologist at Colorado State University's Veterinary Teaching Hospital, has been studying the effects of CBD in dogs with epilepsy.
Her research shows that 89 percent of dogs who received CBD in a clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures.
"Overall, what we found seems very promising," McGrath said of her research.
“This pilot study is important and it does seem like there is a positive effect from the use of CBD for dogs with epilepsy,” McGrath said.
Dr. Kathy Doty from Anchorage who runs Happy-At-Home Mobile Veterinary Care, says many of her clients ask for CBD products when their pet has pain. She says it is a viable option, but she cautions people about what they're buying.
"The biggest problem that I see with CBD oil is that there's no quality assurance," Dr. Doty said. "So there's no guidance for the purity or the safety or the lack of contaminants in the products."
Most pet owners buy it when their pets have anxiety because of noises from fireworks or separation anxiety. It's also popular for people whose pets have pain or are suffering from cancer.
It's such a growing trend that even a CBD oil with Iditarod musher Lance Mackey's face on the packaging can be found at Great Northern Cannabis.
"I think it's growing just as fast as the human market," said Shawn McDonough, owner of Frontier CBD, while he was making a CBD pet delivery to retail marijuana shop Cannabaska. "It's definitely on the rise. I would expect to see a lot more innovation in the pet world in the next couple of months."
Jake Warden, the general manager at Cannabaska, says about 25 percent of his business is from sales of CBD products for pets.
"There's no psychoactive effects, they're not going to get high," Warden said. "You just get this kind of relaxing calming feeling."
Klever handed Rocky a blueberry flavored CBD treat. It was infused with a dose small enough for a 20 pound dog. Klever said Rocky most likely won't feel any effects from the treat since it was such a small amount.
"Good boy," Kanyer said. "We're ready for a calm doggie when we leave the house."