The topic of cannabidiol (CBD) is controversial, polarizing, and—let’s face it—hazy at best. There’s a growing number of anecdotal accounts and very little formal research. Despite that, many pet owners are asking about it and for it, leaving veterinary professionals in a tricky spot. So, we took a look at our claim data to see what we could learn and share with the veterinary community.
Our claim data shows high numbers.
When we look at our claim data, we see some eye-opening statistics. Over the past six years, we’ve seen exponential growth in CBD claims.
Anecdotally, that seems to line up with Colorado and Washington’s legalization of the recreational use of marijuana in 2012. They were the first to do so, and several states followed suit in one form or another in the following years. Could we theorize that as marijuana entered the mainstream for humans, the same happened for pets? Perhaps.
Between 2017 and 2018, claims for CBD and hemp products increased by 300%. What happened during that time period? Well, a couple things:
- In late 2016, California, Massachusetts, and
Nevada legalized marijuana, joining Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and
Washington, D.C. That means that by 2017, more
than 20 percent of Americans were living in states where marijuana use was
legal, up from just five percent before the three states were added.
- Gallup, a global analytics firm, has measured
public support for legalizing marijuana annually since the late 1960s. In their
2017 poll, they saw record-high
support, with 64% of Americans in favor of legalizing marijuana.
As we get further into 2019, we’ll see
if that number continues to increase, levels out, or begins to decrease. As
Canada just legalized
the recreational use of cannabis across the country in late 2018, we could
very well see another jump in claims for CBD and hemp products.
More nuggets of information, according to our claim data.
States in the US with the most claims for CBD:
- New Jersey
- New York
Provinces in Canada with the most claims for CBD:
- British Columbia
Interestingly, British Columbia and Washington also rank among the highest for marijuana toxicity claims.
The top conditions pet owners are using CBD or hemp for are:
- Musculoskeletal issues, like arthritis and hip
- Behavioral issues, like anxiety
As our culture shifts, the veterinary community seems to be caught in the middle. Some are in favor, some are against, and some are undecided. Regardless of where you fall, this is a strong trend and if the exponential growth we’ve seen so far is any indication, it’s likely not going away soon.
What do you think?
Our claim data can only show us part of the picture. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, hear your stories, and find out if this data lines up with what you see in your day-to-day. Let us know at [email protected] or take our poll!