How Canna Companion is Leading the Pack of Pet CBD Companies Forward

Pet CBD is the next in a long line of sub-sectors to grow from the cannabis industry’s major success. Assisted by the pandemic pet boom, the pet CBD market was projected to rack up to $629 million back in 2021 – and we’re seeing continued growth today.

From tinctures and capsules to infused treats and more, pet CBD supplements are flooding the market.

However, State Veterinarian Boards are still catching up. Most veterinarians are not allowed to talk about CBD let alone prescribe it for patients – and this puts most pet parents in a pickle.

A 2021 report by the Brightfield Group showed that over 70% of pet parents talk to a vet when purchasing CBD products for their pets.

So, who are you supposed to go to when your vet isn’t allowed to give you the full picture of CBD for your cat or dog? Veterinarian-founded pet CBD company, Canna Companion, is the answer.

We spoke with CEO Sarah Brandon about what it’s like being one of the only vet-owned and operated pet CBD companies in the industry and how that translates into quality, safety, and transparency in the production of pet supplements.

From Vets to Visionaries: The Story Behind Canna Companion

The story of Canna Companion starts with a six-year-old girl. As a child, Sarah knew right away that she was going to be a veterinarian. Having grown up around all types of animals – dogs, cats, horses, cattle, chickens, snakes, spiders, and any other small animal that a child could bring home – Sarah was confident that pet care was her passion.

Sure enough, she followed it through decades of experience: veterinary assistant, nurse, shadowing local vets, attending lectures, taking advanced courses in school, and eventually starting veterinary school at 21.

From here, the cannabis journey began as a combination of the desire to utilize natural therapies wherever possible and seeing the responses in Sarah’s own dog, Riley, to cannabis administration for mobility and joint comfort.

“That sparked my interest in the cannabis plant and all it has to offer.” That spark quickly turned into a long-term passion – an informal clinical trial.

While in school, Sarah partnered with colleagues, and now business partners, Greg and Lisa, to conduct fine-tuned research about how low-dose cannabis affects pets. Between giving samples to pets, rescues, and veterinary clients, Sarah and her team collected over 20 years of research.

It was only when they were satisfied that the emerging patterns from their research fit a 90% bell curve that the initial Canna Companion team made hemp products available to pet parents. “The process wasn’t fast, but it’s extremely thorough and relied heavily on direct feedback from clients.”

Dr. Sarah Brandon, CEO of Canna Companion

Redefining Pet Care: Creating Change in the Pet CBD Industry

While there are many other veterinarian-founded pet CBD companies in the industry, few are actually owned and/or operated by those same professionals.

In other words, Canna Companion proudly carries over their licensed medical expertise and scientific acumen in the day-to-day operations of the company, including complimentary pet consultations, research and development, continued medical research, and more.

Transparency and Compliance in the Pet CBD Industry

Compliance in the pet industry is strict, but transparency can be tricky. Many pet CBD companies get away with being dishonest about their products and often settle for bare minimum compliance.

According to Sarah, “It comes down to human laziness and greed.” It’s easier to get products out on shelves and make money when you’re vague about what’s actually in them. “There’s not enough regulation to stay on top of it.”

In most cases, it’s also just because founders do not know better. Without a veterinarian-specific license or background, many pet CBD companies have no idea about why certain ingredients matter and what regulations should go into the development of their products.

For instance, some extraction methods make the final product toxic to pets. However, many companies follow the same processes as for developing human CBD, resulting in a slew of pet CBD products that pose serious risks.

Overlooking these seemingly small details hinders legalization and progress for both humans and pets because it puts subpar products on the market.

Certain tests need to be done no matter what vendors are saying about their products to ensure the safety of pets consuming these products. It’s important to choose pet CBD brands that test for toxic products in addition to the concentration of THC and CBD compounds.

“Canna Companion tests everything along the way. We test products when they come in the door, along the stages of development, and the final product.”

According to their website, Canna Companion tests for potency, terpene content, microbial load, residual solvents, and more. The goal is to ensure that all these compounds are at the safest – not just the compliant – levels for your pets.

For instance, most states allow a certain amount of pesticides and heavy metals, but Canna Companion ensures that the amount of harmful compounds is absolutely zero.

“We put out blogs, tell people, and encourage others in the industry to be upfront, and test more rigorously.” Cannabis Creative’s work with Canna Companion plays a key role in ongoing education for a client base that not only actively wants to learn more, but also needs to learn more.

The most important part of being veterinarian-owned and operated is that Canna Companion doesn’t just quote other medical experts; they are the medical experts.

Not only do they understand this subject matter deeply, but their first priority is the well-being of the patient. “We don’t want to hide anything,” says Sarah. If cannabis or CBD supplements don’t sound like a good fit for your pet, they’ll tell you.

Unlike other CBD brands, the objective is not to increase their bottom line but to provide you and your four-legged friend with quality care, products, and resources to give your pet the best life possible.

Navigating the Science and Safety of CBD for Pets

The consequence of highly restrictive policies on veterinarians being able to share information about pet CBD is the lack of information consumers have about the products.

As a result, pet parents that are thinking about trying CBD experience some hesitation and nerves around actually purchasing some products. To those people, Sarah says, “Call us! We’ll talk to you. Ask us questions, let us understand what you’re nervous about.”

Every pet parent is going to have a different set of worries. “Some people in academia tend to get spooked by certain things they read, but those studies are not always representative of the full picture. We know the full picture. We can even take a look at studies and help provide more context.”

Most of these published articles do not represent what is actually being sold on the market. For instance, lower doses mitigate the harmful side effects of cannabis in pets. Whole plant products also present an entirely different set of benefits.

Sarah recommends getting to know the company you are buying from. Ask yourself:

  • Is it a reputable company?
  • Do they have a NASC seal or any certification backed by a veterinary entity?
  • Have the products been third-party tested and free from harmful chemicals
  • Is there adequate information on the labeling to ensure that you know the dosing requirements?

Ultimately, you may need a specialized approach. Labels created at scale may not always be accurate for your pet’s unique needs.

Canna Companion advocates that pet parents start with a low dose and slowly increase accordingly. “The whole point is to work your way into it.” This is also the exact reason they provide complimentary consultations to customers that want to get an individualized approach to incorporating CBD into their pet’s wellness regimen.

Sustainable Packaging and Environmental Consciousness in the Pet CBD Industry

One of Canna Companion’s core values is to protect the world our pets live in. “Sustainability is extremely important to me personally. It’s important to all of the main people here in the company. It’s just important to us. When we started talking about developing Canna Companion and deciding how we want to run it, [sustainability] was something that was in the forefront of our minds.”

Of course, when you’re starting out, it’s not always possible. “We had to go with the most cost-efficient option, which was mylar bags.” If you don’t know, they’re pretty terrible for the environment.

But Canna Companion believed in the work they were doing. They launched with mylar bags and decided that each time they ran out and had to order more, they were simply going to upgrade it instead.

With this approach, they slowly evolved from mylar to composite plastics to 30% less plastic. The most recent upgrade has been glass packaging, which is the best sustainable packaging option out there.

Not only is glass the most ideal packaging, but it also extends the shelf life of the actual product. Certain volatile terpenes can escape over time in other types of packaging, whereas they are more secure in a glass environment.

Beyond sustainable packaging, Canna Companion promotes environmental consciousness as a core value internally. They’ve switched to 100% tree-free paper (bamboo, grass, etc.) and created a recycling station at their facilities.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Pet CBD

The future of pet CBD is certainly promising, especially with brands like Canna Companion leading the way.

The Canna Companion team is most excited to see research that expands into non-typical pets, such as rabbits, birds, etc. In fact, their own 20+ years of data used to create specific formulations includes observation of horses, goats, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, and even skunks.

If nothing stood in her way, Sarah hopes to see Canna Companion in stores and veterinary hospitals everywhere. “We want people to know and trust our name and that we put out a good product because we love their pets. We would be a regular topic of discussion when people talk about their pets, not just a CBD product.

Learn more about Canna Companion and their suite of pet CBD products on their website. Explore CBD capsules and oils for dogs and cats, learn more about the world of pet CBD, and stay up to date on the latest industry news.