Making Dog Treats with CBD

We all love our dogs, consider them members of our family and want the very best for them.  That includes keeping them healthy, happy and safe.  Does that also include giving them dog treats with CBD?  We say no, not right now.  Read on to see why Eli & Jojo’s won’t be making any treats that contain CBD.

What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is a compound found mainly in the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant.  CBD is the non psychoactive part of the hemp plant and doesn’t produce the high that the THC in marijuana is known for.  Hemp contains no more than .3% THC – the psychoactive compound that is found in higher concentration in marijuana.

In December, 2018, the Farm Bill was passed which removed it from being a Schedule 1 controlled substance and made it an agricultural crop.  The Farm Bill made it federally legal to grow hemp, and the demand for CBD exploded.  It’s estimated that by 2023 the hemp market could rise to $24 billion just in the US, and of that, 7% of those sales would come from the pet industry.

CBD Pet Products on the Market

Let’s take a look at what type of CBD products are currently on the market .  Do a quick search and you’ll find a variety of items from dog food, treats, oils and tinctures that claim to treat anxiety, pain, seizures, allergies and arthritis, just to name a few.  Here’s the problem.  According to the FD&C (Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act), the FDA has the responsibility to oversee the safety of foods, drugs, medical devices and cosmetics.  Products that are intended to have a therapeutic or medical use or intended to affect the function of the body of animals (or humans) are considered a drug.

None of these products have FDA approval because they haven’t gone through the approval process to show that they are safe and effective.  More research is needed to show what the long-term effects are for our pets.  CBD does not have a uniform standard or dosing protocol, so you may not even know what you are buying.

Adding CBD to Pet Food & Treats

To date, the FDA has not classified CBD as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) because the agency states there’s a lack of scientific information supporting its safety.  If an animal food product contains an ingredient that is not GRAS, the FDA considers that food to be adulterated and it can not be legally sold.  So adding CBD to dog treats is not approved.

Again, CBD is not an approved ingredient for use in animal food or any other animal product.  Intentionally selling adulterated animal food products (products with an ingredient not GRAS) may lead to fines or even criminal prosecution for the company’s executives.

Companies Receive Warning Letters

In late November, 2019, the FDA sent out 15 warning letters to companies for illegally selling products with CBD in ways that violate the FD&C Acts.  The FDA officials used marketing materials posted on the company’s website, online store and social media sites that violated the FD&C Act.  Of those 15 companies, 13 included companies that make products for animals.  The FDA has stated that failure to correct the violations may result in legal action.

To read the complete list of companies that received warning letters click here. You may recognize some of them!

Eli & Jojo’s Position

The biggest issue Eli & Jojo’s has with making dog treats with CBD is pretty simple.  It’s currently illegal at the federal level.  Until the FDA declares CBD to be generally recognized as safe (GRAS), we will not add it to any of our recipes.  We will not jump on the bandwagon and “hope” we don’t get a warning from the FDA.  We pride ourselves on making safe, healthy treats for dogs and will not compromise those values.

We get asked regularly if we will be making treats with CBD, and the public is very surprised to hear that these types of treats do not have FDA approval.  Many think that because they are in stores and sold online, that the treats are considered safe and effective.  Not so.

There are still people who tell us they are giving their dog(s) CBD and think it is helping their pet.  We are quick to ask if they have told their veterinarian they are using these products.  Veterinarians are prohibited from recommending, encouraging or instructing clients to purchase CBD products.  They are only allowed to discuss it if the client brings it up.  But it is very important that you let your Vet know you are giving your pet CBD products because they could possibly interfere with a pet’s other medications.

Like we said at the beginning of this article, we all love our dogs and want the best for them.  This includes making smart choices about what we feed them.  As always, do your research and be a wise consumer.

Keep in Touch with Us

Eli & Jojo’s dog treats are premium treats made with wholesome, real food..  We never use artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, wheat, corn, soy or salt or sugar.  Real Food.  Simple Ingredients.

Comments?  Questions?  We’d love to hear from you.