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A daily CBD tincture is given to Dixie. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The demand for CBD among pet owners in Denver and across the country was already on the rise — but in the post-pandemic world, sales are soaring even higher, industry experts tell Axios.

Driving the news: Last year's pandemic puppy boom is resulting in a sea of animal owners searching for ways to help their fur babies adjust to normal life, as they prepare to return to the office for the first time in over a year.

  • "We've been having a lot more sales with people coming in asking for anything that will help with separation anxiety specifically," said Maggie Shelley, sales associate for Denver-based pet supply shop Dog Savvy.

State of play: The Brightfield Group, a cannabis market research company, found that the number of consumers discussing CBD brands with their veterinarians more than doubled from 2020 to 2021.

  • The group estimates pet CBD sales will jump by 48% this year from the estimated $426 million spent on products in 2020.
  • Pet Releaf, a Denver-based company that sells pet CBD products, has seen a 486% growth rate over the past three years, a spokesperson told Axios.

Of note: The industry has drawn high-profile names, including Martha Stewart, who launched her pet CBD line in January.

How it works: CBD, or cannabidiol, comes from hemp but lacks tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the compound in cannabis that gets you high.

Yes, but: Peer-reviewed studies on CBD's effects on animals are still lacking, while those that exist tend to pull from limited sample sizes.

  • Complicating matters is the Food and Drug Administration's lack of sign-off on the product, leaving veterinarians unable to suggest CBD for treatment.
  • Six Denver-area vets Axios contacted wouldn't comment for this story, citing the lack of information about CBD for pets.

What they're saying: "It's not that we don't see potential in these products, because we do," Gail Golab, chief veterinary officer for scientific affairs and public policy at the American Veterinary Medical Association, told the Washington Post.

  • "It's that we want their potential to be demonstrated through FDA approval and we want to make sure that owners can be confident that what they're giving their animal is something that's actually going to help them."

The bottom line: Despite CBD products being shown to anecdotally aid animals with issues like anxiety, pain and seizures, the science is still out — so be sure to talk it out with your vet when determining the right path for your pup.

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Go deeper

The Dodo launches pet products review

The Dodo

Group Nine Media's animal-focused brand "The Dodo" is launching "Paw of Approval," a consumer reviews destination for pet products.

Why it matters: Consumer product sites like "Wirecutter," which was purchased by The New York Times in 2016, and "The Strategist," which was launched by New York Magazine that same year, help media companies diversify their revenue into e-commerce.

52 mins ago - World

Putin denies Russia is behind cyberattacks ahead of Biden summit

In an exclusive interview with NBC's "Today," Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that Russia is waging cyber warfare against the United States and refused to guarantee opposition leader Alexei Navalny — whose name he would not say — will leave prison alive.

Why it matters: Cyberattacks by Russian intelligence and Russian-speaking criminal groups, as well as the Kremlin's attempted assassination and jailing of Navalny, are among the topics President Biden is expected to raise at his Geneva summit with Putin on Wednesday.

2 hours ago - Health

Novavax says COVID-19 vaccine was 90% effective in Phase 3 trial

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Novavax, a Maryland biotechnology company, announced Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine was 90.4% effective in its Phase 3 trial, including against coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The study of 29,960 participants in the U.S. and Mexico found the shot was safe and highly effective, paving the way for the FDA to clear a 4th vaccine for emergency use by the end of the year.