Cannabinoid, Terpene, and Heavy Metal Analysis of 29 Over-the-Counter Commercial Veterinary Hemp Supplements

Vet Med (Auckl). 2020 Apr 15;11:45-55. doi: 10.2147/VMRR.S248712. eCollection 2020.

Abstract

Purpose: The use of veterinary low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Cannabis sativa (ie, hemp) products has increased in popularity for a variety of pet ailments. Low-THC Cannabis sativa is federally legal for sale and distribution in the USA, and the rise in internet commerce has provided access to interested consumers, with minimal quality control.

Materials and methods: We performed an internet word search of "hemp extract and dog" or "CBD product and dog" and analyzed 29 products that were using low-THC Cannabis sativa extracts in their production of supplements. All products were tested for major cannabinoids including cannabidiol (CBD), ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabigerol (CBG), and other minor cannabinoids, as well as their carboxylic acid derivatives (CBDA, THCA, CBGA) using an ISO/IEC 17025 certified laboratory. Products were also tested for major terpenes and heavy metals to understand constituents in the hemp plants being extracted and distributed.

Results: All products were below the federal limit of 0.3% THC with variable amounts of CBD (0-88 mg/mL or g). Only two products did not supply a CBD or total cannabinoid concentration on their packaging or website, while 22/29 could supply a certificate of analysis (COA) from a third-party laboratory. Ten of the 27 products were within 10% of the total cannabinoid concentrations of their label claim with a median concentration of 93% of claims (0-154%). Heavy metal contamination was found in 4/29 products, with lead being the most prevalent contaminant (3/29).

Conclusion: The products analyzed had highly variable concentrations of CBD or total cannabinoids with only 18 of 29 being appropriately labeled according to current FDA non-medication, non-dietary supplement or non-food guidelines. Owners and veterinarians wanting to utilize CBD-rich Cannabis sativa products should be aware of low-concentration products and should obtain a COA enabling them to fully discuss the implications of use and calculated dosing before administering to pets.

Keywords: cannabidiol; cannabinoid; hemp; oral; pet; supplement; terpene.