Is Rover a bit anxious? Daisy showing signs of stress? Israeli startup Weedley is coming to the rescue with organic hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil in various forms for dogs, cats and horses.
The notion of CBD for animals isn’t new. Such products are sold, wherever cannabis is legally available, as a remedy for pain, stress, anxiety, seizures, arthritis, skin conditions, inflammation, allergies, aggression and other pet problems.
Weedley’s team in Tel Aviv, including veterinarian Dr. Erez Hanael, say they discovered that many existing products actually contain very little cannabis extract and they wanted to offer a more reliably effective alternative.
The story of Weedley begins with a human, not a dog.
“About a year ago, the father of a friend was getting medical cannabis but couldn’t consume it in the regular way because Parkinson’s disease made his hands shake. So I took the CBD oil that he got and made cookies for him,” explains Sahar Meiron, Weedley’s sales and operations manager.
One day, Meiron and his friend Itay Ben-Mordechai were visiting their mutual friend. Ben-Mordechai brought along his dog, Gus, who had served with him in the IDF’s Oketz canine unit. Gus grabbed one of the cookies and gobbled it down.
“At first we panicked but then we did research and found out that CBD works to help many conditions in pets. For example, fear of thunderstorms is very common in pets. My cousin’s dog goes crazy and hides under the bed when she hears thunder. CBD calmed her more than anything else they’ve ever tried,” Meiron tells ISRAEL21c.
As the friends began getting serious about the CBD-for-pets business, they came to the attention of Serge Goldner, CEO of Paris-based Gour Medical, a public company dedicated to commercializing veterinary products. Weedley was founded as a Gour subsidiary at the beginning of 2019.
“From that point we started working at a mad pace,” says Meiron. “We did testing and were shocked at how CBD oil helps with so many conditions. In a short time, we built the products, the labels and the website, and began a commercial pilot.”
Weedley’s CBD oil drops, balms and treats are derived from European-grown organic whole hemp (cannabis sativa), a legally produced substance containing a high concentration of CBD.
The website guides pet owners in choosing the appropriate treatment for their animal and its condition. It’s available online, shipped from the company’s logistics headquarters in Holland.
“We are marketing our CBD supplements for pets in Europe and plan to become one of the first to do so in Israel,” says Meiron.
On April 17, Weedley introduced the product line to friends and investors at an event at WeWork Sarona in Tel Aviv.
For R&D purposes, customers are asked to fill out questionnaires to track improvement for various indications. One customer reported that after just one week of treatment, her horse’s nervous skin condition had improved more than it had on two years of steroids.
In cooperation with Israeli company Pet Pace and its smart collar that analyzes pet health and monitors pain levels, Weedley is researching how CBD can help and treat osteoarthritis symptoms in dogs and cats.
“There are a lot of directions to go in,” says Meiron, who is taking a medical cannabis course at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. “Perhaps a cow consuming CBD will have better milk production. We want to progress the world’s understanding of what CBD can do, and we hope to open our own extraction and research lab soon.”
“We believe that our initiative can help many pet owners to improve the life for their pets,” he concludes.
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