The potential health benefits of cannabis are not strictly limited to humans. In fact, animals of all kinds have seen positive results from all sorts of different kinds of cannabis use, including dogs, pigs, and other species as well.
Few people know this as well as holistic pet and medical cannabis expert Angela Ardolino. She’s the founder of CBD Dog Health and host of the It’s a Dog’s Life Podcast. She’s also the co-owner of Beautify the Beast, a pet grooming and boarding house, and the CEO of House of Alchemy, where she’s working to cultivate and process the purest medical cannabis products with the lowest environmental impact.
Today, Angela joins the podcast to share the story of how she entered the world of medical cannabis. She dispels some of the common myths around giving animals THC, shares some of the stories from her breakthrough work, and when you might be able to get her products from vets in the future.
- How Angela became an advocate for using cannabis as a form of cancer treatment for dogs.
- Why THC isn’t actually toxic or unsafe for dogs and other animals–but they are much more sensitive to it than humans.
- Why people don’t understand the difference between CBD extracted from hemp and marijuana plants–and why this is more important than it may initially seem.
- What makes the pet industry so crazy when it comes to quality products and regulation.
- “I have done everything from that to cancer, which of course, gets me in trouble because I’m not allowed to say that I can kill cancer or get rid of cancer. I don’t. Cannabis does.” – Angela Ardolino
- “The pet industry is one of the worst. The cannabis industry is crazy but the pet industry on top of that is nuts. There’s five companies controlling everything. Mars who makes candy is one of the biggest players that makes dog food, makes their supplements. They’re now controlling the hospitals, the pet insurance, and keeping your pet sick.” – Angela Ardolino
- CBD Dog Health
- Your Natural Dog Podcast
- It’s A Dog’s Life Podcast
- Beautify the Beast
- Fire Flake Farm
- National Animal Supplement Council
- Truth About Pet Food
- The Forever Dog: Surprising New Science to Help Your Canine Companion Live Younger, Healthier, and Longer
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Rick Kiley: Hello, everyone, and welcome back to another episode of The Green Repeal. It is wintertime, not officially winter, winter-ish. Maybe it’s officially winter. I forget the day. Winter solstice is upon us.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. Well, by the time this airs, it might be winter solstice.
Rick Kiley: So, winter solstice.
Jeffrey Boedges: It’s winter solstice. Let’s try and launch it on winter solstice.
Rick Kiley: Pretty cool. Pretty cool. Joining with me, Rick Kiley, as always is my business partner, Jeffrey Boedges. Hello, Jeff.
Jeffrey Boedges: Just happy to be here. Hope I can help the team.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. Well, you usually do so it’s good stuff. Today, we are welcoming Angela Ardolino, holistic pet and medical cannabis expert and founder of CBD Dog Health and host of It’s a Dog Life Podcast. Did you know that’s what we’re doing today, Jeffrey? Talking to someone about CBD dog health? I’m excited. First time ever for me.
Jeffrey Boedges: I’ve already experimented with the product, man, not personally but my dog has. My dog had a very wonderful experience.
Rick Kiley: Jeff is a dog, everyone. Sorry.
Jeffrey Boedges: I’m not a dog.
Rick Kiley: All right. Let me get back into this. As an advocate for safe, natural, ethically grown hemp in medical cannabis, Angela comes to us with a wealth of knowledge about the positive effects of medical cannabis and what it can have on both humans and pets alike. Angela is also the co-owner of Beautify the Beast, you have to read that slowly otherwise you will make the mistake but Beautify the Beast, which is a grooming and pet boarding shop, as well as the CEO of House of Alchemy, a U.S. company dedicated to cultivating and processing the purest medical cannabis products with the lowest environmental impact. Sustainability, we keep talking about it. On a typical day, you can find Angela on a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, surrounded by dogs, chicken, geese, and a pet pig living without the aches, pains, and anxiety that they faced prior to her CBD discoveries and advocacy journey.
Rick Kiley: Angela, welcome to The Green Repeal.
Angela Ardolino: Thanks for having me. I could tell it’s an old bio because I have more than one pig now.
Rick Kiley: Oh, man. They breed like rabbits, those pigs.
Jeffrey Boedges: They breed like pigs.
Angela Ardolino: Well, what happens is that when you get the reputation in town to take strange cancer cases and rescues, and you may be able to do something with them with cannabis, I get those. So, I just got a new rescue that’s a pig with a melanoma tumor on her butthole. So, that’s what I get to deal with right now. She’s wonderful. Her name is Ellie. She’s very sweet.
Rick Kiley: I’m sure.
Jeffrey Boedges: Right? Well, we do have a source of cannabis suppository, so maybe we should be trying them out there.
Angela Ardolino: We absolutely should. It’s on the outside but I absolutely considered that. Yeah. She gets our salve all around and in and on it, so she gets it topically and internally to help fight it.
Rick Kiley: This episode is off to a dramatic beginning. We thought…
Angela Ardolino: Pig and butt in the first minute.
Jeffrey Boedges: Pig and tumor. Yeah. Those are I think pretty much three things we haven’t spoken about yet. And I thought you were going to say that people bring you pigs to pay for the pet care like, “Hey, I brought you a pig.”
Angela Ardolino: They do. I have done that in the past. I don’t do it anymore.
Rick Kiley: Like an old-fashioned dowry situation.
Jeffrey Boedges: Well, like an old country doctor kind of thing. Well, I can’t pay you but here’s 400 pounds worth of pork.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. Here’s all the meat.
Angela Ardolino: Well, I’m a vegetarian so it won’t do me any good.
Jeffrey Boedges: Well, that’s what I’m saying.
Angela Ardolino: But I will take 400 pounds of cannabis as payment.
Jeffrey Boedges: There we go.
Rick Kiley: There you go. All right. Sweet. Well, that’s good to know. So, well, then let’s just jump into it here. Let’s just start off. What was your journey to becoming involved in medical cannabis? How did you start? How did you arrive on the scene?
Angela Ardolino: 2015, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and I didn’t want to take the prescription medication, which was Humira, which was prescribed. And when I did my research, I could see that it caused cancer and had all kinds of awful side effects. So, I live a pretty natural lifestyle, so I started searching for something that was more natural or wouldn’t have harsh side effects, and I found cannabis. I happened to try it. And not only did it get rid of my joint pain but my stress and anxiety levels went down, and I could not believe that this was being kept from us. So, at the time, I owned a magazine and I just started researching, learning everything that I could. And because my magazine was a family magazine, I got involved with a group called Canna Moms, which are moms who treat their kids with medical cannabis, everything from cancer to seizures. So, because I lived in Florida, it wasn’t legal yet in 2015, so I immediately became an advocate and started publishing stories and speaking about the benefits for kids and families. And I actually sold the magazine so that I could throw myself completely into the medical cannabis industry, and I was invited to be in the inaugural class at the University of Vermont School of Medicine for the study of medical cannabis for its therapeutic uses in biology, and I was invited to attend that.
And when I entered that, that’s when I learned that animals have an endocannabinoid system just like us, and dogs, in particular, are much more sensitive to the medicine. And I already had, as you said, the rescue farm and the business with animals. So, I knew that that’s the track I wanted to take. So, since 2015, I’ve been treating all kinds of every animal you can possibly think of with every ailment you could possibly treat cannabis with, with amazing results. So, from cancer to stop cancer. Right now, I have a Doberman who has osteosarcoma, which is the most aggressive cancer a dog can get. Most large breeds get it. And she has beating records. I’ve done nothing conventional, no chemotherapy, no radiation, just using food therapy, which is feeding on what they’re supposed to do, a ketogenic diet just like if a human were to get cancer, we would suggest the same thing, and a lot of full-spectrum hemp extract, medicinal mushrooms. And I do give her THC at night from our medical cannabis dispensary since we know THC kills cancer, and she’s 17 months from her diagnosis and she’s still thriving. We took her two months ago to get her checked-up. She has no metastasis, and she was supposed to be dead four months after diagnosis, so she’s breaking all kinds of records that sort of amazed.
I love that I have this opportunity to show veterinarians what medical cannabis can do and help, how it can help. So, that’s what I do on a regular basis, daily basis, as an advocate for medical cannabis and show how – you got to understand in the pet industry, the pharmaceutical drugs, what is regulated, what is given to animals when there’s no proof at all that it even works and how much damage it causes them. They give a little poodle the same thing they’ll give a Great Dane type of thing. So, medical cannabis has been unbelievable for especially dogs but all animals. It helps them all just like it does us.
Jeffrey Boedges: And you mentioned being and becoming an advocate. Did you also become a lightning rod? I got to imagine like being the editor and owner of a parenting magazine. Sorry. You didn’t mention that but I know from reading your bio that it was a parenting magazine that I can’t imagine that some parents are not going to take kindly to the thought of giving their kids any kind of cannabis derivative. And the only thing I would think maybe more crazy than parents and I am one are pet owners, and I imagine you must also get some interesting emails from people about that.
Angela Ardolino: Yeah. It’s really crazy stuff you don’t expect.
Jeffrey Boedges: When you’re trying to do something kind.
Angela Ardolino: Exactly. Lightning rod. Wow. Yes. I actually worked for an organization. My mother worked for the organization and then I did, and it was the organization that started the red ribbon, Just Say No to Drugs. And at the age of 18, I was trained by that organization to do parenting classes. So, at 18 and 19, I was teaching parenting classes for this organization. My mom has since passed. When that came out that I was – because, of course, it was big news that this parenting expert was becoming a medical cannabis person. I had organizations calling and writing all of my advertisers, telling them that I was pushing drugs to kids to cancel advertising with me. To this day, I can’t get my Wikipedia page back up because it lists that organization at the bottom because I worked for them, so they keep removing it. The organization is called Informed Families, not a good organization. And the executive director actually said, “Your mother would be so disappointed in you,” along with the fact that in the animal side of things, an organization called the NASC, which is the National Animal Supplement Council, which exist because the FDA doesn’t regulate animal supplements, decided to try to get into that hemp industry.
And then I became public enemy number one because I have been teaching and advocating since 2015 and 2016 that THC is perfectly safe for animals and will not kill and has never killed anybody in the history of time. And they advocate differently because they have different goals and how they’re going to scare pet parents into buying a broad-spectrum product or an isolate or whatever they’re selling instead of a real true plant medicine.
Jeffrey Boedges: That’s a lot more than I thought you were going to say. That’s crazy.
Angela Ardolino: So, yeah, I didn’t expect it especially staying in the animal realm but, oh yeah, it’s incredible.
Jeffrey Boedges: Right. Well, if it matters, I think Rick and I believe you’re on the right side of history and they may not be.
Angela Ardolino: Right. Exactly.
Rick Kiley: Yeah, I do. I had a couple of thoughts. You said a lot of things. And you know one thing going back to the beginning, Humira, which you mentioned, you’re able to advertise on TV, right? Can’t advertise cannabis on TV. So, that’s weird.
Angela Ardolino: It’s already been linked to cancer. It’s already been proven.
Rick Kiley: No, I know. It’s the side that can cause cancer. They say it right really fast at the end.
Angela Ardolino: Yep.
Rick Kiley: That’s strange. Canna Mom sounds like a business idea that didn’t quite work in a dark humor way. Give people new moms in a can.
Angela Ardolino: I love it.
Rick Kiley: I just think that that…
Jeffrey Boedges: It would be a good t-shirt, I think. Just open up a can of moms.
Rick Kiley: Open a can of moms.
Angela Ardolino: Don’t make me open a can of moms on you.
Jeffrey Boedges: I’ll open up a can of moms on you the way you’ve never seen.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. But maybe these are like cool moms. I don’t know.
Angela Ardolino: They are very cool moms.
Rick Kiley: Canna Cool Moms. So, maybe you need to rename it, Canna Cool Moms.
Angela Ardolino: I like it.
Rick Kiley: But this is the preconception that I have of actually walking into this conversation is I was someone that was informed that when thinking about pets, that CBD, in particular, had been shown as very effective for dogs to help dogs who have anxiety and anybody that’s owned a dog, you probably have something from not liking other dogs to when it’s thundering in the air, they go hide in the bathtub like that happened to my dog growing up. But I was under the impression that THC was not appropriate for canines. So, can you just talk about that? That’s not even on my list of questions, and I feel like we can just spend the whole interview talking about this.
Angela Ardolino: Yeah, absolutely. So, as we know in the human market, a broad spectrum product is when they take out or they attempt to take out the THC out of whether it’s a cannabis marijuana extract or a hemp extract, it becomes a broad-spectrum extract. And they only did that for those who still wanted to use the medicine but were being drug tested and couldn’t have THC come up on a drug test.
Rick Kiley: Okay.
Angela Ardolino: Why the hell it existed in the animal world made me go, “What is happening? This is not true. THC is not dangerous.” Well, what happened is if you wanted to release a full spectrum hemp extract before the Farm Bill in 2018, you couldn’t have THC in it. So, if you wanted to get ahead of the game and release a product, you released a broad-spectrum product in 2016, 2017 and you don’t have to worry about anything because it didn’t have THC in it. That is not a full, a whole plant medicine. First of all, you’re taking out, you’re putting it through another extraction or another process to take out, and you’re only getting it out so that it doesn’t come up on a test, on a lab test. Animals absolutely need the THC to make it a full spectrum hemp extract. Full-spectrum products are the only ones that are proven to work and researched. People also need to realize that everything that’s been tested for humans has been tested on an animal to see if it’s safe or not. And there’s actually a study that was done in 1973 called the Rosenkranz study that tested to see how much THC it would take to kill a person. And they did this test on lab rats, beagles, and chimpanzees. They gave them 9,000 milligrams of THC, if you can even imagine.
Jeffrey Boedges: We’ve had a couple of guests who had been there before.
Rick Kiley: At once?
Angela Ardolino: At once.
Jeffrey Boedges: That’s a lot of THC.
Angela Ardolino: That’s a lot of THC, as those who know about it.
Rick Kiley: Okay. Did they freak out? Did they start licking the walls? Like, what happened?
Angela Ardolino: So, two rats died of asphyxiation, of throwing up and choking on their vomit. No beagles died. And the chimpanzees’ livers actually metabolized it to the point where it barely affected them after a certain amount of time. But nobody died from it, and that was in 1973. So, that’s proof that it will not kill an animal.
Rick Kiley: But the asphyxiation one sounded like that wasn’t good.
Angela Ardolino: Well, that’s a cause of them being passed out barfing and choking on their own throat. THC didn’t kill them.
Rick Kiley: All right.
Angela Ardolino: Still 9,000 milligrams.
Rick Kiley: So, you’re just saying anything that would have caused them to do that would have been – all right.
Angela Ardolino: It’s possible and it was only two of them but…
Rick Kiley: I’m not to quibble. I mean, were there 98 others that didn’t? Or were those the…
Angela Ardolino: I mean, I don’t know how many it was. There was only two out of the entire study. But the point is that no dog and no chimpanzee died. And I give my Doberman 10 milligrams of THC every single night and have been for over a year. So, perfectly safe for pets. The reason…
Rick Kiley: So, is it a muzzle bong situation?
Angela Ardolino: Well, one of the things I want to bring up is that the reason that dogs are much more sensitive to THC than humans are. And a study came out in Italy that showed that dogs have more receptors in their brain and spinal cords than we do, so that is why they’re more sensitive to it, which is good because that means you can do a lot more with the medicine. But no, you give it to them. You put it on their gums and in oil, in a tincture or the crude paste, the RSO. Wipe it right onto their gums, which is the most effective way to get it right into their bloodstream.
Rick Kiley: All right.
Jeffrey Boedges: It’s like chewing tobacco for dogs.
Angela Ardolino: Yeah, kind of.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. But my dog would already eat – I don’t own a dog. My fake dog would already eat an entire turkey not high. Like, what’s the dog going to do if he gets into the refrigerator? That’s what I’m worried about.
Jeffrey Boedges: Do dogs get the munchies? That’s the question.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. I think that’s the question.
Angela Ardolino: I don’t notice that they do. Yeah. They don’t like beg for treats more or anything.
Jeffrey Boedges: My dog was born with the munchies, so yeah, it can’t get worse.
Angela Ardolino: Possible. Yeah.
Rick Kiley: So, let’s help the folks that have pets out here. If I own my dog and I’m seeing something that’s bothering me about the dog, like I’m worried, like what can these products help with for dogs?
Jeffrey Boedges: What are the indications?
Rick Kiley: Yeah. What are the indications and what am I helping with? I mean, I understand my dog’s diagnosed with cancer. Let’s go down there. But if that’s just like my dog likes to hide in the bathtub when a thunderstorm is in the area, should I give my dog THC, CBD?
Angela Ardolino: Yeah. So, at the University of Vermont, of course, I learned how the plant medicine worked. I already had a pretty general knowledge of how other plant medicines work. And because I have the rescue and the store, my two shops, I was able to see what dogs and cats were suffering from the most. So, I developed tinctures and salves to address what was our dogs and cats were suffering from the most. So, yes, stress and anxiety was one of the biggest things I saw. So, I do a full spectrum hemp extract and I add lavender essential oil. I have an arthritis one. So, dogs that start experiencing arthritic pain have trouble walking as they get older. And then as I get the big dogs, German shepherds and even Frenchies who have IVDD. So, we have a tincture that is more specifically for that where we add frankincense and turmeric. And the reason that we add these other plant medicines is because I believe cannabis is an adaptogen and an adaptogen are these plants, mushrooms that are medicine. And when we take them, they literally get into our body and figure out where they’re needed and do the work. And when you put more than one, all this is proven research, this isn’t just my opinion but when you put more than one adaptogen together, they become even more synergistic and more powerful.
So, turmeric and frankincense, for instance, both share some of the same medicinal compounds as cannabis does and interact with the endocannabinoid system. So, including those with other cannabis, with other adaptogens like that make them so powerful. So, I have over the past year been able to get – IVDD causes a dog to go paralyzed, you know, in the back end. So, a lot of Dachshunds and Frenchies and those little dogs usually experience it.
Jeffrey Boedges: I see in my city all the time with their little wheelchairs.
Angela Ardolino: With their little wheelchairs. I can’t tell you how many we’ve put on a full spectrum hemp extract, and they get up and start walking again. And it’s purely because the inflammation is so bad and the brain-to-gut access and spinal cord communications all cut off. So, when you give them a full spectrum hemp extract, you’re immediately releasing, getting rid of inflammation, which then opens up the communication, lets them start moving again, not have them be in any pain, and they start walking again. So, I have done everything from that to cancer, which of course, gets me in trouble because I’m not allowed to say that I can kill cancer or get rid of cancer. I don’t. Cannabis does. I just give it to them. But all day long, all day long, and I’m kind of a crazy witchy lady, cannabis lady here in Florida, where I have a reputation and I get a lot of animals that people have tried everything. I’ll even get vets who go, “Hey, I got this dog, and I think you could do something with it.” And I literally get these dogs on death’s door riddled with cancer, seizures, all kinds of problems. I take them off all of their prescription meds because usually we have to remember that vets just like our doctors don’t know anything about diet and nutrition. They’re not taught about anything about diet and nutrition, nor are they taught about the endocannabinoid system, which is the master system that controls all of the other systems in our body.
So, a lot of times, if you’re coming to see your vet and you got a problem, usually, it’s as simple as diarrhea or throwing up, they don’t have anything to give you except to write a prescription or give you a prescription brand dog food, which is usually non-food because it’s completely unregulated. So, they give you that prescription that doesn’t work. You come back. They give you another one, another one. Now, you’ve got all the side effects and literally one thing, it’s just this black hole of issues. So, we take them all off, detoxify them, and put them on all-natural supplements, cannabis being the most important, and watch them completely disease reversed, seizure stop, tumor shrink and explode and fall off. And all day long this is what I do. And I’ve never had an animal die of an overdose, not survive because I took them off their phenobarbital, which isn’t even approved for use in dogs. You know, it’s just crazy but it is an all-natural medicine. And given the right amount, it will make a huge difference in any dog that’s suffering from whether it’s stress and anxiety or pain and inflammation.
Jeffrey Boedges: How do you not have a show on Animal Planet right now? I mean, surely, they must be calling you, right?
Angela Ardolino: No, because it’s illegal.
Jeffrey Boedges: I mean, right after the Dog Whisperer and then you go into the…
Angela Ardolino: Remember, we know the difference between CBD extracted from the marijuana plant and CBD extracted from the hemp plant, even though they’re the same damn thing. The rest of the world doesn’t. So, they won’t do it. Like, for instance, when my vet saw Nina, my Doberman, and saw that after 15 months the most aggressive cancer hadn’t spread and they looked at me and said, “What are you doing?” They immediately wanted to send it over to Texas A&M where somebody is working with them, where they’re doing studies on CBD. So, I asked the vet, “Can I put it on? I’m going to put everything on a blog so we can share it with everybody. Get this word out.” Chief is proofing the blog and asked for me to take that part out because vets are thinking that they are doing something illegal by even having anything to do with me who’s giving my dog my own THC. But because she’s the vet she’s worried that all day long we have vets who are secretly sending people to our website because they’re still scared to talk about it when it’s a completely legal product. So, there’s just a lot of feedback.
Rick Kiley: Let me ask a question, though. So, you said it’s illegal. In Florida…
Angela Ardolino: It’s not. It is legal but people think it’s illegal.
Rick Kiley: Right. But in Florida, let’s just clarify. It’s legal medicinally, right? Medical use is legal in Florida, and that does apply to pets, not just people, correct? No? There’s no law around pets? Right. So, it’s just a…
Jeffrey Boedges: Angela is shaking her head back and forth.
Angela Ardolino: So, I’m giving it to my animal. My vet…
Rick Kiley: That’s why I said no. I’m reinforcing the audience. You can’t see that…
Jeffrey Boedges: I’m doing play-by-play here.
Angela Ardolino: And also, you have to understand when they – so let’s go to California, for instance. Oh, no, let’s not go to California. Let’s go to Colorado. California is too much of a disaster. Colorado says, “Cannabis is legal. Everything is legal.” That includes that a vet should be able to turn around, sell it, use it, prescribe it, whatever. Colorado doesn’t care. California, they did that and California’s vet board said, “Except for vets. You’re not allowed to talk about or prescribe it.” So, then we, advocates, had to separately go fight the California Vet Board to allow vets to be able to even talk about it. So, we got that done. Now, they’re like, “Okay. You can talk about it. You can recommend it but you can’t have ownership in a company and you can’t dispense it,” I believe, which then we just won that, too. So, now we’ve taken it all out. So, it depends on what state you’re in but a full spectrum hemp extract extracted from hemp is legal in all 50 states. A vet can sell it, recommend it, talk about it. Am I allowed to curse?
Jeffrey Boedges: Sure. Yes.
Angela Ardolino: There’s something called the Fifth Amendment for f*ck’s sake. You’re not going to tell me what I can and can’t talk about. If I gave my dog cannabis and it made the cancer not spread, I should be able to talk about it and, yes, we should be spreading it everywhere. But because everyone doesn’t know the difference between marijuana and hemp and what’s legal, you guys understand that I can’t even buy an ad on Facebook or Google for CBD. So, I can’t get a bank. You know, getting a bank account, I can’t even do that. So, we get treated like we’re dealing heroin to children or something.
Rick Kiley: No, I understand. Yeah. I mean that’s industry-wide. You keep saying we. So, I had this idea in my head that you were like a lone wolf, lone gunman. What is it? What’s the right word? Lone Ranger?
Jeffrey Boedges: Lone Wolf Mcleod.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. But you’re using the term, we. So, can I assume there is a group of individuals similarly aligned with you that are like vets? Canna Vets? I don’t know.
Angela Ardolino: When I say we, I am referring to other advocates because as you know, I’m not alone. So, when I say we and I’m talking about Florida, I’m talking about the group of people who work so hard to make it legal here in Florida. And then, yes, there are a few people and a few vets who are working really hard on making this right or get this information out so that all vets can do it. But then there are others that are in the industry that want to control it.
Rick Kiley: Sure. And do you have similar counterparts in other states across the country?
Angela Ardolino: Yeah. Pretty much almost in every state I think I’ve got somebody.
Rick Kiley: So, I mean, given the way that the legalization is set up, if Jeff in New Jersey or I in New York or someone in California, Colorado wanted to find a vet, that was…
Jeffrey Boedges: Canna cool.
Rick Kiley: Canna cool, we could. Right?
Angela Ardolino: Well, not only could you but we do consultations with our chief vet, Dr. Zac Pilossoph. So, we do consultations.
Rick Kiley: Say that name again, slower. Sorry.
Angela Ardolino: Dr. Zac Pilossoph.
Rick Kiley: Pilossoph. Okay. Got it.
Angela Ardolino: He’s our chief vet.
Rick Kiley: He’s the chief vet for your organization in Florida. Not for every vet around the country.
Angela Ardolino: No. Anybody that can do telehealth can get a consultation with him online, along with, yes, we have a board of advisors. I think every single one of them people could make an appointment online. So, literally, people will come and they want to know, “Can I add CBD to what we’re already doing for my dog? Will it help? Are there any bad interactions?” which there aren’t or they want a second opinion or they want to know how can they take this diagnosis and plan and make it more holistic? “Can we replace with a holistic alternative instead of some of these pharmaceuticals?” which if a dog has a seizure, there are like five choices and most of them don’t work. Most of them are just sedating them so that they don’t have it. So, now you just have a zombie dog.
Rick Kiley: Right. Some may just involve a shovel, which sucks also.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yes. And so, you mentioned Texas A&M a little while ago about some research they’re doing. Where else in academics right now is any kind of scientific research going on to try and help your cause?
Angela Ardolino: Well, that’s what’s so wonderful, is any research being done is usually being done on animals. So, we don’t have to – we just take that research and go with it but there is constant research. We just got research this year that CBD is also so important in the battle against cancer. And for osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, it actually rebuilds cartilage and bone. So, these research studies are coming out on a daily basis. We keep track of them on our website of any of them that have to do with animals. But it’s constant, and it just keeps on proving that we’re right. And it also keeps on proving that it has to be a full spectrum hemp extract or a full-spectrum cannabis extract to work so that you have all of those compounds and they’re working together like they’re supposed to.
Jeffrey Boedges: Cool. And why don’t you give us that address real quick? I know we’ll ask you at the end of the show but I think people that are listening right now they’re like, “Oh man, I want to check that out.”
Angela Ardolino: I’m pretty sure it’s CBDDogHealth.com/Research. Even if you were to just go to the website CBDDogHealth.com and type in research or studies, it’ll take you to that page. So, we try to update it every time a new piece comes out so that people who do want to see the scientific research because people, a lot of us will go, “There’s no research yet.” And we’re like, “There is. We’ve already proven that it’s safe for them.” We prove that it does the same thing it does for humans, it does for our pets. And the only thing that we know that is different right now is that dogs are more sensitive, which only means doesn’t mean it’s dangerous. It just means that a lot less medicine will do a lot more. But I don’t even see this with my other animals, so I don’t know what the reason is that it’s a prey versus a hunter animal. You know, it’s something in their makeup but like a bird, that’s not the situation. A pig, not the situation. It just seems that dogs are more sensitive and have more receptors in their brain and spinal cord.
Rick Kiley: What about cats? I got a cat that will not go to the vet. If it goes to the vet, it will scratch people’s eyes out and the vet wants to like they prescribe Gabapentin to try to calm the cat down and never really worked.
Angela Ardolino: So, Gabapentin is a pain, yeah, it’s a pain killer.
Rick Kiley: It’s a nerve medicine. Yeah.
Angela Ardolino: Right. That’s what’s so funny is that they have all of these things. They give them Trazodone, which is also a sedative like Valium.
Rick Kiley: I think my question is, can I give my cat some CBD to calm it down when I go to the vet?
Angela Ardolino: Absolutely. And that was my first tincture that I made was a calming one because at my shop, we do grooming. So, people bring in the bad cats and dogs and they’ve been given a human drug, whether it’s Valium or God knows what, and the animal is knocked out. So, how are you supposed to groom or bathe an animal that can’t even stand up? So, we would go, “Look, don’t give them that anymore. We’re going to give them a one dropper full of this magic little CBD with some lavender essential oil in it.” And not only does the animal have a good experience, it gets a perfect groom, and then the parent is like, “What did you give them because they’re not knocked out. They’re just calm.” They’re just calmed down. And every dose is different, which I’m sure people are like, “Well, how much do you give?” So, you give them a little bit and you keep giving it to them until they are calm. And then that’s how you found your dose. There is your dose for your dog or cat.
Rick Kiley: All right.
Angela Ardolino: But I always like to compare my two dogs, my Doberman and my schnauzer, when a thunderstorm comes rolling in. The little dog needs more than the big dog does to calm down. And that’s just because everybody’s different.
Rick Kiley: I’m just excited about the event implications like I want to go see Laser Floyd now with my dog.
Angela Ardolino: All right.
Rick Kiley: Like that would be great. The dogs are just going to be like so happy. All right, cool. So, the one thing I’m curious about, so you mentioned these other vets that reach out to you occasionally. Is this like a back alley deal or is it turning? Do you feel it turning a little more mainstream? Do you feel like…
Angela Ardolino: Oh, yeah. Totally main.
Rick Kiley: Some of them are turning like, “Oh, you know, like maybe Gabapentin, maybe Humira, maybe whatever is not the best.” Like, do you see a change each year that passes that that’s going on?
Angela Ardolino: I do. We started with the holistic and integrative vets because we knew that these vets are the vets that get out of school and go, “Wait a minute. I didn’t learn anything about diet and nutrition or about supplements. I’m going to go learn more,” and they go out and learn and educate themselves on things. So, we started with them first because they understand how these things work. So, yes, that has been huge. We now have a board of advisors with many vets on them. We have over 100 vets across the country using the medicine on a regular basis. And that’s what’s so wonderful is when they start using it and seeing the results when they had nothing that worked before, they go crazy. And then the word spreads. They start telling each other and it just now we have vets calling us all the time. But remember, they don’t know anything about it, so we have to educate them too. So, I literally spend most of my days on a Zoom screen, educating veterinarians, vet techs, and their staff on how to use it and how it works because they were never even told about it.
Rick Kiley: Right. All right.
Angela Ardolino: Yes. So, definite shift.
Jeffrey Boedges: Well, let’s talk about your product just for a second then. So, is it only distributed by vets right now? Are you guys in grocery? Where do we find you?
Angela Ardolino: Yeah. Online and we’d like to stay in little small stores. You’re not going to probably ever find us in a PetSmart or a Petco.
Jeffrey Boedges: Never say never.
Angela Ardolino: Yeah. I don’t ever say never but we like to be where people can get an education. And usually the small shops, the boutique shops like I own, those stores have people who know the products. They know how it works. They can help you. And they also know about diet and all the other supplements that go with helping your pet heal naturally. So, we sell those and online is our main source and then through our team of vets.
Rick Kiley: Is there any special licensing you need to have to sell these products like you don’t have to hold a cannabis medical license or anything like that? Dogs don’t have to get a prescription from a doctor or anything like that?
Angela Ardolino: Nope. And that’s why it’s a completely unregulated free-for-all and why it’s so important for pet parents to know how to choose a good product because there is so much crap out there, it’s unbelievable. A crap not necessarily any more dangerous back in 2015, when I tried to find a pet product. The one that I found was a human brand that just put a different label on it. The problem with that is that it had ingredients in it that are not safe for pets. It has flavoring in it that if we’re trying to treat a dog with cancer, we certainly don’t want synthetic flavoring and coloring and that type of thing in it. So, I couldn’t find anything. I thought I was going to actually be a cultivator. I thought I was going to grow because I couldn’t find anybody growing medicinal products that a medicinal plant to replicate the same thing over and over again. And the animals are my passion and my love so that’s how I ended up over here.
Rick Kiley: So, I’m just trying to understand the legality and forgive me around this question. So, the hemp, that is able to be sold not through the cannabis market. It’s the legal state-by-state market so it’s not like the hot plants that I think have the Delta 9 or something like that, like the THC that people are using that’s psychoactive. This is something that has THC in it but it’s a different strain. It’s like the Delta 8 or it’s a low amount. So, help me understand that.
Angela Ardolino: No. So, cannabis is cannabis. And of course, all of the terms are wrong, used wrong thanks to our government. But it’s the cannabis plant and it’s either marijuana or hemp. And on one side of the spectrum is marijuana and marijuana has more THC therefore it has less CBD and hemp has more CBD, therefore has less THC. But it’s all the cannabis plant. Strains hardly exist anymore so everybody literally is making whatever they want, which is what we do. But we have to have less than 0.3% THC. That is what’s legal. So, as long as you have less than that 0.3%, you’re legal in all 50 states.
Rick Kiley: So, I just want to make sure because I think that’s the point I’m trying to get that while there is some THC in it, it’s not like the 20:1 THC-CBD ratio vape pen or gummy that we’re taking, that that’s significantly high.
Angela Ardolino: And what you’re probably thinking of is Delta 8. So, people are taking Delta 8 from hemp and getting high. And that’s why, of course, everybody’s flipping out about it.
Rick Kiley: You could buy it in my corner bodega.
Angela Ardolino: Yeah, and it’s completely legal. And it’s funny because people who are sensitive to Delta 9 or to marijuana THC do Delta 8 and like it because it’s not as strong and not as bad of a high. So, it’s ridiculous that they’re even messing with it. But, yeah, it may screw everything up because, God forbid, you get high at all. But I have people who feel high off of our tinctures, our 0.3% tinctures. This is our strongest one that is 42 milligrams of full-spectrum hemp extract and one dropper-full and a person who’s never done cannabis and sensitive to it will put this under their tongue and they’ll feel something. They’ll feel differently. That’s usually how we prove that it’s a medicinal product.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. So, there was an episode of Family Ties once where Tom Hanks was the guest star and he was like Michael J. Fox’s uncle and he was struggling with alcohol addiction and there was no alcohol in the house. But he scoured through the house and found a bottle of vanilla extract, which, if you don’t know, has a lot of alcohol in it, and drank a bottle of vanilla extract. So, my question is if someone is like really jonesed and can’t find any of their normal stuff, if they go and I don’t know, whatever, drink the bottle of the tincture, is it going to get like Tom Hanks’ vanilla extract drunk? Sorry, Tom Hanks.
Angela Ardolino: No, it’s not. It won’t. And they’ll feel good but they won’t feel high. As a matter of fact, those of you who go to who aren’t familiar with the recreational product to get to a recreational state and you go buy your THC and you take it and you go, “Holy sh*t, I’m way too high. I do not like this,” you can actually take a full-spectrum hemp extract, which is CBD. You can take it and CBD dampens the effects of THC. So, it will actually fix your high. Your high will actually get better. You can also suck on a lemon or on a mango. They have terpenes in it that also dampen the effects, so you can also do that also.
Jeffrey Boedges: There you go.
Rick Kiley: Probably a couple of times in life that might have been handy to know.
Angela Ardolino: Exactly.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. I know what I’m bringing to my next concert.
Angela Ardolino: My lemonade.
Jeffrey Boedges: “Why do you got a bag of mangoes?” Don’t ask.
Rick Kiley: Well, there was an SNL sketch recently. It was a bunch of people like in their 50s who were getting high, and they all called 911 because it’s so strong compared to 30 years ago. Great. That’s really cool. So, I guess, we’re getting to the end of our time here. I want to just touch on so it seems like some stuff, some action steps really need to happen in the industry, in general, to help make this a little bit more mainstream. And I’m not going to say like cannabis consumption for adult use or medical use in people is fully mainstream yet but it feels pretty much like we’re getting there. What are the steps that have to happen over the next however many years in order to make it all okay, make it so that people feel okay with making the choice, making the products available and easier to get? Like, it sounds like you really have to know where to look right now in order to get it. Like, you’re not going to just go to your…
Angela Ardolino: Yeah. You can literally get a CBD oil anywhere and you have no idea what you’re getting. So, it’s important for the consumer to understand how to pick a real product, which is you want to have a COA or a certificate of analysis that shows you. So, if you are doing a product, if you look at our bottles, we have a QR code.
Rick Kiley: She’s showing us a label. It’s a podcast but she’s showing us a label with a QR code.
Angela Ardolino: Hey, my podcast you can watch on YouTube.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. We’re not attractive. We’re not attractive enough.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. We have faces for radio.
Angela Ardolino: That’s not true. I’m looking at your faces.
Rick Kiley: I know. I know. Well, we’re cheap then. I don’t know.
Jeffrey Boedges: That is true.
Angela Ardolino: You know what it is? I have millennials that work for me, so they make it happen. I couldn’t tell you how it happened.
Rick Kiley: Us, too. We just don’t listen to them on that part. We’ll get there.
Angela Ardolino: The label, we follow what the hemp industry wants us to do because they know what’s best for the industry, and we would love to have it regulated because then we could say everybody has to have a QR code on their label that takes them directly to a certificate of analysis that matches a batch number that’s on the bottom of the bottle to show you not only is it a full spectrum product, it has all the cannabinoids, terpenes, everything in it but that certificate also shows you what’s not in the product, meaning it’s tested to make sure there are no heavy metals, no herbicides, no fertilizers, no extraction. Some people use different methods of extraction, so making sure there’s no alcohol or any of that left in it. And that’s how you know you have a safe and effective product. So, it’d be really nice for there to be regulation so that people could do it over a full spectrum. And then if they want more THC, I believe it would be great for you to be able to go to your veterinarian or your doctor and for them to have some sort of clue on to say, “Yes, this would be good or that would be good.” So, I hope we get to that point one day.
Rick Kiley: And so, the FDA is involved in improving your product that you have or it’s not yet?
Angela Ardolino: No.
Rick Kiley: So, I would imagine that would probably help also, right?
Angela Ardolino: The FDA doesn’t regulate animal products or supplements.
Rick Kiley: What entity does? There’s no entity?
Angela Ardolino: There isn’t one.
Rick Kiley: Wait. What? Yeah, sorry. I’m going to name this podcast, “Wait, What?”
Angela Ardolino: So, right now it, for instance, a full spectrum hemp extract is legal but this can’t be put on animal feed or food depending on each state’s Department of Agriculture.
Rick Kiley: Yeah. I’m just saying like Purina dog food doesn’t go through any sort of government approval?
Angela Ardolino: There’s an organization called AAFCO, and it’s a lot like the FDA, except worse, that it’s controlled by the people who the five companies that make all of the sh*tty dog food. So, right now, literally, their hemp is not allowed to be put in any type of food or feed because it’s not even put on a list called the grass list, which is generally recognized as safe. Yet sawdust is approved as an ingredient in dog food by AAFCO. So, the pet industry is one of the worst. The cannabis industry is crazy but the pet industry on top of that is nuts. There’s five companies controlling everything. Mars who makes candy is one of the biggest players that makes dog food, makes their supplements. They’re now controlling the hospitals, the pet insurance, the keeping your pet sick. So, no, it’s crazy how unregulated the pet industry is and what people can get away with. Literally, anybody can put anything in a bottle right now and sell it, and that happens on a regular basis.
Rick Kiley: Man, I don’t feel good. I don’t feel good at all. I think I need some of that CBD extract.
Angela Ardolino: Well, if anybody is interested in learning more…
Rick Kiley: Yeah, let’s do that.
Angela Ardolino: The TruthAboutPetFood.com, Susan Thixton, huge advocate for food, Rodney Habib, and Dr. Karen Becker. Dr. Karen Becker is one of the most famous holistic vets out there who’s been preaching and telling us about this. They just actually wrote a book called The Forever Dog book, which literally will, you know, if you really are interested in it because I came to this conclusion because I had a dog that I did everything my conventional vet told me to do and she was dead at age seven, and I stopped counting at $15,000. I’m working on a book that says How To Not Kill Your Dog Or Go Broke Trying To Save It and literally what it takes for us to keep us healthy, eating real food, not putting bad sh*t in our body goes for our dogs, too. The problem is that the vet has no idea how to fix your dog’s diarrhea or gut problem because we’re feeding it non-food and over-vaccinating it and putting pesticides in it to keep the fleas off of it. So, these poor dogs have everything going against them.
Rick Kiley: Poor dogs, gosh. And everyone loves dogs, too.
Jeffrey Boedges: And I had a cat that died of mouth cancer 15 years ago, and I’m still stung by it.
Angela Ardolino: Yeah. It’s like one in nine dogs gets cancer. You got to realize people are breeding dogs to be cute or have smudged faces. They’re not breeding dogs so this is the healthiest dog. So, the first golden retriever that came over to us and he had cancer. So, that means every dog in the United States, golden retriever in the United States has the cancer gene. Isn’t that crazy when you think about stuff like that? But that’s what we have done to these animals and it’s just nuts.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. That’s a genetic mutation then. Yes. But it’s prevalent, that’s eye-opening.
Angela Ardolino: So, it’s crazy. So, that’s why I do what I do, and I love it because they’re innocent and nobody’s screaming and yelling for them.
Rick Kiley: You’re doing good work. You’re doing good work. So, if somebody wanted to find your products, where should we send them?
Angela Ardolino: At CBDDogHealth.com is where all the products are, and if they just want information on holistic health care and how it works, AngelaArdolino.com. I’m all over social media and I have a podcast which used to be called It’s a Dog’s Life, and now it’s called Your Natural Dog that you can tune in on any of the platforms.
Rick Kiley: Well, I’m sorry I got that wrong in the opening.
Angela Ardolino: Oh, that’s okay. It had changed since…
Rick Kiley: A recent change.
Angela Ardolino: Yeah. We used to be produced by the Cannabis Radio Network, and we just left them to do it on our own now so that we can take questions from the audience and stuff like that.
Rick Kiley: Nice. Well, everybody should check that out. We do finish with one question. We ask everyone and you because I’m told you were involved in getting Floridians to vote yes on an amendment in 2016 to make medical marijuana legal. You probably have some insight here. We call this The Green Repeal. We’re trying to chart cannabis’s path towards legalization. I’m curious if you have a prediction as to when cannabis will be legal federally. And then that’s for people.
Angela Ardolino: I think it will be when the pharmaceutical companies find out how they can make the billions, that their billions won’t be cut into, and that they can make a whole bunch of money. That’s when it’ll become legal. Other than that, that’s the only thing that’s stopping us, in my opinion. That’s the only thing that’s preventing it from happening because there’s enough research, there are enough people talking about it. What I love is watching psilocybin and psychedelics just go right past cannabis and become legal. It’s like, what the f*ck is happening? But that’s because cannabis can help a lot more things than psilocybin can. So, it’s crazy.
Jeffrey Boedges: Yeah. There’s a lot of interesting research out there right now. That’s one certainly on the forefront.
Angela Ardolino: Yeah.
Rick Kiley: Very cool. Well, Angela, thank you so much for joining us today on the podcast. Good luck with everything and everybody should get their dogs and cats some weed.
Angela Ardolino: That’s right.
Jeffrey Boedges: I will be ordering more. It definitely works.
Rick Kiley: Nice. Cool.
Angela Ardolino: That’s right. Thank you so much for having me.
Rick Kiley: You’re welcome. Thanks for being here.