Why Veterinarians Are Fighting for CBD for Pets

Why Veterinarians Are Fighting for CBD for Pets

January 10, 2019

Did you know the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids can be experienced by mammals in addition to humans? From helping treat seizures in dogs to helping improve quality of life, find out why CBD for pets is being researched by veterinarians and even the American Kennel Club.

CBD for Pets: Is it Helpful?

In August of 2018, the American Kennel Club, an American registry of purebred dogs, announced that it was launching a major clinical trial to study CBD as a treatment for severe forms of epilepsy in dogs. Once completed and published the CBD for dogs study may be the first large-scale study conducted to examine the side effects of CBD on seizure activity in canines. According to the study’s principal investigator, Dr. Stephanie McGrath, the study is an important first for many reasons:

“Generally speaking, the science supporting CBD use in veterinary medicine is lacking. There is abundant anecdotal evidence, but very few, if any, well-executed research studies. Regarding the epilepsy study specifically, it is important work because we are constantly searching for an effective anticonvulsant drug to treat epilepsy in dogs. The drugs we currently have available frequently cause intolerable side effects or do not work well enough to control the seizures. Therefore, if CBD does prove to be an effective anticonvulsant, this would affect thousands of dogs worldwide.”

Is CBD for Pets Legal?

While many products containing CBD for cats or CBD pet treats exist in legal ambiguity, the good news is that supplements containing hemp-derived CBD (and less than 0.03% THC) are legal so long as they’ve not been marketed with unfounded medical claims. According to a statement by the FDA, certain parts of the hemp plant are considered safe as food ingredients but products with CBD must go through a rigorous trial and approval process via the FDA.

How can I talk to my veterinarian about CBD for pets?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the current federal status of CBD means that, “veterinarians may not administer, dispense, prescribe or recommend cannabis or its products for animals.”

However, consumers looking for CBD pet treats, or organic CBD oil for dogs, still have options; laws are quickly changing and more than half of the US has already legalized some form of CBD. While your veterinarian is limited in what he or she is able to recommend, talking to your veterinarian about CBD for your pet will keep you aware of any potential side effects or interactions with medications your pet is already taking.

What CBD products can I give my pet?

Like anything you add to your pet’s diet, it’s important to do your research before deciding on a CBD oil product for your pet. When looking for CBD products for pets, it’s important to look for a COA, peer-reviewed studies, and where the CBD is sourced from.

Changes Ahead Pet Health and CBD?

As we’ve seen with cannabis and hemp, legislation is constantly in flux when it comes to CBD. If you’re curious about CBD for pets, first let your veterinarian know. While they may not be able to recommend CBD, veterinarians do have access to the latest information about products for pets containing CBD oil. Keeping your veterinarian in the loop about your decision to use CBD oil for your dog will also help them prevent potential contraindications with medications your pet may be taking.

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