CBD Use in Pets
CBD, or cannabidiol, is another derivative of the hemp or marijuana plant. It has several suspected health benefits, such as relieving pain, reducing anxiety, and improving sleep in people. But is it safe to use for dogs and cats? What products work and can your vet prescribe CBD for your pet? Keep reading to learn more!
What is CBD and how is it different from marijuana/THC?
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors in the central and peripheral nervous system. When people think of marijuana, they are usually thinking of the active ingredient, THC, which causes the psychoactive effects. (For more information, please see our article on THC toxicity in pets.) The hemp plant has very little THC present compared to the regular marijuana plants.
Why can I buy CBD for pets online and at various stores?
A product can be labeled as CBD if it was made from the hemp plant and contains less than 0.3% THC. Many companies are making CBD products, but there is little quality control or oversight, so what is on the label may not be exactly what is in the bottle.
Although CBD from hemp has been legalized, the regulations and laws around it are a mess, so vets can still not prescribe or recommend it. Until there are more FDA-approved products, vets are really limited on how they can proceed. The only FDA-approved CBD product is labeled for use in humans to control seizures and is still incredibly expensive.
What does CBD oil do in dogs?
That’s a great question! Unfortunately, there are no formal studies on the effects of CBD use in dogs, just humans. In humans, the FDA has approved one drug to help with seizure control, but there are no FDA-approved products for dogs yet.
Colorado State University is working on a study to evaluate CBD use in dogs with epilepsy that are resistant to other treatments.
There are anecdotal reports of CBD reducing anxiety, reducing pain, reducing nausea, improving the appetite, reducing seizures, and possibly reducing some cancer risks. However, there are currently no studies on pets to verify these claims.
What are possible side effects if I give my dog CBD oil?
Side effects include dry mouth, reduced blood pressure causing weakness or lightheadedness, and drowsiness.
There may be additional side effects, but we just don’t know yet.
Why won’t my vet tell me a CBD dose to use for my dog?
Marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, even though it is legal in many states for medical and recreational use. Since it’s still federally illegal, vets cannot prescribe it or recommend it, regardless if the CBD is coming from a hemp or marijuana plant.
Since there are no completed studies on CBD use in pets, there are no published doses available. If you do elect to use CBD oil in your pet, be sure to conduct your own thorough research from reputable sources. Always use caution and start with low doses.