What Pet Owners Should Know
In addition to the legalization of recreational marijuana, cannabinoids are also gaining popularity for their use in medicine. For a breakdown of the terms associated with Cannabinoids, see my last blog post! CBD oil has many benefits without the psychoactive effects of THC containing products. CBD reduces inflammation, decreases pain, stimulates appetite, decreases stress/anxiety, and helps in reducing seizures. CBD oil is proving to be very effective for a lot of conditions, but it is NOT a cure-all. In most cases, it is not a stand alone treatment. It is an effective therapy to add to a treatment plan.
Unfortunately, until recently the research on the correct dosage of CBD and the effectiveness in veterinary medicine was extremely limited. As of January 2018 there were no studies on the dose or effectiveness of CBD oil in pets! Since that time, cannabinoids are gaining popularity and their use is much more widespread. This has opened the doors for research. However, the information available to vets is still quite sparse. Similarly, veterinarians are not able to legally prescribe cannabinoids under the DEA. Though state laws are changing to allow the sale and distribution of these products, veterinarians are legally required to adhere to the most stringent of laws. This means by federal regulation, prescription of cannabinoids continues to be illegal. Legally, veterinarians can educate on the medical uses of, safe uses of, and safe sources of CBD oil.
It is important to remember that not all CBD is the same! As a plant based product, active content can be variable. As discussed before, pets are very sensitive to THC, so the purity of the product is very important. It is recommended to use a CBD oil formulated for pets. However, because these products are not closely regulated by the FDA, not all products are safe products. Some products containing THC are marketed with a label for pets. These products should be avoided. Veterinarians often have preferred sources that they recommend because they trust the source. As with any medical product, use should always be directed by a veterinarian, and should be part of a treatment plan.
Personally, I see the use and importance of cannabinoids in veterinary medicine, but am cautious of situations in which use of CBD delays or attempts to take the place of a necessary medical procedure or treatment.