Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound that is extracted from the plant cannabis sativa. It can also be extracted from hemp. There is a considerable body of research on how CBD can benefit human health and many pet owners are becoming increasingly curious about whether CBD is safe for cats and dogs and if it can improve their pet’s health.
Laying Down the Law of CBD
There is a very well-defined legal framework underpinning the medical use of cannabis. Currently, medical cannabis is derived from cannabis sativa. From a legal perspective, any plant that produces greater than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is federally illegal. Plants producing less than 0.3% THC are considered hemp and are federally legal.
Medicinal hemp plants also contain large amounts of CBD, which while legal and regulated by the FDA, has only been approved for medicinal use in one instance. Other products containing CBD, whether for human or animal consumption, must be sold as nutritional supplements.
“I can tell you that in certain states like California, depending on the source of the CBD, we still can’t recommend it, we can’t sell products with it, and we can’t prescribe it,” explained nationwide renowned veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber.
The Current Status of CDB Research in Veterinary Practice
Unfortunately, as Dr. Jeff points out, there is currently not enough scientific data available yet to indicate whether or not CBD is effective for animals. Very few studies have been conducted on the effects of CBD on animal health. However, the limited data that is available indicates that CBD sourced from hemp plants may show some promise for your pet’s health.
Dr. Jeff is hopeful for the future of CBD in veterinary care. “I think there is a lot of promise out there. A lot of veterinary schools are doing studies right now. We’ll have more information to share with you when these are done. But my overall recommendation is, if you haven’t tried it, it’s worth a try.”
Is Hemp-Based CBD Safe for Your Pet?
As a pet owner, pet health and pet safety are top priorities. But you may also want to take a more natural approach to your pet’s health. So, is it safe to give a CBD supplement to your dog or cat?
Dr. Jeff says, “if it’s hemp-based CBD, then that would be okay. What I have found and what I have heard from veterinarians from other states that have recommended it, is that there are a lot of benefits. I am truly an advocate to try it. Of course you need to make sure that it’s legal in your state. Check with your veterinarian.”
How May CBD Improve Your Dog’s Health?
Although there is currently no scientific data on the use of CBD for dogs, anecdotal evidence suggests that it may be beneficial for health conditions such as:
- Canine Cognitive Dysfunction: CCD is a behavioral disorder that affects some dogs later in life. It can cause symptoms such as sleep cycle disturbances, disorientation, and altered behavior towards owners and other pets.
- Canine Epilepsy: In dogs, epilepsy is usually inherited, though its exact cause is not known. It may also be due to kidney failure, liver disease, or brain tumors. Symptoms include seizures, foaming at the mouth, tongue chewing, and loss of consciousness.
- Anxiety: Some dogs are more prone to anxiety than others. It can be triggered by separation from their owner, stormy weather, and travel.
How May CBD Improve Your Cat’s Health?
Although there is currently no scientific data on the use of CBD for cats, anecdotal evidence suggests that it may be beneficial for health conditions such as:
- Arthritis: Cat arthritis is a degenerative disease that causes limping and difficulty walking, climbing, or jumping. It has been suggested that CBD may help reduce inflammation and pain in cases of arthritis in cats.
- Anxiety: Cats can become anxious if they are suffering from an illness, if they have moved to a new home, or if they are aging and experiencing memory problems.
Preliminary studies are currently being conducted on the use of CBD for the treatment of pain, cancer, and bone loss in animals.
If you would like to find out more about if CDB can help improve your pet’s health and how much and when to give it to her, you can reach out to Dr. Jeff at his website or call him at 301-446-3908 for a consultation.