​CBD for Pets, Let’s Get on With It!

September 29th 2018

By Dr. Dirk Dekens, DVM

Here it comes! It’s September 2018 and in a mere month marijuana will be legal for recreational use in Canada. For humans that is!

Entrepreneurs and large corporations alike are gearing up big time to fuel and meet the demand of anything cannabis related. Many stores and online business are already selling a variety of hemp and CBD products. Medicinal marijuana prescriptions have also become easier to obtain in the past couple of years.

Is CBD legal for animals?

I guestimate that about 50 percent of my mobile human clients suffering from chronic illness and pain already have a product in their home containing CBD (cannabidiol) or a mixture of CBD and THC (the psychoactive stuff desired for recreational use). Not only do they use it for themselves, but often they confide in me that they have been giving it to their pets as well to treat a variety of conditions.

At the time of writing this blog, a myriad of CBD containing products are marketed and available in stores and online specifically designed for our pets. Over the counter, no prescription required, just follow the advice on the bottle or the bag of treats.

Now hang on a moment! Veterinarians in Alberta are not allowed to prescribe CBD products for pets under their care as per regulations set by the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association and likely will not be able to do so for some time to come.

Animals are not humans. Not enough research has been done to conclusively show that CBD is beneficial to use in animals is the prevailing argument.
So veterinarians cannot offer any medical advice or give dosage instructions for products with CBD and doing so could potentially jeopardize their license to practice veterinary medicine.


Is CBD available for my pet?

The hemp store owner down the street from the veterinary clinic can freely sell any CBD related product and advise on dosages and usage for a variety of medical and behavioral conditions in pets, that doesn’t seem right.

I fully understand science needs time and money until it can demonstrate the potential benefits and harmful effects of CBD on our pets, however, it might take years before we have all this information available to us as a profession!


Can CBD help our pets?

There are so many stories and testimonials we hear from our clients almost daily clearly demonstrating the beneficial effects from using CBD for their pets for certain medical and behavioral conditions. Cannabis is a natural product that has been around for thousands of years.


Why I want CBD legalized for animals

It’s common sense that CBD should have a place in the toolbox of your veterinarian. Who, then, is better qualified other than your veterinarian to advise on the use of CBD in your pets?

I call on our national and provincial veterinary associations to stand up and advocate in favor of legislation allowing CBD products to be prescribed by your veterinarian.

They owe it to our patients and our clients… let’s get on with it!
 
 
 
 

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