Medicinal marijuana use in Ohio continues to grow, with many finding benefits related to chemotherapy side effects, stress, and pain. But can our pets who suffer from some of these same health issues also benefit? Unfortunately, little information exists yet regarding whether dogs and cats can experience the same benefits as their human counterparts.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is commonly chosen by those seeking medical benefits from marijuana. It is derived from the hemp plant, but unlike recreational marijuana, it is not psychoactive, meaning the user does not experience a high. While there is little scientific evidence, some opine that pets suffering from osteoarthritis and anxiety have benefitted from CBD. There also is a growing trend to treat epilepsy in dogs, as it seems to act as an antiseizure medication.

Veterinarians, however, are encouraging pet owners to use caution and ask a lot of questions before offering CBD oil or infused chews to their pets.

Facts regarding CBD for pets

  • There are companies now offering CBD products specifically for animals based on their weight. Infused chews are the most common, with dosage and feeding instructions based on the weight of your pet.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet established standards for regulating CBD, nor have they approved any therapeutic usage for animals.
  • Products derived from hemp can legally contain 0.3% THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, so it is important to consider your pet’s sensitivity to it.
  • Take time to learn where and how a CBD product is manufactured before considering use, as higher amounts of THC could be toxic to animals.
  • CBD is a medicine and should therefore be considered along with any other medications your pet is taking for the dangers of drug reactions.

With the limited evidence of benefit and the lack of federal oversight in the making of CBD products for animals, introducing these products to pets should be done after careful thought and research. While some have reported success in treating pets with extreme anxiety, seizure disorders, cancer treatment side effects, chronic pain, and even for appetite stimulation, these products may not be right for your pet.

Even dosages consistent with your pet’s size and weight could be a problem for your pet, and the trace amounts of THC can cause some side effects in pets who are sensitive to it, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Pet owners also should be aware that CBD infused treats should be kept away from where pets can get into them, as eating too many could cause THC toxicity.

As always, the doctors at Lake Cable Animal Hospital urge you to discuss first anything new you are considering giving to your pets, including supplements, nutrients, and medicinal products. Our team is constantly staying updated on the latest information regarding CBD and other supplements that may benefit animals struggling with disease or the effects of aging.

If you have questions about your pet’s health issues or would like more information about the research into CBD for animals, contact our office today.