We’re told to always trust the experts. When it comes to our dog’s health, we usually defer to our friendly neighborhood veterinarian. Unfortunately, it’s all a bit hush-hush at the moment when it comes to veterinarians talking about CBD products for pets. In fact, they aren’t allowed to instigate a conversation about CBD oil without breaking the law. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “under current federal and state law, veterinarians may not administer, dispense, prescribe or recommend cannabis or its products for animals.”
In addition, the lack of clinical research on the use of CBD on canines makes it difficult for vets to recommend the correct dosage or refer to scientific data to argue for CBD as a potential replacement for traditional medicines. Even medical professionals are finding it hard to ignore the power of CBD and the healing benefits it holds for our four-legged friends. California, often at the forefront of groundbreaking law changes on the subject of CBD, is proposing a bill that makes it legal for veterinarians to recommend CBD oil for dogs. The law in many states is likely to change soon enough, but until then there are ways around these rules for veterinarians.
Dog owners should always be able to talk to their vet about any subject to do with their pet’s well-being, and this includes CBD. A study by Frontiers in Medical Science found that most veterinarians (61.5%) felt comfortable discussing the use of CBD with their colleagues, but only 45.5% felt comfortable discussing this topic with clients. The only way to get vets on board is to call, write, and email your senators and representatives to get them talking about CBD for pets. When vets can recommend this natural remedy to pups dealing with a wide variety of ailments, more research will be conducted on its long-term effects.
Your local veterinarian might be reluctant to talk to you about CBD, but that doesn’t mean they’re all keeping quiet on the subject. Dr. Gary Richter, #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author and a noted holistic vet from California, has spoken out about the positive effects of CBD on pets. He has said that it is “safe, reliable and effective,” mentioning arthritis and anxiety as two of the main ailments it can help with.
Dr. Katherine Kramer, an experienced veterinarian from Canada (where they don’t have the same stringent rules against vets speaking out about CBD), also openly uses CBD to treat arthritis, inflammation, pain, anxiety, epilepsy and cancer. She goes so far as to say “I can’t imagine practicing without it.”
Dr. Michael Petty, a faculty member of the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in Wellington, FL, has said that he would recommend CBD to clients. He goes into more detail in this article.
Dr. Stephanie McGrath at Colorado State Veterinary College conducted a study in 2016 on CBD for dogs with epilepsy. It was the first of its kind, concentrating on a group of 16 dogs suffering from various forms of epilepsy. Her research found that 89 percent of subjects who received CBD in the trial had a reduction in seizures. While it was a small sample size, the findings only further solidified the positive effects of CBD on dogs suffering from a wide range of issues. McGrath’s next test will focus on 27 dogs and should give us an even clearer idea of what pet CBD can do for dogs.
The future success of CBD relies on more veterinarians getting on board. This is likely to change as laws do. Most vets have our pets’ best interests at heart and are probably willing to change with the times. When the Farm Bill in 2018 federally legalized hemp oil with less than 0.3% THC, the first step was taken toward using pet CBD more widely to combat common ailments in canines. When vets can recommend it legally, the sky will truly be the limit.