As CBD oil, or cannabidiol, grows in popularity among humans, more and more pet owners are now considering giving it to their furry friends.
Despite a lack of clarity from the World Health Organization as to whether CBD is a food supplement, alternative medicine, or even a narcotic drug, millions across the world willingly take it for its apparent therapeutic effects.
Vets in the United States, however, are unable to even speak about the product to pet owners legally. Currently, any vet who discusses CBD with pet owners – whether that’s to do with its therapeutic effects or even the dangers – can lose their license.
Speaking to Upper Michigans Source, owner of the Animal Medical Center of Marquette Dr. Kellie Holmstrom explained that the limited availability of research has made it hard for vets to draw any conclusions.
She said, “It’s okay for physicians to talk about it, but as veterinarians, we’re still being told it’s illegal for us to recommend.”
“The big question for us is, ‘Is it a medicine?’ and therefore, we have to have FDA approval, or ‘Is it a food supplement?’ and then it’s okay to talk about unless we find them.”
Holmstrom added that although WHO has labeled CBD as safe for human consumption in its purest form, unknown ingredients are still added to a large percentage of products on the market.
She said, “Where the real problems tend to lie is more in the extras that are added into the products, and it’s not very well regulated. There are people making this at their house, and even for commercial use.”
In recent months CBD tinctures have become popular thanks to their potency, but problems with recommended dosages on some packaging have left users taking far more than they should. Some users are also uncertain whether they should be taking broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD.
Pet stores can, however, still sell the product in various forms. Supervisor at Mares-Z-Doats in Marquette, Kayleigh Heynen, said, “Everything that we have is 100 percent organic, all-natural materials, so it’s all suspended in coconut oil, so that’s its base. All of the flavors off of that are all-natural things as well.”
“Anytime you give your pets anything, I would recommend researching it and making sure you know exactly what’s in it.”
Pet owners are now being warned to carry out extensive research on the product they are buying before administering CBD to their animals, and they should also be aware of the differences between hemp oil and CBD oil.
Michigan’s 110th State House District Representative Greg Markkanen has recently opened up the discussion for veterinarians to be allowed to discuss CBD legally with animal owners, although it may be a while before this is legalized.
With HB 5085, vets will be allowed to consult with animal owners on the use of marijuana and CBD oil but will still be unable to recommend, prescribe or dispense such products legally.