A new report has revealed that Canadians are now turning to CBD more and more to help their pets.
The study published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal found that 80% of pet owners had purchased CBD for their dogs in the past. The most common reason for doing so was to relieve pain and anxiety in their furry friends.
Dr. Ian Sandler of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association said that there was no doubt more pet owners were enquiring about CBD, but added that they should be cautious of the products they buy.
Despite the rise in popularity of CBD, vets are still unable to prescribe, dispense, or recommend cannabis products in the way physicians are, meaning owners have very little access to professional advice. Vets who are caught advising customers risk losing their license to practice.
The latest iteration of The Cannabis Act recently added that no veterinary drugs containing cannabis are approved for sale in Canada.
While CBD products are mostly packaged with warnings for humans, including dosage suggestions and advice for pregnant women, warnings for pets are a rarity.
Cannabis products such as edibles, for example, can be extremely toxic for dogs – not because of the CBD itself, but because of other ingredients. Although more potent, a CBD tincture may work better dogs, although hefty research should be carried out first.
Sandler told the Toronto Sun, “Most recreational products are not appropriate for animal use. If a dog gets into a chocolate brownie with macadamia nuts, those products are toxic (to the animal) in themselves.”
There are, however, a few safety guidelines out there for pet owners who decide to pass on expensive drugs and surgeries and reach for the CBD oil instead.
Sandler advises owners to stay away from any black label (illegal) product, and to consider whether CBD will interfere with any other medication the animal is taking.
Pet owners should also make themselves aware of the differences between hemp oil and CBD oil, as both have varying properties.
Although not scientifically proven, CBD is thought to help dogs to stay calm, relieve them of pain, and even increase the appetite of senior dogs.
Most owners who took part in the study found that their dogs experienced minimal side effects. They added that they had to mostly rely on commercial websites for product information.
Speaking to Global News California, Dr. Scott Bainbridge, co-owner of Dundas West Animal Hospital in Toronto, said that the few studies conducted on CBD for pets looked positive.
He said, “I think it’s fair to say that… what works in medicine is usually applicable to animal medicine. But we are talking about a different species… and the amount of receptors for CBD that a human has may vary from a dog or a cat.
“I can see the potential for [treating] things like anxiety, arthritis or chronic pain… but we do need to do more research in the area.”