Were you aware that until December 20, 2018, that hemp and its by-products were still considered illegal substances? The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 removed hemp also known as cannabis and its derivatives containing less than 3% THC from the Controlled Substance Act. Veterinarians discussing or selling CBD products before the passing of this bill were putting their license on the line. Due to the rising public interest in this topic, I am happy to be able to discuss CBD for pets. This will be the first of several posts to help you stay informed about CBC for pets.
Guidelines for purchasing CBD for pets:
- CBD is NOT a cure-all and should be used in conjunction with other products and under the supervision of your veterinarian.
- Request a certificate of analysis from the manufacturer so you can see what compounds and how much of each compound is in their product. Ethical companies are willing and open about the contents of their products.
- Look for a full spectrum product that contains cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids. Products that use more than one compound has a higher therapeutic value.
- Purchase products that are tested and confirmed to be free of pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, and fungus.
- Looks for products that extract their CBD using CO2 or alcohol. Other extraction methods leave behind chemicals that can be toxic to pets.
- I currently recommend CBD tinctures instead of edible products. Make sure the tincture is from a high-quality oil base and not alcohol. In fact, according to the FD&C Act, it is illegal to introduce CBD or THC into food or dietary supplements into interstate commerce. Primarily because CBD and THC are active ingredients in FDA approved drugs which are subject to clinical investigation.
- Be leery of products claiming to treat, cure or prevent diseases. The FDA has a rigorous process of approving products and failure to follow this process is illegal. There is only one FDA approved CBD product currently on the market to treat seizures in people.
- A product containing small amounts of THC has a greater therapeutic effect when combined with cannabinoids and their by-products. THC in high concentrations is toxic to pets so discuss with your veterinarian to determine the safest ratio.
- Know the concentration of the product. How many milligrams of the product is in each milliliter? The product should contain a marked dropper or syringe for easier and accurate dosing.
Once you have chosen a product containing CBD for pets here are some tips on how to safely start.
- Don’t use CBD for immature or pregnant pets
- Talk with your veterinarian especially if your pet is taking other medication.
- Start with a low dose and work your way up to the target dose.
- Keep a daily journal of your pet’s CBD dose and their reactions.