CBD oil has been all over the news and social media recently. It has been rumored to have several health benefits in both humans and pets, including as a treatment for anxiety and depression, cancer, seizure disorders and as an anti-inflammatory agent. Here at Sunset Vet Clinic, we have been fielding many questions from pet parents about its use in pets and we felt the need to relay our thoughts and present stance on its use.
What Does the Research Say?
At this time, no official research has been published that concludes CBD oil is beneficial to pets or even truly safe. One reason for this is that until recently, CBD was classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. This classification severely restricted researchers’ ability to conduct testing to determine its potential benefits.
Recently, CBD was re-classified as a Schedule 5 substance. This reclassification allowed research on its benefits to begin. While it is still early in the research process, there are some indications that it may be beneficial for some conditions.
In human medicine, the drug Epidiolex, which is derived from CBD oil, has been FDA approved for certain seizure conditions. This approval has not been extended to pets at this time.
Concerns About Using CBD Oil
There are also some real concerns regarding CBD oil use in pets:
First, regulations regarding the manufacture and quality control of CBD oil are lacking.
This means the amount of CBD listed on the label may be more or less than what is actually in the bottle. Some products have been shown to have high concentrations of pesticides and herbicides in them. Additionally, some products have been found to contain THC, which is the psychotropic agent in the cannabis plant. Dogs are much more sensitive to the side effects of THC than people and even a small amount can cause serious side effects.
Secondly, there is no established dose of CBD for dogs or cats.
Without established guidelines, there is no way to accurately and safely prescribe its use.
Finally, it can interfere with the metabolism of other medications your pet may be taking.
Enzymes in the liver are largely responsible for the metabolism of most medications and CBD has been shown to utilize and compete for these enzymes. This interference could lead to side effects brought on by other medications if they are not able to be metabolized properly and efficiently by the liver.
So, in summary, we do not endorse the use of CBD oil in pets at this time.
It’s Back to Research… for Now
Rest assured that when new evidence is published or new medications are approved which have therapeutic benefits, we will eagerly reconsider our stance. The idea of new medications that could improve the quality of your pets’ lives is always exciting to us in the veterinary world! We want to be absolutely certain we are not going to harm them in an effort to help them.
If you have additional questions, contact Sunset Veterinary Clinic by calling (405) 844-2888.