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CBD/THC & Dogs


The use of cannabidiol-derived products is all the rage & i am frequently asked about my take on CBD & THC use on dogs.

Here it is: CBD lacks the psychogenic effects typical of marijuana while maintaining various positive medicinal properties. Anecdotally, it helps to relieve pain, sleeplessness, and anxiety.

Therapeutic indications for CBD in people have been approved in the United States to treat anorexia nervosa, lack of appetite, and epilepsy. It also has anti-nausea effects and has shown similar effects in rats and ferrets when using a behavioral surrogate of nausea. Studies examining CBD in dogs have been published. They examine the safety

efficacy of a CBD product for managing chronic arthritis and dogs appear to benefit from the CBD similar to the effect observed with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with an increase in activity and decreased pain. However, dogs with epilepsy did not have a greater reduction in seizure frequency than dogs given a placebo.

What are the Potential Negative Effects of CBD/THC Products?

CBD appears to be extremely safe in dogs. The lethal dose stans at 50 (LD50) which is the amount of a material, given all at once, that causes the death of 50% of a group of test animals. The LD50 is one way to measure a material's short-term poisoning potential.

An LD50 for the THC in marijuana cannot be established in dogs, and a dose that exceeds by 1000 the dose necessary for hallucinogenic effects is not lethal in them. Adverse events do occur (lack of muscle coordination is particularly unique in dogs), but these do not necessarily harm to the patient.

Lethal events are more likely to involve eating chocolate or significantly concentrated cannabidiol products. Note, however, that synthetic cannabinoid products (marketed as substances of abuse) are not included here.

CBD/THC products are considered extremely safe in both humans and experimental animals.

A number of businesses market CBD pet products. As with any herbal product or dietary supplement, these products are not approved by the FDA. Remember, no one regulates any supplements, not vitamins nor nutritional products. Because premarket assessment is not required in these products, neither quality, safety, nor effectiveness of the products can be assured. For example, analysis of several products by the FDA in recent years revealed that the CBD content varied and in many products was either absent or nearly absent; this is the case with many supplements.

In the absence of scientific support of dosing regimens, we have no basis for determining a dose for the various CBD preparations in animals.

The best dose must be found by trial and error; interested consumers should discuss a beginning dose with the manufacturer before giving any to their pet.

In several studies, the only obvious biochemical change in dogs was an increase in alkaline phosphatase (ALP), a liver enzyme. However, no clinical consequences were observed with this increase.

What are the Laws Governing CBD Products in the U.S?

Epidiolex is the first CBD based human drug for epilepsy approved by the FDA.

The FDA clarified its new position on CBD products in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill): it declassifies hemp as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, and legalizes hemp cultivation; however, they have not declassified CBD from marijuana, only from hemp. Hemp and marijuana are two varieties of the cannabis plant. Hemp is any part or derivative of the Cannabis sativa L. plant that contains less than 0.3% THC by weight. The bottom line is that while hemp products with less than 0.3% THC are declassified, CBD products from marijuana, which has too much THC to be declassified, are not. It is also illegal to add CBD to the food supply and dietary supplements.

Although hemp is no longer an illegal substance under federal law, the FDA now regulates products made with it: any cannabis product marketed with a claim of therapeutic benefit, even if it is hemp-derived, must be approved by the FDA before it can be sold. All cannabis and cannabis-derived products remain subject to the same rules as any other FDA-regulated products.

Your veterinarian cannot prescribe CBD products because no product, other than Epidiolex, has been approved and licensed by the FDA.

Theoretically, your veterinarian could prescribe Epidiolex to your pet. Your veterinarian cannot suggest obtaining CBD as a potential treatment for your pet’s condition.

If you ask your veterinarian about CBD for your pet’s condition, the veterinarian can discuss the potential benefits and harms.

We love to hear opinions and learn what works for you.

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