By Gabrielle Feldman
There is quite a bit of buzz about the therapeutic use of CBD (or cannabidiol) products for pets these days. With the rise of marijuana derivative products for humans, a slew of pet products have since exploded onto the market- but are they safe and effective? The Drake Center looks at the current state of this controversial topic for pet owners.
What is CBD Oil and How is it Different than THC?
According to Leaf Science, “Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two main ingredients in the marijuana plant. Both CBD and THC belong to a unique class of compounds known as cannabinoids.”
Image Courtesy of Leaf Science
THC is well known to have the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that provides recreational users with a “high”. CBD on the other hand, does not produce a high and is of wide interest to the medical community about potential therapeutic benefits.
One of the most popular forms of cannabis for dogs is CBD oil. The cannabis oil is liquid derived from the marijuana plant.
FDA testing has shown that many CBD products contain little, if any CBD. They state that it’s important to remember that these “products are not approved by FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease, and often they do not even contain the ingredients found on the label. Consumers should beware purchasing and using any such products.”
What are the Uses of Cannabis Oil for Dogs?
At the present time, there is anecdotal evidence and testimonials of dog owners using CBD oil for a variety of health issues; including epilepsy, osteoarthritis, cancer, nausea, and arthritis. Unfortunately, without rigorous scientific studies, veterinarians can not determine the effectiveness of cannabis oil for dogs, nor can we determine safe dosages. Without FDA approval and regulation, it is impossible to determine the potency of these solutions.
New Study About the Use of CBD Oil for Dogs
Recently The University of Colorado has announced that they have begun clinical trials of the use of CBD for dogs affected by osteoarthritis and epilepsy. Dr. Stephanie McGrath is leading the study and states that she doesn’t believe that CBD is a miracle cure all; however, it could be an important alternative treatment for some cases.
The Drake Center’s Stance on the Use of Cannabis Oil for Dogs
Due to the lack of research and regulation surrounding CBD pet products, we are not currently recommending them to pet owners. However, we are awaiting the results of the clinical trials to see the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of these products, as well as their safety.
What To Do If Your Dog Ingests Marijuana or Marijuana Edibles
With the legalization of marijuana in California we have seen as increase in the number of marijuana toxicity cases at the Drake Center.
Marijuana poisoning most commonly occurs as a result of oral ingestion. Dogs especially enjoy the taste of marijuana and will often eat any form they can get their paws on, including buds, plants, joints and even baggies. Of course, this list also includes baked goods containing marijuana, such as cookies or brownies.
While pets suffering from marijuana poisoning may look and act like inebriated humans, it is important to remember that they are not having fun. They are extremely anxious and neurologically impaired. If a pet eats an edible containing chocolate, it is even more imperative to seek medical treatment.
If your pet has ingested marijuana, it is important to contact your veterinarian immediately.
While most owners are embarrassed to admit that their dog is stoned, it is very important to be upfront about marijuana poisoning as the signs of toxicity so closely resemble many other neurologic conditions. Keep in mind that we cannot effectively help your pet if we do not know what we are treating.
Remember that our priority is your pet's well-being. Veterinarians are not obligated to report cases of marijuana toxicity to the police and have no interest in pursuing any legal action against you.
Have any questions? Contact us here.