CBD-the conversation we aren’t having

posted on March 01, 2019 by Dr. Jamie Hartman

We are having more and more clients asking about products containing CBD oil, so I thought I’d address this via blog.

At this time, all CBD products are still illegal to sell in Minnesota and other states across the US.  Yes, that’s right, illegal.  Therefore, we cannot recommend these products at this time.

However, the DEA is unlikely to go after every pet owner giving CBD oil products to their pets, and I know some clients are using them, so here is more of what we do know about them.  Please, if you are giving them, tell us when we ask what medications and supplements your pet is on so we can make the best possible recommendations for your pet.

CBD oil is supposed to contain less that 0.1 % THC (the active agent in marijuana). However, since the products are illegal, they are not being regulated.  This means the product could contain varying amounts of THC-from none all the way up to toxic levels.  The FDA usually closely monitors and requires rigorous testing to label a drug for sale including monitoring active ingredient levels and label claims for diseases they are used to treat.  There is none of this currently in the industry for pets.  The ASPCA Poison Control Center has been seeing cases where pets are exhibiting the same signs of marijuana toxicosis when they ingest CBD products.

CBD manufacturers widely claim their product helps with a variety of illnesses and ailments, from GI issues, seizures, osteoarthritis, to helping anxious pets.  Unfortunately, very little research has been done to confirm any of this.  It is possible that it may be beneficial in some of these cases, but we have very limited data and cannot safely recommend it at this time.  We also have no data on how CBD oil interacts with other medications or organ functions.  For instance, a pet with seizures is often put on phenobarbital.  Phenobarbital is a barbiturate class medication, meaning it can cause nervous system depression.  THC is also a nervous system depressant.  At this time we do not know if these medications can be used in conjunction safely in our pets.  Opioid pain medications are also used for some conditions, and may cause a similar issue with nervous system depression.  Pets who have arthritis tend to be older pets, who may have other health issues such as kidney disease or heart disease for instance.  We again do not know if CBD products are safe to use with these conditions.

Overall, until CBD becomes legal and we get some research and regulation, we are not recommending these products at this time.  If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

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