A recent poll determined that just under 70% of dog and cat owners hit the internet searches – usually Google – prior to bringing their pet to the veterinarian when he/she is experiencing signs of illness or injury. They are instantly bombarded with massive amounts of information as to what condition may be affecting the pet and how it should be treated. I am finding that a significant percentage of the time when pet owners have consulted Dr. Google before bringing the dog or cat patient to see me, cannabidiol, aka, CBD oil is the path a pet owner has already chosen to self treat. In addition to this recent phenomenon, one cannot look anywhere without seeing signs or banners that read, “CBD Sold Here.”
So, is there validity to the new rage of CBD oil treatment for all manners of illness? Does it have clinical relevancy in veterinary medicine? I am writing to you today to give pet owners that real story on CBD for pets.
Let us start my explaining what cannabidiol, aka, CBD oil is. CBD is the essential oil and medicinal component of the hemp plant. It has been linked to effectively treating chronic pain, seizure disorders, as ancillary treatment for cancer, nausea, and anxiety. It is not to be confused with the psychotropic component of the hemp plant, tetrahydrocannabinol, aka, THC; which is the mind altering component of the hemp plant that people seek as a recreation drug.
Success in the use of CBD oil will depend on 3 factors: integrity of the product, using it for the appropriate conditions, and proper application of the entourage effect.
CBD Product Integrity
In any industry where FDA regulation is not mandatory, there is a lot of bogus product. Thus, any CBD oil product can make all manner of claims about its purity and integrity, but there is no regulatory oversight that requires a product back these claims. A CBD oil manufacturer could therefore be filling their bottles with olive oil and no one would be the wiser. This makes product selection very important in choosing to treat a given conditions in dogs and cats with CBD oil very important.
Using CBD Oil for Appropriate Conditions
CBD oil is not always indicated for given conditions. It may not be effective in management of certain illnesses or injuries or may even be deleterious and potentially make a patient worse. Consequently, without at least a tentative diagnosis, it is not advisable to just start a pet on CBD oil blindly.
The Entourage Effect is a phenomenon that has long been discovered in medical marijuana therapy clinical trials, whereby the effectiveness of CBD oil is significantly enhanced be adding back in THC. The necessary percentages will very per condition, however, the relatively small percentage of THC needed to enhance the medicinal effect of CBD oil is not sufficient to have a psychotropic effect on most pets.
Bottom Line on CBD Use in Dogs and Cats
As cliche as this may sound, it is best to refrain from choosing CBD oil therapy without first having an examination or at least a consultation with your veterinarian. A veterinarian who is well versed in cannabis medicine for dogs and cats will help guide you through all of the above concerns that will affect the appropriateness and effectiveness of CBD oil therapy for your pet.
Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian and highly regarded media personality through a number of topics and platforms. In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a globally recognized expert, Dr. Welton was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , general partner of Grant Animal Clinic, and runs the successful veterinary/animal health blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care. Dr. Welton fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.