CBD oil (cannabidiol) is being pushed everywhere as a cure all for many diseases in people and pets. Vets are being bombarded with questions and lofty claims for it’s use in pets. Public demand for for these products is going full speed ahead as it becomes legal and clients gain access to these products on the internet and other sources.
All vets can tell people is research is sketchy at best. Are they safe? Do they work? Do they interact with other medications? What diseases might they help? What are the legal ramifications for vets? What do we actually know about the science and clinical value of CBD oil so far?
Experts say they may help arthritis in doses for pets ranging from 0.1 mg/kg to as high as 5mg/KG 2x a day. That is a is a big range in doses. Another study I found says 1 to 2 mg/kg 2x a day for nerve pain, but higher doses may be needed for arthritis pain. Other studies I found have shown it may fight cancer. Some of those studies were very interesting as some cancers went into remission. The biggest claim and studies have been done on it’s use for epilepsy in dogs. A study at Colorado State University studies CBD allow for controlling seizures and found a 43 % reduction in seizures. That’s really not an impressive result. The best results were when CBD was used in conjunction with regular seizure meds not sufficiently controlled by these meds alone. When CBD was added the seizures were then controlled.
Are they safe? A veterinary neurologist gave an update and says she does not recommend CBD oil seizure patients at this time. She found that the bio availability of many CBD products a low and can interfere with the other medications used to control epilepsy. She stated that in a dog she was treating with phenobarbital the most common drug used to control seizures in vet med., unbeknownst to her the client was also giving CBD oil for 8 mo. Without her knowing. Since CBD oil interferes with the breakdown of phenobarbital, the phenobarbital blood levels went trough the roof and the dog died of liver failure. Larger studies are needed in using these drugs together.
Buyer beware! Not all CBD products are alike. Many only contain olive oil and many contain heavy metal, pesticides and other toxins. Like many vet drugs purchased off the internet they are counterfeit and have no CBD oil at all. When buying CBD oil make sure it has a (NASC) seal of quality assurance as they do testing for quality. Recently, the FDA sent 15 companies warning letters for illegally selling products containing CBD oil due to unanswered questions regarding CBD toxicity and products containing heavy metals and pesticides.
So what should vets tell clients when they ask us about using CBD oil for their pets? Well hemp oil without THC is legal now in TN. So, clients can buy it and use it. Can vets sell and claim it is effective in helping disease? Not really. People are going to and are using it anyway. All I can say at this time is use it with caution and don’t expect miracle results. I personally hope as we learn more it can be used to help pets. But, much more studies are needed in pets and humans. I’ve tried it for my many aches and pains and found I would go a few days and forget to take ibuprofen. It must have helped me. I have clients with bad backs and necks and swear by it. Who knows? But, much more research is needed.