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The safety and risks of using CBD for dogs

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Posted at 9:05 AM, Jul 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-19 11:40:51-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — There is a new trend of CBD products that are being marketed to pet owners as a viable treatment for their ailing animals.

More and more companies are now making pet products that use CBD, one of the active ingredients found in hemp and cannabis plants.

“This is the latest fad, and there are a lot of people getting into the business because it is a way to make a lot of money quick because people are demanding it. And, so, it's just buyer beware,” said VCA Oso Creek Animal Hospital Veterinarian Dr. Wallace Graham.

People don’t need a prescription for CBD from hemp in the way you would need one for medical marijuana. However, experts caution the supplements are not necessarily a good fit for every animal.

“My advice to people that ask me about using CBD and their pets is to buy it from a source that has a third party, or FDA analysis of their product. That needs to be an ongoing kind of thing so their products are tested from time to time so that it is established that they have in them what they say,” said Graham.

The safety and risks of using CBD for dogs have not yet been researched. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved CBD and has not issued a dosing chart.

“CBD that is marketed now is not a prescription product; it is not FDA regulated, and as a matter of fact, when the FDA has tested many of these products, they have found that they have little or no CBD in them actually,” said Graham.

When it comes to using CBD for your pet, it’s a question veterinarians get every day. But in the state of Texas, veterinarians cannot discuss or recommend CBD to clients.

“It is not proper for a veterinarian to recommend to his or her patients any products for which there is no established efficacy, and CBD falls in that category,” said Graham.

Graham says once the research is done, we will find that there will be some indications for CBD, probably not as a standalone product, but as a part of an overall program for epilepsy, nausea, or arthritis pain.

While there’s no scientific data on the side effects of CBD usage for dogs, there are potential side effects based on how CBD affects humans.

• Dry mouth: Research has shown that CBD can decrease the production of saliva. For dogs, this would manifest as an increased thirst.
• Lowered blood pressure: High doses of CBD have been known to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. Even though the drop is small, it might create a brief feeling of light-headedness.
• Drowsiness: Dog owners have used CBD to treat anxiety. The calming effect of CBD can also cause slight drowsiness, especially when using higher doses.

A good website to visit is veterinarycannabis.org. It's all about CBD for pets and what you need to know.