Do Vets Recommend CBD?

In 2018, the Farm Bill was signed into law, making hemp legal in the United States. But, with this massive step forward came a whole lot of confusion for pet parents everywhere.

Ultimately, the Farm Bill legalized hemp, but it made the crop a highly regulated one, both for personal and industrial production, which means that laws around hemp-derived products, such as CBD, are not so straightforward.

And while this new bill allowed and protected research about hemp use in humans, the same did not go for veterinary cases. In other words, cannabis and CBD for pets are stuck in a grey area: legal yet unapproved for your favorite companion. 

So, the question remains. Do vets recommend CBD? Let’s get into it…

Why can’t vets recommend or prescribe CBD for pets?

As of July 2021, 36 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use by people—or both. And yet, none of these laws account for use of cannabis in veterinary medicine.

The result is a world where the hemp industry is booming and stores are being lined with supplements for animals and humans alike, and yet most veterinarians cannot even speak about cannabis and CBD with their clients. 

States with more established cannabis industries, such as California and Nevada, are more lenient with their veterinary restrictions. In fact, a bill passed in May 2021 will take effect on October 1, 2021, making Nevada the first state in the U.S. where veterinarians may recommend and administer CBD, if the products contain no more than 0.3% THC, to patients without fear of disciplinary action. 

Until this legislation, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association:

“California [was] the only state to specifically address veterinarians’ ability to engage with clients, indicating that veterinarians can discuss the use of cannabis for medical purposes with clients without being disciplined by the veterinary medical board solely for having that conversation.”

With the existing law, Californian vets cannot prescribe, dispense, or administer any cannabis or cannabis-based products, including CBD. However, a newly proposed bill is fighting to change this as well. 

The only other states with explicit language that allow veterinarians to have a conversation with their clients about cannabis for pets are Michigan and New York. 

Other states like Washington are stuck with unclear laws. Their State Department of Health even admits “Due to confusion on federal and state levels, we’re unable to give guidance on the legality of providing advice to clients regarding cannabis use.” 

Then, states like Utah have no state veterinary board and lump all medical professionals into the same category, providing Utah vets with absolutely no clear guidance on what does and does not put their license at risk when it comes to hemp and cannabis.

Further still, many states, such as Georgia, follow the lead of the FDA, DEA and AVMA and don’t allow the recommendation of cannabis-derived products for veterinary use.

Want to do something about this?

Contact your federal, state, and local elected leaders to improve the current veterinary cannabis laws. Visit https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials to do your part today. 

Overall, vets are put in a difficult position with respect to guidance from their state boards and this means some cannot or will not mention cannabis to clients. That’s in part why we founded Canna Companion: to provide education where it’s prohibited or not yet available.

There are many complex considerations around giving hemp to your pet: how the specific product works, proper quantities, possible drug interactions, side effects, etc. As state boards are still only learning, businesses like ours are spending every waking moment providing this exact education to our clients. 

Other organizations like Veterinary Cannabis Society and Veterinary Cannabis.org are also trying to change this gap in education and help pet parents understand what to buy and how to administer it. 

So, as your resident veterinarian cannabis experts, we can help you determine whether CBD and cannabis supplements are appropriate for your pet. 

Do vets recommend CBD?

The truth is that CBD supplements may not be right for every pet. It is important to understand the way cannabis and hemp interact with other prescription medications and/or supplements that your pet is currently taking. 

Moreover, not all CBD-containing products are labeled accurately. They may claim to have certain levels or ratios of CBD to THC, but unless you are finding reputable, third-party lab-tested products with a NASC Seal, you may be unknowingly risking your pet’s life. 

One thing all veterinarians – proponents of cannabis or not – can agree on is that supplemental care should always be discussed with an attending veterinarian. 

While your primary care veterinarian may be restricted in what they can and cannot discuss with you about your pet’s health, we at Canna Companion are happy to cover it all. In addition to being able to ship our highest-quality products to states where veterinarians cannot even talk about hemp with their clients, our consultations can answer every question under the sun as it applies to your specific pet. 

Long story short: we are the veterinarians you never knew you needed. 

Our free consultations are meant to answer this exact question for your pet’s unique needs.Just as anti-inflammatory drugs are not appropriate for all humans, CBD and cannabis supplements may not be beneficial for every pet.

Our entire management and advisory team is made up of highly esteemed doctors of veterinary medicine, licensed veterinary technicians, and veterinary cannabis counselors. Whether it’s your dog or cat or your horse, bird, or alligator, we are equipped to give you custom recommendations that are appropriate for your pet.

Overall, our team of veterinary professionals and consultants are able to provide you with the full picture. Through our consultations and deep knowledge of the field, we will be able to help you navigate the murky waters and determine whether or not CBD is right for your pet. 

Book a free consultation today and learn more about whether or not CBD is recommended for your pet.