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CBD use and pet mammals — what the research says
As more research findings are released about CBD’s medicinal properties when it comes to pet mammals, including dogs and cats, the compound has become one alternative medicine that’s being discussed and/or considered more now than ever before.
To date, publications from Colorado State University (CSU) and Cornell University have documented the pharmacokinetics of CBD in dog subjects. The study reported that orally administered CBD is absorbed more effectively than transdermally administered CBD (applied on the skin’s surface). The study also found that orally administered CBD was well-tolerated, suggesting support of CBD’s safety profile.
There was also a double-blind study published in 2018 and conducted by neurologist Stephanie McGrath from CSU to determine CBD’s ability to help treat seizures and epilepsy in dogs. It turns out that 89 per cent of the dogs in the study that received CBD experienced a reduction in seizure frequency.
On a similar note, the cannabis-derived product calledEpidiolex can be used by humans, but it can also be used in an extra label manner by veterinarians in accord with the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act.
To learn more about the relationship between cannabinoids like CBD and animals, especially dogs, the American Kennel Club awarded a US$350,000 grant for a three-year crossover study to focus on CBD administration for epileptic dogs.
How do veterinarians view CBD?
In a 2018 nationwide study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, numerous veterinarians shared their views about CBD in their industry. When asked about which medical ailments they would potentially treat with CBD products, the most common replies were for pain management, anxiety relief and seizure relief. And when vets were asked about the potential benefits of CBD for treating various health issues, they reported witnessing, either first-hand or via pet owner reports, that CBD was the most helpful for treating chronic and acute pain, anxiety and reducing seizure frequency/severity.
The growth of the veterinary CBD market
Not only is the global veterinary CBD market projected to reach US$125 million by 2022, the number of companies within this space is growing and starting to launch their own therapeutic-grade, food-grade, and/or personal care CBD products.
Can veterinarians recommend or prescribe CBD to pet owners?
Although cannabis is legal in more than half of the U.S., this doesn’t mean that veterinarians can legally prescribe or dispense cannabis. However, within Colorado and California (via Assembly Bill #2215), cannabis-derived veterinary CBD is deemed legal and can be discussed with pet owners and recommended. Compare that to New York, where a bill was proposed to legalize medical cannabis for pets, but has not yet been advanced.