Chances are, you’ve heard about CBD, and you’ve maybe even heard from those that have had really good experiences taking CBD on a regular basis. CBD, or cannabidiol, is gaining more and more popularity in the supplement world - both with humans and with pets.
CBD is talked about as having beneficial effects, but you may be wondering why you haven’t heard much about it from your veterinarian.
And if your veterinarian isn’t talking about it, you may be hesitant to bring it up to them.
Remember, you should always talk to your veterinarian before starting your pet on a new supplement, especially if they’re on other medications. Let’s talk about how to bring the topic of CBD up with your vet, and let’s also explain why you won’t hear them mention it first.
What is CBD?
Before we dive right in, let’s review what CBD is. CBD is short for cannabidiol, a cannabinoid found in the hemp plant. CBD is a phytocannabinoid (“phyto” means made by plants) and it mimics our body’s own endocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids work with the body’s endocannabinoid system (or ECS) to restore the body’s homeostasis.
We can’t talk about CBD without mentioning its infamous cousin. THC is a phytocannabinoid as well and is known for its psychoactive effects on the body, creating a “high”.
While a phytocannabinoid derived from the hemp plant just like THC, CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects. You cannot get “high” on CBD.
Why Won’t Vets Talk About CBD
You may be thinking that vets won’t talk about CBD because they think it’s just a gimmick or because they don’t want to promote more natural options. While some of them may have this opinion, the truth is, they can’t talk about it. There are laws that restrict the way veterinarians are able to discuss CBD with their clients.
Veterinarians in most states are not allowed to recommend or dispense CBD to their clients. Even in states where cannabis is legal, the laws around veterinary CBD (which is derived from hemp and contains no THC) are so murky that most veterinarians are afraid to discuss it and unknowingly break the law.
If they are found to be in violation of the law, a veterinarian could face disciplinary action from the licensing board. They could have their license suspended or even revoked. These laws aren’t just frustrating to pet owners who want to find and learn about natural options for their pet’s health conditions. Many veterinarians are also frustrated by the vagueness of the laws and their inability to adequately discuss CBD as an effective wellness option for their clients.
Thankfully, the way CBD is handled by veterinarians is slowly changing. In California, they are attempting to pass laws that make recommending veterinary CBD-infused products totally legal. As the laws regarding cannabinoids change and more research is able to be conducted and readily available, there will hopefully be a change in the way veterinarians are allowed to talk about CBD in their practice. Until that time, pet owners will need to find ways to discuss CBD with their veterinarian that won’t be on the wrong side of the law.
Why You Need To Talk To Your Vet About CBD
Anecdotally, CBD might sound like a miracle product. In reality, there is evidence suggesting that it can be helpful for a number of ailments that are common in pets.
Most commonly, pet owners choose CBD for pets suffering from the following health issues:
- Poor appetite due to illness
In these cases, CBD may prove helpful. But CBD is like any other supplement on the market; it just might not be right for your pet. For example, your pet may be on medication that will cause a negative interaction. Although CBD is generally thought to be safe, every animal is different and yours may have a bad reaction.
Your veterinarian knows your pet’s health history and how they’ve reacted to medications and supplements in the past. This is why you need to have a conversation with them before your pet starts any new supplement, including CBD.
How To Talk About CBD With Your Veterinarian
Your veterinarian can’t recommend or dispense CBD, but they can answer your questions. Go to your pet’s vet appointment with your questions written down so you don’t forget anything important. These questions should include:
- “Will CBD negatively interact with any medicines my pet is currently on?”
- “What does the research suggest about using CBD in animals with my pet’s condition(s)?”
- “What are the adverse effects of using CBD for my pet?”
- “How should I properly research CBD? Where can I go to learn more?”
- “Are you familiar with any of the research into CBD for veterinary purposes?”
- “Does my pet have any contraindications that would make CBD use dangerous?”
- “If I were to start using CBD with my pet, how do I select the right product?”
Advocating For Your Pet
CBD is becoming more mainstream, and the laws regarding hemp-derived CBD are certainly easing. The language around veterinary use is slowly being clarified which means eventually, it will be easier for your vet to discuss it with you. Until CBD for veterinary use has come out of the legal fog it is currently mired in, it may be hard to get all of the answers you’re looking for.
If you truly believe CBD is the right option for your pet, do your research. Find peer-reviewed studies in well-respected publications; this is an area in which your veterinarian can definitely help you.
If you purchase CBD products, make sure they are animal-safe and free of THC. Purchase from a reputable brand that has their testing done in outside labs. They should have their lab results readily available. If you can not easily find the results of their laboratory tests, avoid the product and the company.
You can visit Homescape Pets lab results page here.
If you think CBD is right for your pet, keep your veterinarian informed. Your veterinarian should be familiar with your pet and their conditions, so they can help keep track of any changes that occur with the use of CBD.
A good veterinarian will find a way to answer any questions you have, even with the legal grey area veterinary CBD products are currently in. If you trust your veterinarian, don’t be afraid to talk to them about why you think CBD is right for your pet.