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CBD for Pets: What Do Vets Really Think?

Is your vet skeptical about recommending CBD for pets?

Many pet owners are asking veterinarians about CBD. Research shows 7.4% of vets receive questions on CBD daily, 26.4% get it monthly, and 28.8% encounter CBD queries weekly.

Therefore, we can detect an increased interest in CBD world around. From calming your furry friends to dealing with pain, the ingredient from hemp plants is said to have many benefits.

However, some vets are not willing to talk about CBD. They may show a lack of interest in holding a discussion or shy away completely from the topic.

On the other hand, some veterinarians encourage discussion around alternative treatments like CBD. But what holds back the rest of the vets?

What do veterinarians really think about CBD?

Let’s explore the topic in depth.

Why Aren’t Vets Willing to Discuss CBD for Pets?

Before we learn how vets feel, let’s find out why some don’t want to discuss CBD. As you will see, many reasons hold back vets even if they feel like talking about CBD.

Here are the most common reasons vets don’t encourage CBD discussions:

Issues with Legality

CBD or cannabidiol comes from the hemp plant. Hemp belongs to the family of cannabis Sativa and contains less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive ingredient in weed.

Till a few years back, anything related to cannabis was illegal, except in a few states. The Farm Bill of 2018 legalized hemp-derived products, including CBD.

As a result, CBD became legal federally and caused a big boom in the market.

However, federal laws still prevent veterinarians from recommending, prescribing, dispensing, or administering cannabis products, including CBD.

Naturally, vets can land into legal troubles if they go against the law and suggest CBD treatment. Therefore, they generally refrain from talking about giving CBD to your loyal companions.

Fortunately, some states are taking things into their own hands and had passed laws to allow vets to discuss CBD.

Vets in Michigan, Nevada, and California are now free to discuss or recommend CBD for pets.

Lack of Knowledge

43% of vets don’t have any clinical experience with CBD. So, it’s quite natural they don’t want to take risks to dive into something that requires expert knowledge.

In the case of other vets, they aren't fully aware of CBD and its benefits. For example, 57.3% of veterinarians know some differences between CBD and marijuana products, while only 20.2% know a lot.

Additionally, veterinarians don’t learn about alternative treatments like CBD in college. Again, it shows vets don’t have adequate knowledge to give professional advice on CBD.

However, recent graduates are more open about the therapeutic value of marijuana and stay updated on the latest developments.

They may be more willing to discuss CBD options for animals.

Limited Research

Research on CBD is at its nascent stage. We have a few promising studies but not a lot to recommend CBD for medical conditions.

Among claimed benefits, CBD may be helpful for pets to:

  • Manage pain and aches
  • Relax in stressful situations
  • Promote sleep
  • Support joint disorder treatments
  • Mange seizures
  • Work up appetite

We have a handful of clinical trials in the above areas but still need more research to reach conclusions. As more research is conducted, we can learn the truth about CBD and get vets to recommend it confidently.

For example, the American Kennel Club is conducting a large-scale study to determine how CBD affects dogs with seizures.

In a few years, we may have all the evidence we need to recommend CBD for pets.

The Changing Landscape: Veterinarians are More Willing to Discuss CBD

The number of clinical trials on CBD is growing with every passing day. We are getting promising results from research encouraging more vets to try CBD for dogs and cats.

Along with that, states are relaxing laws to allow vets to talk about CBD. Many have already tried CBD oil for a range of conditions like anxiety, joint pain, and seizures.

Let’s find out how some veterinarians feel about CBD for pets right now.

CBD is Safe for Pets

Many pet parents think twice before trying CBD for their four-legged friends. Just like vets, they are skeptical about whether CBD is the right choice.

However, many veterinarians are now assured about the safety of CBD, like Stephanie McGrath. She is an assistant professor of neurology at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University.

Like other vets, she wasn’t too sure about the safety of CBD. However, after multiple clinical trials, she found CBD to be safe for pets.

She thinks we need more research to establish the effectiveness of the substance.

CBD May Help Pets to Relax

Pets suffer from anxiety due to several causes like separation and meeting strangers. The anxiety can result in outward symptoms like aggressive behavior or whining.

CBD has been shown to calm humans by interacting with the brain and CNS. Scientists believe CBD acts on endocannabinoid receptors to regulate fear responses and anxiety signals.

In the process, CBD produces a relaxing effect.

CBD may act in the same way to calm pets and reduce anxiety symptoms. According to CBD Vets Australia, cannabidiol may reduce anxiety behaviors like:

  • Barking
  • Whining
  • Pacing
  • Restlessness

Vets feel CBD will not cure anxiety but may help pets relax in a non-specific way.

CBD for Pain Management in Pets

Many people are trying CBD for pain relief. The trend is also visible in animals, with pet parents wondering if CBD is a safe alternative to NSAIDs.

What do vets feel about the topic?

Experts agree CBD may be useful for managing pain, like Lara Sypniewski, DVM and professor at Oklahoma State University in small animal medicine.

As per Dr. Sypniewski, CBD may have analgesic properties that reduce pain in pets. In addition, she says CBD may also come with anti-inflammatory effects.

Research also seems to back up what vets think. We have a handful of studies that found CBD to reduce pain for conditions like Spontaneous Osteoarthritis in dogs. Additionally, it may also help pets improve mobility and quality of life.

Dr. Sypniewski is quite optimistic about CBD and thinks it may even help pets manage other pain conditions.

CBD May Reduce Seizures in Pets

CBD has turned out to be a holistic treatment for seizures in children. Many kids now lead a normal life thanks to the therapeutic benefits of CBD.

Recently, some vets have found CBD to be beneficial for pets with epilepsy. It may bring down the frequency of seizures and allow pets to improve their quality of life.

Let’s take a look at what Lauren Beaird, DVM, has to say.

Beaird was just like other vets, too traditional to recommend clients alternative treatments. However, she started to educate herself as she had more questions on CBD.

Over the years, Dr. Beaird became more aware of the benefits of full-spectrum CBD oil on seizures. This type of CBD oil is made from different parts of the hemp plant and not just seeds or leaves.

As a result, full-spectrum CBD oil provides other beneficial ingredients in hemp to pets.

Dr. Beaird now uses CBD oil to help pets manage seizures. She even relies on CBD as support to treat pets with anxiety, arthritis, and cancer.

Additional Benefits of CBD for Pets

Vets believe CBD has a few more additional benefits for our furry friends. Let’s take the example of Paul Rowan, a vet at The Center of Animal Healing.

Apart from seizures, Dr. Rowan uses CBD to support cancer treatment and reduce tumor growth. He also tried CBD for a dog with weird spots on its skin that resembled warts.

CBD was able to make the spots flatten and disappear when other treatments didn’t work.

Veterinarians like Dr. Rowan are now more comfortable discussing CBD for pets today. He also includes CBD treatment for all pets that will benefit from its use.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

The jury is still out on the effectiveness of CBD for pets. We are getting promising results from various studies but need more to reach concrete conclusions.

Pet parents who want to try CBD for their furry friends should keep a few things in mind, say vets.

The first consideration is to give your pets full-spectrum CBD for more benefits. In addition, try to administer CBD to pets with meals for better absorption, suggests DVM Joseph Wakshlag.

Moreover, get CBD products that are made for your pet. You can buy CBD oil for dogs, CBD oil for cats, and so on.

So, always use the right product for the type of pet you have. Additionally, stick to the serving size mentioned on the label for complete safety.

Final Thoughts

Vets are becoming more educated about the therapeutic benefits of CBD. Many actively take up the topic with their clients or show the direction to get the right answers. You can always ask your vet about CBD for pets to see what they have to say. In some states, you may even ask vets to recommend CBD products.

We also have countless blogs on CBD and its nuances. Click here to read more informative articles right now.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.