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CBD oil and your pet's health

CBD Oils for Pets – Know the Facts

Posted by Nikki Wardle on March 19, 2019 at 9:00 AM
Nikki Wardle
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As of March 2019, Idaho one of only three states that do not allow any kind of CBD (short for cannabidiol) oils to be sold either by the government or commercially. 33 states do allow some form of marijuana (includes CBD oil), and 14 states that allow varying levels of legal CBD oil to be obtained through commercial or medical means.

What is CBD oil?

Not to be confused with hemp oil which is the oil extract of the hemp seed, CBD oil is an extract of the stalk, leaf, and buds of a hemp plant. Due to the different ways of extracting oils from a hemp plant, there is potential for some small amounts of THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol) to be in the oil.

CBD oils have become extremely popular over recent years for their therapeutic properties with none of the intoxicating effects. This oil has been used to help treat cancer, epilepsy, and as an anti-inflammatory for injuries. CBD oil has also been shown to improve symptoms in depression, anxiety, neurodegenerative disorders, and seizures.

It’s no wonder that people are looking to this oil to help treat their pet’s ailments.

Alternative Form of Therapy

First and foremost, veterinarians cannot legally prescribe or recommend any kind of CBD oil because the Drug Enforcement Administration has CBD oil as a schedule 1 controlled substance. There is also very little research on the effects, benefits, and side effects of CBD oils on pets.

In 2016, one of the first studies was conducted by Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a veterinarian and assistant professor of neurology in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University. Her focus was on if dogs can metabolize CBD and if so, does it cause any health risks when consumed. Her next tests focused on CBD oils and dogs with osteoarthritis and epilepsy.

Although her findings were positives, Dr. McGrath is still very cautious in her recommending CDB products until larger-scale studies can be conducted.

Our Stance on CBD Oils for IPH Patients

We looked to our resident expert in alternative veterinary care, Dr. Teresa Sauer. She is certified in veterinary medical acupuncture and is certified in western herbal medicine. Some of the most common herbal remedies Dr. Sauer recommends are:

  • St. John's wort - helps reduce pain
  • Milk Thistle - helps with liver disorders
  • Ginger - can be prescribed for stomach problems
  • Curcumin/Turmeric - can relieve arthritis symptoms
  • Boswellia - helps with pain and arthritis
  • Devil's claw - could be used for gastrointestinal problems, arthritis, and allergic reactions

When asked if Intermountain Pet Hospital should ever consider carrying CBD oil for our furry patients, Dr. Sauer had this to say:

“If we carry it, we need to find a source that can prove there is NO THC in the product. I would rather carry a product that is veterinary specific. However, anything we can sell in Idaho has to be verified as having no THC. Currently, the Idaho Veterinary Medical Board has no comment on CBD oil and refers all inquiries to the Idaho Pharmacy Board.”

There is still a long road ahead for the use of CBD oil for pets, especially for Idaho pets. Because of the legal and ethical statutes, we cannot prescribe or even recommend the oil, but if you have questions about the controversial oil, we are always open to answer any of your questions you may have. Your pet’s health is our number one priority!

Topics: Alternative Veterinary Medicine