In case you have spent any time researching cannabis for dogs, and specifically cannabidiol (CBD), you might have probably found yourself wondering whether these items are safe, and even if they will offer any real benefits for your pained, anxious, or elderly dog.
The simple story about CBD is the fact there is not any simple story about CBD. Though CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical derived from cannabis or hemp that won’t get people or animals high like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it falls into both a medical and bureaucratic black hole where it may be extremely difficult to extract definitive information.
But we have done our very best to stare to the Cbd abyss and take out as far as possible to help you decide whether it may be beneficial to your puppy. As you’ll soon see, vets are positioned in a difficult position when conversing about these products, but you will hopefully move on out of this article with enough information to help you produce a more-informed decision.
Precisely what is CBD?
CBD hails from either hemp (the rope and fabric stuff) or cannabis (usually the recreational stuff). It can be very easy to get, is purported to provide many health benefits for pets (and folks), and is available in anything from pills and oils to specialty chews and treats. Often, you can find CBD as an oil or soft chew that may be given orally, although there are many goods like biscuits and capsules easily located online. Most significantly, unlike THC (CBD’s psychoactive cousin), it won’t obtain your dog high.
There is certainly still a whole lot we don’t learn about CBD. Better, we understand pretty much nothing definitive about CBD as a result of bureaucratic minefield that is the U.S. drug classification system. Under federal law, marijuana is a schedule 1 drug – putting it on the same level as LSD, ecstasy, and heroin. So it’s amazingly hard to even study marijuana, and the THC and CBD it contains, for medical use. Cannabis-derived CBD is still technically illegal under federal law.
That’s because the CBD in those products comes from industrial hemp, that is sort-of legal. (Hemp-derived CBD became “more legal,” and much less murky, in the 2018 Farm Bill.) Many states allow men and women to grow (cultivate) industrial hemp, including hardly any THC. Other states don’t let people grow hemp, but it may still be imported after being grown or processed in other states where it is actually legal to develop, as well as from overseas. As you have seen, while the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp and hemp-derived CBD “more” legal, it didn’t completely remove all restrictions. Here’s a slightly more in depth
To add another wrinkle, there is some debate about the potency of hemp CBD versus CBD which comes from a THC-rich cannabis plant. How accurate that debate is is itself a matter of debate, as studying cannabis-derived CBD is incredibly difficult to do due to the legal classification of marijuana (see above). Not to mention the CBD supplement market, or any supplement market for instance, isn’t exactly standardized and well regulated. So it can be very difficult to find out precisely what is in a hqbndb product (exactly how much CBD, or perhaps if it contains any traces of THC), the actual way it was created (making certain there aren’t any impurities or potentially-dangerous solvents remaining from the extraction process), or whether it actually even does exactly what it claims. And so the whole “CBD for dogs (and cats)” question and market is quite a cloudy one … but thankfully it is improving! (See further below for your responsible companies who are leading the charge, doing great clinical research and ensuring the safety, efficacy, and proper dosing of their products.)