Do Vets Recommend CBD Oil For Dogs

CBD for dogs is a novel concept with easy implementation and promising effects. Read our article to find the best CBD product for your dog. CBD pet products claim to treat pain, anxiety and even seizures, but do they work? And are they even safe? The chief veterinary officer of the American Veterinary Medical Association weighs in. Veterinarians are feeling the impact of the CBD oil trend reporting heavily via anecdotal evidence given by pet owners to assist in pain relief.

Do Vets Recommend CBD Oil For Dogs

Below is our best CBD for dogs summary with top picks and reviews.

  • Best CBD Oil for Dogs:Honest Paws CBD Oil
    Best CBD for dogs as it is organic, full-spectrum, and loaded with cannabinoids.
  • Most Affordable CBD for Dogs:Simple Wag CBD Oil
    High-quality and full-spectrum CBD for dogs at an affordable price.
  • Best Natural Ingredients:Four Leaf Rover CBD Oil
    CBD for dogs made of organic hemp and with all-natural and premium quality ingredients.
  • Best CBD Potency for Dogs:CBDistillery CBD Oil
    Full-spectrum CBD for dogs with a high potency that is suitable for large and giant dogs.
  • Most CBD for Dogs Options:Petly CBD
    A rich selection of CBD for dogs products that are safe, efficient, and simple to use.

What is CBD for Dogs?

CBD (cannabidiol) is a natural compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD for dogs is a hemp extract explicitly made for dogs. According to the American Kennel Club , although there is no definitive scientific data, ongoing research, recent surveys, and anecdotal evidence suggest pet owners can use CBD oil to manage various health issues, including neuropathic pain and seizures.

The medicinal use of pet CBD oil is not approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Therefore, state laws on a federal level prohibit veterinarians from recommending the use of CBD in pets. However, just because vets cannot prescribe CBD does not mean they cannot talk about it. If you are interested in dog CBD oil, consult with your trusted vet or look for a holistic veterinarian.

Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs?

Yes, when used in recommended doses and correctly and in the right doses, CBD for dogs is safe. Based on clinical trials, the World Health Organization issued a report on cannabidiol stating that “CBD is generally well-tolerated, with a good safety profile.”

A 2018 study from the Colorado State University called “A Report of Adverse Effects Associated With the Administration of Cannabidiol in Healthy Dogs,” states that “CBD is a well-tolerated supplement.” The same results are confirmed in the 2019 study “Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Preliminary Safety Assessment with Use of CBD-Rich Hemp Nutraceutical in Healthy Dogs and Cats.”

However, it should be noted that there are some possible side effects of CBD for dogs usage. Luckily, the potential side effects of CBD are minor and include issues like dry mouth, low blood pressure, and increased sleepiness. Usually, such side effects are linked with higher doses and the sudden introduction of pet CBD products.

Finally, we must emphasize the importance of using CBD products made exclusively for dogs. This is because human CBD products contain THC, which is toxic to dogs. Small amounts of THC are dangerous, while a large amount of THC can be fatal for dogs.

Do Vets Recommend CBD for Dogs?

Vets are not legally allowed to recommend CBD for dogs. There are strict rules regarding the use of CBD supplements in dogs and most veterinarians are not comfortable making suggestions.

However, if you believe your dog’s condition can benefit from a CBD product, you should ask the vet. If necessary, they may refer you to a holistic veterinarian that will explain the use of CBD supplements.

How does CBD for Dogs Work?

CBD for dogs works by supporting the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a regulatory system present in all mammals. The ECS is responsible for managing various body functions like metabolism, appetite, sleep, immunity, inflammation, pain, mood, memory, cognition, etc.

The ECS is made of endocannabinoids, endocannabinoid receptors, and enzymes. CBD works by replacing the body’s endocannabinoids and binding with their receptors that are located in the central and peripheral nervous systems. The bound complex regulates bodily functions, and then the enzymes destroy the complex. In a nutshell, CBD supports the dog’s health naturally through its endocannabinoid system.

What are the Benefits of CBD for Dogs?

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) states that much of what we know about the benefits of CBD for dogs come from “anecdotal or case reports” or “human studies.” However, there are some proven benefits. Let’s take a look at them.

  • Pain Relief. CBD can help manage pain in dogs, especially chronic neuropathic and osteoarthritic pain. CBD acts on several levels to achieve pain relief.
  • Reduced Inflammation. CBD has strong anti-inflammatory features. Plus, hemp extracts contain fatty acids which also have anti-inflammatory properties and add up to the effect.
  • Anxiety Management. CBD is a potent stress-reliever. The supplement supports relaxation and can help dogs with various forms of anxiety and phobias.
  • Seizure Control. CBD offers nervous system support and helps with seizures on two levels – it reduces both their intensity and frequency.
  • Immune System Boost. CBD has an immunomodulatory effect, meaning it boosts the immune system. This results in a stronger immune response and increased protection from harmful agents.

Plus, compared to medication and prescription drug options, it is much safer and with fewer side effects, especially in the long term. Namely, the best thing about CBD for dogs is that it supports the body functions and health naturally.

While CBD for dogs helps in several ways, its use must be objective and vet-approved. Dr. Jerry Klein says that when it comes to CBD oil, “the popularity and marketing is outpacing the researching and regulation.” This statement emphasizes the importance of talking to your veterinarian before using CBD for your dog’s health condition.

The Best CBD for Dogs Reviewed

With so many options for CBD for dogs, finding the best one is a challenging task. We want dog owners to spend more time with their pets and less time doing online research. Therefore, we have carefully picked and reviewed some of the best CBD for dogs.

Honest Paws CBD Oil

Summary: Rated as the number #1 pet CBD brand in the US, Honest Paws is the definition of quality. Honest Paws offers condition-specific CBD products made with organic, full-spectrum CBD and added health-boosting ingredients. In simpler words, Honest Paws covers all dogs regardless of age, size, and underlying condition.

Hemp Source: USA-grown organic hemp

Extraction Method: CO2 extraction

Potency Options: 125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg

Subscription Program: Yes, with discount


  • Condition-specific CBD products
  • Full-spectrum, organic, vegan, and human-grade
  • Sourced and manufactured in the US
  • 30-day money-back guarantee


  • Sometimes out of stock (high demand)
  • COA does not cover pesticides

Review: Pet owners say that the CBD oil is a “super awesome product” and that has “rolled back some years” in their dogs. They also mention that Honest Paws is a “CBD oil you can trust.” All in all, Honest Paws is the best CBD oil for dogs.

What are customers saying about Honest Paws CBD oil for dogs?

“CBD Wellness works at relieving joint pain for my dog, Honeybug, who has arthritis in her right back knee. Coincidentally, it also helps relieve her itching in her right ear due to chronic yeast infection.”
– Dawn C.

“We have been using CBD oil for our 5 year old dog Jax, who suffers from focal seizures. In the last few months, we have definitely seen an improvement in the frequency and severity of his seizures and we couldn’t be more grateful for Honest Paws.”

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Honest Paws Well CBD Oil for Dogs

  • Support sensitive skin & seasonal allergies
  • Boost immune system & cognitive function
  • Enhance bone & joint health
  • Promote relaxation & combat stress

Simple Wag CBD Oil

Summary: The Simple Wag CBD oil is a full-spectrum formula made from 100% pure hemp. The product is enriched with vitamins, omega fatty acids, and antioxidants. The Simple Wag CBD oil for dogs is highly efficient yet reasonably priced, thus offering an amazing cost to potency ratio.

Hemp Source: Organic hemp

Extraction Method: CO2 extraction

Potency Options: 300 mg, 600 mg, 900 mg

Subscription Program: No


  • Organic full-spectrum CBD oil
  • Lab-tested and USDA certified
  • Affordable price tag
  • Eco-friendly bottle


  • Limited selection of CBD products

Review: Pet owners are satisfied with the efficacy of the CBD oil. They are also happy with the affordable and budget-friendly price. Plus, dogs seem to “like the taste.” All in all, Simple Wag is the most affordable CBD oil for dogs.

Four Leaf Rover CBD Oil

Summary: The Four Leaf Rover CBD oil is made with full-spectrum, organic hemp and features some of the best natural ingredients. Plus, it is extracted using the preferable supercritical CO2 extraction. The Four Leaf Rover CBD oil is available at different potencies, thus making the dosing process reasonably straightforward.

Hemp Source: Organic hemp

Extraction Method: CO2 extraction

Potency Options: 125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg

Subscription Program: Yes, with discount


  • Natural product with full-spectrum hemp oil
  • Available in several different strengths
  • Extracted with supercritical CO2
  • Certificate of Analysis available


  • Occasional low stock (high demand)

Review: Pet owners say this CBD oil is a “good product to have on hand.” They also say it is “amazing” and “makes dogs go great”. All in all, Four Leaf Rover is the dog CBD oil with the best natural ingredients.

CBDistillery CBD Oil

Summary: CBDistillery is a relatively new brand, but its trustworthiness is already proven. Its high-quality CBD oil is made of non-GMO hemp plants and is reasonably priced. One of the best things about CBDistillery CBD oil is its inclusion of hempseed oil as a carrier.

Hemp Source: Hemp

Extraction Method: CO2 extraction

Potency Options: 150 mg, 600 mg

Subscription Program: Yes, with discount


  • Hemp-derived, full-spectrum CBD
  • Available in different strengths
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free product
  • Made in the USA with natural farming practices


  • Not an organic CBD oil formula

Review: Satisfied pet owners say they are “amazed by the outstanding standards” of the brand. They say the CBD is an “excellent product,” and it “works correctly and efficiently.” All in all, CBDistillery is the dog CBD oil with the best potency.

Petly CBD Oil

Summary: Petly CBD offers broad-spectrum CBD oil for pets made with non-GMO and high-quality ingredients. Its CBD oils are safe and efficient, and most importantly, easy to use because of the dog-friendly flavors. Plus, the brand has polite customer service ready to answer all CBD-related questions.

Hemp Source: Organic hemp

Extraction Method: CO2 extraction

Potency Options: 125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg

Subscription Program: Yes, with discount


  • Non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free
  • Completely THC-free
  • Excellent customer service and policies
  • Donates for pets in need


  • Broad-spectrum CBD formula

Review: Pet owners are happy that the CBD for dogs is vet-approved. They are also satisfied with its efficacy, affordability, and the fact their dogs like its taste. All in all, Petly CBD offers the most options for dogs.

What Health Problems can CBD Help Dogs With?

CBD can benefit dogs with various health problems including arthritis, allergies, cancer, seizures, anxiety, hyperactivity, glaucoma, and lymphoma.

CBD Oil for Dog Arthritis

Canine arthritis is a widespread issue, especially among older dogs of certain breeds. The condition manifests with joint pain and impaired mobility. CBD for D ogs With Arthritis is helpful on two levels. First, CBD helps relieve chronic pain and second, it has anti-inflammatory properties . Dogs supplemented with CBD oil require lower NSAID doses for pain relief. The benefits of CBD for dogs with arthritis are also demonstrated in a study by Cornell University.

CBD Oil for Dog Allergies

Allergies are increasingly common among modern dogs. CBD for Dog Allergies is a novel perspective and therapeutic opportunity . CBD manages the universal allergy symptom – inflammation and can help with different allergies , including atopic dermatitis and seasonal allergies . In dogs with allergies, CBD works by balancing the immune system.

CBD Oil for Dog Cancer

With one in three dogs developing cancer at a certain point, this is a prevalent ailment. CBD for Dogs With Cancer offers promising effects . CBD can help destroy cancer cells , prevents metastasis , and has tumor-shrinking features . Plus, CBD has anti-nausea effects and can help relieve the harmful side effects of chemotherapy.

CBD Oil for Dog Seizures

Seizures are the most common neurologic disorder in dogs. CBD for Dog Seizures is a promising option especially for treatment-resistant epileptic dogs. In a groundbreaking 2018 study , from the Colorado State University, CBD was found helpful for seizure management in 89% of the cases. The AKC Canine Health Foundation is funding studies to backup these results.

CBD Oil for Dog Anxiety

Anxious dogs exhibit two forms of stress, situational and behavioral. CBD for Dog Anxiety can help with both issues. CBD reduces the dog’s anxiety by changing the way the brain responds to serotonin (the so-called feel good hormone). What is more, CBD promotes better sleep in anxious pets and can help with noise phobias .

CBD Oil for Dog Hyperactivity

True hyperactivity in dogs is relatively rare. However, many dogs exhibit certain fractions of unwanted hyper behavior which are linked with three main chemicals including dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. CBD for Hyper Dogs can balance the dog’s mood and emotional wellbeing by modulating their levels. Plus, CBD oil promotes calmness and relaxation .

CBD Oil for Dog Glaucoma

Glaucoma affects 1.7% of dogs in North America and if untreated, results in blindness. CBD for Dog Glaucoma can lower intraocular pressure (IOP) . Additionally, CBD is rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties . In simple words, CBD oil boosts eye health .

CBD Oil for Dog Lymphoma

Accounting for as much as 24% of all canine neoplasia cases in the US, Lymphoma is a common condition. CBD Oil for Dog Lymphoma is an excellent addition to the multimodal treatment plan. CBD supports tumor cell death and can help prevent tumor spreading . Simply put, CBD has an extensive range of anti-cancer properties .

How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog?

The recommended dosage of CBD for dogs is between 1 and 5 mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight as a daily dose. The exact dose depends on the underlying condition for using the CBD product. If you are not sure, double-check the mg CBD your dog needs with a licensed veterinarian.

To minimize the risk of harmful side effects, it is advisable to start with lower doses and then gradually increase the small amounts of CBD as your dog gets used to the new supplement. The good news is that dogs cannot overdose on CBD. If you give your dog too much CBD oil, it will sleep off the effects.

What Potency of CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog?

Pet CBD tinctures are available in different strengths. Generally speaking, the stronger potencies are reserved for dogs that need higher doses. This is because in such a case, you can use a smaller amount of the CBD tincture to achieve the wanted effect. High-strength or extra-strength CBD for dogs are also recommended for large and giant breeds (they need more mg CBD per dose, and such options will have a better cost to efficacy ratio).

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How Much CBD Treats Should I Give My Dog?

You should give your dog between half and two or even three CBD treats. The exact amount of CBD treats your dog needs depends on its body weight and the concentration of CBD per treat.

Read the label on the CBD package carefully to determine your dog’s dosage. If you are not sure how to calculate the right dose, ask the vet for help.

How Can I Give CBD to My Dog?

High-quality CBD for dogs comes in different forms and therefore can be given in different ways. Below is a short review of some of the most popular ways of giving your dog CBD.

Sublingual CBD Administration. You can draw CBD oil into the dropper and squirt it directly into your dog’s mouth. This is a quick-acting approach but not all dogs like the handling and the CBD taste. However, if you need fast results, giving the CBD extract sublingually is the method of choice.

CBD Infused Treats. CBD-infused dog treats are available in many forms like soft chews, bites, peanut butter. They are also usually enriched with additional health-boosting ingredients like chondroitin sulfate, turmeric, chamomile. CBD treats offer a better chance of dosing picky eaters and are more practical if you are on the go.

Homemade CBD Treats. You can bake your own CBD dog treats using high-quality CBD tincture and some dog-friendly natural ingredients. However, you need to remember that high temperatures deactivate CBD. Also, because of the uneven distribution of the CBD tincture, it will be hard to determine the right dosage for your dog.

Topical CBD Application. There are CBD products like balms or creams explicitly made for topical use in dogs. They are efficient and practical as long as you can keep your dog from licking them until fully absorbed. The licking is not harmful, but it will affect the efficacy of the CBD topical.

How do I Choose CBD for My Dog?

Considering the CBD market size, finding a high-quality CBD for dogs will be much easier if you know what to look for. So, before you visit the local pet store or an online shop, you need to consider several factors. Below is a list and a short review of those factors.

Third-Party Lab Testing. The efficacy and safety of the CBD for dogs must be checked through a third-party lab test. The lab issues its results in form of a document called Certificate of Analysis (COA). COA provides a full chemical breakdown of the final product including types and amounts of cannabinoids and confirms the absence of contaminants like pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, and preservatives.

Hemp Source. CBD for dogs (and pets in general) must be extracted from hemp and not marijuana. This is because marijuana contains THC, which is toxic to pets. On the other hand, the hemp plant contains less than 0.3% THC, and such small amounts cannot cause problems in dogs.

Types of Extracts. There is a big difference between hemp oil and hemp seed oil. The first is extracted from the hemp plant’s leaves, flowers, and stalks and loaded with cannabinoids. The latter is made from hemp seeds and rich in omegas but lacking cannabinoids. Hempseed oil is still good for dogs, but it comes with fewer health benefits than hemp CBD oil.

CBD Isolate. CBD isolates are oil formulas that contain only one cannabinoid – cannabidiol. Isolate CBD for dogs is health-boosting but not as efficient as full and broad-spectrum formulas.

Full Spectrum. Full-spectrum CBD for dogs offers maximum benefits for dogs and is stronger than broad-spectrum hemp. This formula has a versatile cannabinoid profile and compounds with entourage effects like terpenes, flavonoids, and omega fatty acids.

Brand Transparency. Reputable and trustworthy CBD companies are transparent about their products. They will have their COAs available and offer insight into reviews from other pet owners. When checking brands, pay attention to policies like free shipping and within how many business days the order is shipped, money-back guarantees, and customer support services.

Made in the USA and Organic. Always look for a CBD pet tincture made in the USA and from organic hemp. This is because the heavy use of pesticides in industrial hemp and CBD-rich industrial hemp flowers is hazardous to dogs and cats. Ideally, the right CBD for dogs should be organic and made in the USA.

With that being said, it is necessary to see your vet before adding CBD products to your dog’s healthcare regimen. The veterinarian will evaluate the need for CBD, help you choose the right product, and give dosage & usage instructions.

Do Vets Recommend CBD Oil For Dogs

But do these products work? And are they even safe?

“What’s out there right now are not approved for therapeutic usage for animals,” said Gail Golab, chief veterinary officer for the American Veterinary Medical Association.

That’s because the Food and Drug Administration has yet to establish standards for regulating CBD. “One way we can have assurance that products are safe and effective is if they’ve gone through the approval process established by the FDA,” Golab said. The lack of federal oversight means it’s difficult for consumers to really know what’s in CBD products, she added.

That goes for CBD products marketed for use by pets and people.

Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a non-intoxicating molecule found in marijuana and hemp. The vast majority of CBD products come from hemp, which has less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol – THC, the chemical that gives marijuana its high and is toxic to pets.

CBD pet products range from oils and tinctures to foods and treats. Treatment claims made by the products are just those – claims – because there is limited research behind them, according to Golab.

But that’s starting to change. A small clinical trial at Colorado State University found CBD oil reduced seizure frequency in 89% of epileptic dogs that received it, according to the Associated Press. Another study found CBD oil helped increase comfort and activity in dogs with osteoarthritis.

Despite those promising results, Golab says more research is needed. “There may be value in use of (CBD) products to help support the treatment of epilepsy or osteoarthritis, but the research that’s out there isn’t conclusive,” she said, adding there are approved medications for those conditions. “We don’t want pet owners to choose CBD as an alternative to those things that have been shown to work.”

But if pet owners are using CBD products – or even thinking about using them – vets want to know because they could potentially interfere with a pet’s other medications, according to Golab. “It can change the amount of medication that needs to be given to be effective. It can also change (how frequently) medication is given to be effective,” said Golab. “It’s very important for pet owners if they’re actually using these products to tell their veterinarian.”

While CBD ingestion doesn’t appear to cause external symptoms in pets – unlike THC, which can cause incoordination and mild incontinence, among other things – that doesn’t mean CBD is harmless for pets. “There’s not a lot of safety information out there to really allow us to determine what the acute or long-term effects (of CBD use) are,” Golab said.

Despite this, Golab acknowledges that some people will still give their pets CBD products. While veterinarians shouldn’t recommend CBD products, they can help pet owners weed through the myriad of companies offering products, according to Golab.

At a minimum, pet owners should research companies to ensure they have what’s called a certificate of analysis, which means a third party tests their products, says Golab. “But again you need to be careful, especially if other medications are being used to treat a pet’s condition.”

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Why Do (or Don’t) Vets Recommend CBD Oil?

CBD oil is all the rage and we’re not talking about CBD oil for your pain. It’s received increased attention in regards to treating pain in our dogs. This initially sounds alluring, right? A natural product to help ease the health conditions of our precious dogs, because after all, dogs are like family. Anything that can make them feel better is our kryptonite. But like any new popular trend or fast emerging product marketed to make our lives easier – it’s going to have its fair share of pushback, particularly when it comes to health. Applying this to our pets just adds a whole other layer.

As a result, the CBD market is now rising with CBD-related questions from pet owners everywhere, as more people get access to products. And veterinarians everywhere are feeling the impact, being the source of a number of questions, requests, and expectations among patients regarding CBD’s effects on dogs.

Can it help my dog’s chronic pain?
Will it alleviate symptoms of cancer?
Can it chill my anxious dog when I need to leave the house?

The answer is… there is no definitive answer. Currently, CBD has been reported heavily via anecdotal evidence given by pet owners to assist in pain & arthritis relief. However, it’s important to note that due to the evolving, growing nature of this sector, there are going to be diverse opinions. Thus far, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) believes that research of CBD as a treatment for animals is still very limited. On the other hand, it can’t be denied that there are success stories – both within scientific and anecdotal evidence.

When it comes to discussing it as a treatment with your veterinarian, that’s where things get a bit more tricky. Regardless, you should always notify your vet if you’re thinking about giving your dog CBD. Just take note: some vets are on board with CBD for dogs while others are apprehensive. You may not always get the information you’re seeking. So what’s the deal?

Table of Contents

The Great Vet Divide: What side are you on?

This anonymous survey was conducted by the VIN News Service in early 2018 to assess veterinarian’s views pertaining to marijuana and CBD/hemp products. A total of 2,130 responses were recorded and evaluated. 63% of veterinarians reported they were asked about CBD oil at least once a month.

Some of the most interesting stats to come out of this survey based on first-hand observations or owner reports of:

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain, 34% identified CBD as very helpful, and 56% as somewhat helpful.

Acute Pain

Acute pain, with 23% assessing it was very helpful and 60% as somewhat helpful.

Anxiety & Seizure Frequency

75% of vets that participated noticed CBD as being helpful at reducing anxiety and seizure frequency.
There are now clinical trials that back this up.

More pertinent though is 85% reported rarely or never initiating conversations about CBD with their clients.

So why don’t some vets recommend CBD?

So far, the two most common reasons that come up as to why a vet would not advise or recommend CBD are lack of knowledge and illegality. Let’s go further into both these reasons.

Lack of CBD Knowledge

The fact is, public popularity and curiosity for CBD are surging faster than research on the matter. While there are some promising scientific studies and trials, it’s still relatively scarce and so far, most of what we know is related to CBD’s impact on humans. It’s not yet clear about what exactly CBD products are effective for, and what the potential long-term side effects may be. With that comes misunderstandings of appropriate CBD dosage for dogs and interference with other drugs. The good news is slowly arriving on the horizon though. A recent Cornell University study discovered that CBD can improve arthritis pain.

However, the information we know so far based on some minimal research and anecdotal testimonies is that CBD does help with pain management. And while there is some encouraging sentiment for further deep dives into CBD, for now, many vets are on the fence because they can’t, in good confidence, assure that it will be a helpful remedy. Some vets may just have more questions than answers, especially with safety and efficacy. Without more evidence-based research, it’s challenging for a medical professional to provide precise recommendations.

If you decide to buy CBD for your dog, at the very least, most vets advise getting a certificate of analysis from the company for assured quality ingredient identification. Additionally, choose a product made for animals from a reputable CBD manufacturer. Human-friendly CBD products in gummy form might contain Xylitol which is toxic for animals.

Find safe products here in our list of best CBD for dogs in 2022

Dr. Wallace Graham of VCA Oso Creek Animal Hospital has made clear:

“My advice to people that ask me about using CBD and their pets is to buy it from a source that has a third party, or FDA analysis of their product.” So even if your vet doesn’t have all the answers, this can provide some sense of reliability.

Legal Ambiguity

This is where things get a little technical and complex because federal and state laws are different. Furthermore, CBD’s legality is different depending on whether it’s derived from industrial hemp or marijuana. In this case, we’re referring to CBD derived from hemp, meaning less than 0.3% THC.

The 2018 Farm Bill loosened the restrictions for hemp-derived CBD. This new law finally removed hemp that has been derived from cannabis with extremely low concentrations of THC (the psychoactive compound that produces a high) from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. Consequently, this pertains more to the use of CBD in humans as recommended by a human physician. More than half of U.S. states have passed legislation allowing medical marijuana for use in humans (under strict guidelines). This is good news for clinical trials, as this bill will open up a lot of research into CBD for human consumption.

In the terrain of veterinary medicine, the situation hasn’t really changed. There are not yet CBD products approved for use in animals, therefore veterinarians (under federal law in the U.S.) are not at liberty to legally administer, recommend or prescribe CBD for pets.

This doesn’t mean you can’t purchase CBD for your dog on your own will, on the contrary – you can legally purchase hemp-derived CBD products for dogs, as long as you’re 21 or older. But in most cases, you might not have the liberty to go through a vet for final approval.

Given this, CBD for animals looks different depending on the state and even on a clinic basis. In fact, recently in California, on September 27, 2018, lawmakers passed legislation that makes it legal for licensed vets to discuss cannabis products with their patients. While this doesn’t go the lengths of allowing a prescription, it’s still forward momentum. So far California is the only state to pass this kind of bill but the veterinary boards in Colorado and Oregon allow vets to also discuss cannabis with their patients.

One of the main roadblocks to widespread regulation is the limited research into the effects of CBD to treat dogs. As a result, the FDA hasn’t yet approved CBD for use in dogs. But research won’t continue to develop without legal backup. As states continue to pass statutes allowing further research, we could see more leeway. For now though, what about the vets that are discussing CBD and its effects?