The Farm Bill made hemp legal in 2018, which removed both hemp and its seeds from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) schedule of Controlled Substances. Since the legalization of hemp, there have been developing rules and guidelines surrounding its usage.
Among those rules is the increased legalization of cannabis for medicinal and recreational usage. But what about using cannabis to help dogs and cats with their ailments? It turns out that giving cannabis to pets may be more difficult than expected, at least from a legal standpoint.
Many Veterinarians Recognize the Value of Cannabis
More veterinarians are starting to recommend CBD for pets, but they have to be very careful when doing so. Technically, veterinarians are in violation of the law if they recommend, prescribe, offer, or even discuss cannabis for pets. That’s because cannabis still remains illegal at the federal level.
Even though cannabis for compassionate use may be very valuable for pets, a lot of them won’t get the option to use it. That means pets with anxiety, pain, a loss of appetite, or other health issues could be missing out on treatment that may improve the quality of their life. For pet owners who choose to give their dogs and cats cannabis, trying to have that conversation with their veterinarian can be difficult.
Providing Cannabis to Pets May Ease Pain
Just like their human counterparts, pets can suffer from issues such as cancer and arthritis. But a pet can’t advocate for themselves or talk about their pain in the way a person can. Because of that, pets may not receive all the compassionate care options they really need, or that would improve their lives. Even though it’s not currently legal to prescribe cannabis to animals, CBD for pets may be valuable for treating some conditions and reducing symptoms, just as it is in humans.
Cannabis can provide relief from a number of sicknesses and symptoms in pets, including help for chronic conditions like arthritis, a reduction in pain from cancer, an increase in appetite, and help with anxiety, including the separation anxiety many pets may feel when their owners go on vacation, or even to work for the day. Because there are so many potential benefits to offering CBD for pets, owners often look into ways they can get what they need without a veterinary prescription.
There Are Options Without a Prescription
It may not be easy to get your hands on any cannabis products, depending on where you live. Some states are far more liberal in their cannabis laws than others, but it’s important to remember that no states have made cannabis use legal for pets. However, the Farm Bill made hemp legal for purchase, no matter what state a person is in. Hemp is in the same family as marijuana, in that they both come from the same plant species (i.e., they are both cannabis).
Hemp can provide similar benefits to marijuana, because both products contain CBD. So, CBD for pets is possible without needing to purchase actual marijuana. While marijuana has more THC than hemp, CBD can be made from either plant. That means that THC for pets can be avoided (as it can make them high), while CBD for pets is used to help reduce pain and anxiety. However, using hemp still requires purchasing for human use, and then finding the right dosage for a pet.
If you do choose to use hemp, or other products such as CBD oil for pets, though, make sure you understand how to give the product to your pet and in what quantities for maximum effect and safety. Biscuits, chews, and other edibles are among the better ways to give cannabis products to your pets. But a tincture of hemp oil could be the very best choice out there. It’s easy to put on your dog or cat’s tongue, where it will be absorbed, for maximum benefit.
The Legalization of Cannabis for Pets May Take a While
It doesn’t look like there’s going to be legalization of cannabis for pets anytime soon. It’s only recently that states have started to legalize cannabis for people, and many states still have not done so. As cannabis becomes more commonly used by people, however, it’s more likely that it will also be offered for pets. That could lead to future legalization, and the option to work with your veterinarian to help your pet with pain and other quality of life issues.
FAQ: Can dogs and cats benefit from cannabis? In many cases, dogs and cats can benefit from cannabis or hemp products. While THC for pets isn’t necessarily a good idea, there are products that contain little to no THC and that can reduce pain and discomfort, increase appetite, and reduce anxiety in both dogs and cats. By choosing the right option for your pet, it’s possible to give them the benefits of cannabis while keeping the side effects low.
FAQ: Are there safety concerns with CBD for pets? There are some safety concerns to be aware of when giving cannabis to pets. They aren’t small humans, so simply scaling down the dosage isn’t safe. Start small and increase the dose slowly. Overconsumption can lead to pets who are zoned-out, vomiting, or struggling with their equilibrium. It’s also generally better to choose CBD for pets, not products with THC in them.