CBD oil is such a popular supplement out there today that many humans are trying on themselves.  It is a short step to see those humans also trying it out on their pets.  Wildly popular for its claims on almost anything from cancer to anxiety, if there is an ailment, then someone is going to recommend CBD for it.    I have received a lot of questions about CBD oil in my patients and if they can use it for various problems.  There is a clear-cut answer for veterinarians currently, but it is not one my clients like to hear.  I wanted to take some time to explain the situation and clear up some possibly misunderstood information.

What is CBD?

CBD is the shortened name for cannabidiol, which is one of the most active ingredients in marijuana.  CBD is also directly derived from the hemp plant, a close first cousin of the marijuana plant. 

Is CBD oil safe?

The World Health Organization reports that 100% pure CBD does not have any psychoactive effects that are normally attributed to the “high” received from marijuana or THC. 

Is CBD legal in NC? 

Yes, essentially it is, currently.  For human use, CBD oil derived from the hemp plant that contain less than 0.3% THC, is legal to be sold in NC according to the 2018 Farm Bill passed by Congress.  However, with the FDA, it is illegal for manufacturers to add CBD oil to any food, drink or other supplements.  It is also illegal for manufacturers to make any health claims that CBD can treat diseases or ailments of any kind.  CBD oil falls under the category of a supplement according to the FDA and therefore they do not regulate the purity, quality, or safety of the products available.  A main concern of many consumers is what is in the product they are buying; and, is it safe?  The answer, unfortunately, is that no one really knows.  The product you have purchased is not guaranteed to contain anything on its label.  It may or may not have the legal limit of 0.3% THC.  It may not even have any CBD in it at all.   

Is CBD legal in veterinary medicine?

  In veterinary medicine, CBD oil along with other cannabinoids, are considered Schedule I drugs that are prohibited from use in our patients and practices FOR ANY REASON.  This means that, as veterinarians, we could lose our licenses for recommending CBD oil for any purpose no matter the formulation. 

Many would think this unfair or cry foul, but the truth of the matter is that we know very little about this compound in animals.  There are different species to consider and their unique chemistries to account for and how it will react with their bodies and other medications.  We cannot jump on a band wagon simply because it is new and exciting. 

I cannot say when or if this product will ever be legalized, let alone commonplace in veterinary medicine.  Until it is, no one at Bear Creek can make any recommendations or claims about its use.