What Veterinarians Really Think About CBD For Pets
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CBD offers a bunch of potential benefits for our pets' ailments, so why aren’t more veterinarians writing prescriptions?
According to Dr. Andrea Carlson at Southlake Animal Hospital, "Your traditional vet may not recommend CBD for several reasons. These include:
Not being aware of the benefits.
Fear of recommending CBD because it was previously listed as illegal.
The veterinarian may have used a product that was not full-spectrum and it may not have worked [many broad-spectrum products are available, but full-spectrum is the one you need].
The lack of available research.
Veterinarians learn about conventional pharmaceutical medicine at vet school, not holistic medicine, like CBD.
Despite these obstacles, many vets have seen first-hand the benefits of CBD in their practice. This is what they say.
Mostly positive experiences
Like many veterinarians, Lauren Beaird, DVM, began her career as a "very traditional practicing veterinarian, where I was not comfortable recommending anything outside of the standard western medical treatments," she says. When clients inquired about CBD, "I could not answer their questions and guide them to helpful answers. It certainly took some time and effort to educate myself on the use of properly sourced, extracted, organic full-spectrum hemp oil for pets. Through some trial and error, I realized that not all products are created equal. It is so important to know the company and its quality control standards.”
Now Dr. Beaird is more comfortable managing pets with seizures with full-spectrum hemp oil and a quality diet. "I have several pets that benefit from full-spectrum hemp oil that are suffering from arthritis, cognitive decline, anxiety, and even cancer,” she says.
She even uses it on her own dog, who suffers from separation and noise phobia. “While hemp may not be a cure-all, it is always part of my treatment plan recommendations for pets with any chronic illness or inflammatory disorder,” Dr. Beaird says.
Paul Rowan, DVM of The Center of Animal Healing, claims CBD oil has been useful in helping his patients reduce seizure activity. CBD oil has also significantly reduced cancer and tumor growth.
"We were sold on CBD products after a long-time client of ours whose doggie is always full of strange wart-like spots on his buddy that we have never truly been able to get rid of began using CBD salve," says Dr. Rowan. "After one week of application, the spots changed shape and flattened. A couple of weeks later following continued use, the spots were gone.”
Dr. Rowan now incorporates CBD products into nearly all his patient's treatment plans.
Veterinarian Judy Morgan, DVM also reports positive experiences with CBD, saying, "I’ve used it for many conditions. Many veterinarians are skeptical due to the lack of double-blinded published studies. A lot of that research is being performed by both Universities and private companies. I’m sure many veterinarians will choose to use CBD once those studies become available.”
When pet owners ask her about cannabis treatment, Dr. Trina Hazzah, a veterinary oncologist at an animal hospital in Los Angeles, says, “What’s the worst that can happen — they stare at the wall for a while if they get too much? But, what’s the worst that my chemo can do? Much worse than that. And you can use cannabis to help balance the side effects of chemotherapy and other western treatment.”
Another veterinarian, Dr. Zac Pillosoph, the Chief Veterinary Officer for CBD Dog Health, provides another perspective regarding FDA-approved medications. “Professionals are heavily persuaded that FDA reviewed and approved therapies are of superior quality, due to the process in which it takes to be included in that grouping," he says. "It becomes heavily taught through the schooling process that FDA approved pharmaceuticals are the primary source of treatment options, and non-pharmaceuticals...can also be quite dangerous due to the lower level of checks and balances. In spite of this, cannabis has proven to be one of the safest compounds on the face of the Earth, and potentially more efficacious in far more numerous situations than any pharmaceutical will ever be.”
What research says
A study by Cornell University found that regular anti-inflammatory drugs, like NSAIDs, may not be enough to curb the pain our dogs are experiencing from various conditions. On the other hand, cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to improve pain from conditions like arthritis.
Not only did the study find routine anti-inflammatories may not be as effective, but Cornell University also discovered the side effects which often accompany the use of over-the-counter or prescription medications (usually kidney or GI problems).
Cannabidiol for pets is derived from the hemp plant, which is a type of cannabis plant species, but it contains less than 1 percent THC. For example, the plant containing THC is Cannabis sativa C. The plant scientists ‘squeeze’ the extract from for CBD oil is Cannabis sativa L.
The plant associated with CBD oil contains compounds that interact with receptors to help your dog’s immune system, nervous system, and endocannabinoid systems naturally.
To add to the benefits, CBD oil contains the right amount of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids (usually found in fish oil, but CBD oil has the perfect balance of both).
Dogs can’t produce essential fatty acids, like Omega-3 and Omega-6, on their own, so they must be incorporated into their routine or diet somehow. ”
More education needed
Getting the word out about the benefits of CBD for pets is a necessity. To those who have studied cannabis, we are aware of the insane health benefits cannabis has to offer. We are also aware of how many ailments can be treated by one plant. This plant is powerful enough to wipe away many pharmaceutical medications, but the fear of the unknown stops people in their tracks.
Encouraging interest and educating the public is necessary to help people understand the benefits of cannabis. We have seen many people, in various fields, go from being highly against cannabis to a type of sponsor encouraging its use.
It’s time to educate. It’s time to advocate. It’s time to show the world how cannabis can change their entire lives and the lives of their beloved furry family members.
For those who are interested in utilizing CBD for their pet, remember the following:
Ensure you are using a high-quality product.
Ask a cannabis expert about recommended dosage. Contrary to popular belief, CBD dosage has more to do with the specific ailments rather than the size or weight of your pet.
Administer CBD to the gums or inner ear for best absorption. Placing the CBD oil on food will not allow for the greatest absorption level, therefore, decreasing the best result.
Monitor your pet closely and record the effects in a journal. Even if there are small differences, you will be more likely to notice them if they are written down.
Consult with an expert or veterinarian who has experience in the field.