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By Dana McMahan
Do you have a puppy or a cat that does not get cold no matter what? Or, on the contrary, an older pet that crawls because its joints hurt? You may have CBD in mind, because you probably know someone who swears they solved the problem of completing the blank space that had their doggo.
Cannibidiol, which comes from the hemp plant, is in the headlines of reports that it can treat pain, anxiety, inflammation and even cancer in humans, but it's not just about people. CBD is popping up everywhere, for dogs, and pet owners are buying.
"It's at my dogs' barber," American Kennel Club veterinary chief Jerry Klein, DMV, told NBC News BETTER. "It's on the counter by the cashier." And as word of mouth spreads over the many alleged powers of the substance, "people take it from the counter trying to treat anything from anxiety to arthritis to seizures," he said.
It only makes sense, given the rumor about his powers. "We do what we can for those we love," said Dr. Klein. "We look for things that can help." But there are some problems with this image, he said. The results in giving CBD pets have been anecdotal so far. And "popularity and marketing are overtaking research and regulation," he said. "These animals can not talk and tell us how they feel. It makes this miracle drug even easier to market. "
If you are tempted to join the CBD party, there are some things that any pet parent should know and some questions to ask.
What does the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say?
The FDA has only approved a prescription drug based on CBD for humans, which is used to treat rare forms of epilepsy. FDA spokesman Lindsay Haake told NBC News BETTER that "the FDA did not impose restrictions on the use of extralabel Epidiolex (cannabidiol) in animals." Veterinarians must follow the principles discussed in the Animal Medicine Use Clarification Act. (AMDUCA, for its acronym in English), as well as state and federal regulations for the management of the drug. "
He continued: "The FDA is currently collecting information on marijuana and marijuana-derived products that are marketed for animals. The FDA reminds consumers that these products have not been evaluated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness, and we encourage you to talk to your veterinarian about appropriate treatment options for your pet. "
Did that clarify that? Do not? All right …
Your veterinarian may also have questions
While a veterinarian should be open to discussing the general use of CBD with their clients if they ask for it, Klein said that a "veterinarian should indicate that at this time there is no scientific data on the use or dosage of CBD in pets, just Because CBD products are not regulated at this time, there is no way to guarantee efficacy for various purposes, ranging from anxiety, arthritis or even epilepsy. [are] there are no current studies on the dose of CBD to correctly and effectively dose a 6-pound chihuahua or a 150-pound mastiff. The time may come when science has true answers, but it is not now. "
You can not assume that what works for a person will work for a cat, a dog will work for a horse, he said.
If this sounds alarmist, consider this. The FDA has issued important warning letters to companies that sell CBD products, said Dr. Klein, including some who market their pet products.
In addition to concerns about the dose, "there is no responsibility", when it comes to what is in them, Dr. Klein said. Can you be sure that it is derived from hemp, not from marijuana, and that THC is not toxic to pets? "As an emergency veterinarian, I have dealt with dogs that have got into marijuana brownies and it is a concern," he said.
What are the long term effects?
In summary: "We do not know," said Dr. Klein. "The time frame has not been there long enough, and no studies have been done, we know there are some changes in blood pressure, dry mouth, but they're just preliminary studies."
"I do not want to be the one to say the wrong thing because I think there is potential here for possible real benefits," said Dr. Klein. "It can be a wonderful product in the future if it is regulated and we have data." At the moment, he said: "I understand the owners' frustration, but there is no accurate information."
Maybe the news is on the way, however. Dr. Klein points to a study by the AKC Canine Health Foundation, which discusses the CBD for the treatment of epilepsy. "Hopefully in a year or so we'll have some results on that."
The bottom line?
"I can not stress enough that the laws and some of the material are constantly changing," Dr. Klein said. "It is important that people are aware of the concerns and even that veterinarians are aware of the current data. "As long as they understand that what they are giving is not scientifically proven, that it may not be beneficial, it depends on them if they want to follow that path."
Last word from the veterinarian? "If you're doing it, you're doing it at your own risk right now."
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