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It’s probably not a good idea to give your dog CBD.
Veterinarians can’t prescribe it, according to Mark Albin, but that hasn’t stopped pet owners from doing it anyway.
“It’s something that’s happening more with the pet owner more than it is with the veterinarian,” he said. “They hear about CBD from a friend. They hear about CBD from other pet owners.”
Albin is a veterinarian at the Pieper-Olson Veterinary Hospital in Middletown, and current president of the CT Veterinary Medical Association. He said there’s no evidence that CBD is harmful, but that there simply haven’t been enough scientific studies to tell.
“It’s something we can’t actually recommend for pet owners,” he said.
There’s no recommended dosage, there’s no approved pet-friendly dispensary, so pet owners are getting their CBD from less-than savory sources. That raises Albin’s hackles.
“The concern is that most CBD products because they’re being sold as dietary supplements there is no regulation that makes these companies guarantee what’s in their products,” he said.
CBD is a non-psychoactive marijuana derivative and it wasn’t until 2014 that it was available for study.
Since then, official studies on the effects of CBD on pets have been few and far between.
One study out of the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences found that dogs can tolerate CBD and that it may have some efficacy for epilepsy.
Published earlier this year, McGrath found that “89 percent of dogs who received CBD in the clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures,” according to the University of Colorado.
Albin said he has seen a slight increase in marijuana overdoses since the Connecticut legalized weed for medical purposes in 2012.
Veterinarian hospital group VCA, which has 17 locations in Connecticut, said in 2018 that “the increased accessibility to the drug has led to an increase in accidental exposure in pets.”
Most cases involve an edible form of cannabis, like a candy or chocolate, and the American Veterinary Medical Association said most danger for pets comes from related issues: “Several deaths have been reported due to cannabis toxicity, and these appear to be the result of associated complications.”
In the case of a marijuana overdose, most of the time, all a vet can do is make sure the animal is safe and well hydrated.
“ In most instances they have to ride it out,” Albin said.