A symposium looking into the veterinary use of cannabis shows that there’s a lot of questions regarding CBD and pets.
A lot has been said about CBD pet products and their capacity to tame anxiety and other stressors that pets experience. Anecdotal evidence indicates that many pet owners are happy with the cannabis products they’ve used on their pets, stating they put their pets at ease when they’re exposed to stressors like fireworks and separation anxiety. Pet owners feel a sense of comfort when using these products, since there are little to no side effects associated with them.
A cannabis symposium hosted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) last month delved into the topic of veterinary cannabis, with different experts discussing its pros and cons.
“We certainly recognize the potential opportunities that cannabis-derived compounds may offer and acknowledge the significant interest in these possibilities,” said Randall Gnatt, a senior regulatory counsel in the Office of Surveillance and Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.
“We’re also aware that some companies are marketing products in ways that violate the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and then may put the health and safety of people and animals at risk.”
While Gnatt made it clear that CBD is a promising compound for both humans and animals, he also expressed the FDA’s concern regarding it, particularly in the way in which the cannabinoid has been advertised by dozens of companies. “Other than the approved human prescription drug, we know little about the potential effects of sustained or cumulative long-term use of CBD,” he said.
“We don’t know about coadministration with other medicines or risks to vulnerable human and animal populations. This doesn’t mean that we know CBD is categorically unsafe under all circumstances, but given the gaps in our current knowledge and the known risks that have been identified, we’re not at a point where we can conclude that CBD products are safe for use.”
CBD and cannabis remain largely unregulated. While significant steps have been made over the years to validate the medicinal claims of cannabis, much work needs to be done in order to get a full picture of the plant, especially if we’re giving it to animals who have no say on the matter and who might be better off visiting their veterinarian.