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CBD and Pets

How this controversial drug helps your pet.

Starting this October,2021, Nevada became the first state in the country to pass a law that allows licensed veterinarians to recommend and administer hemp and cannabidiol products. This means that Nevada is the first state to legalize the use of cannabinoids as a veterinary treatment. Until now there were no clear federal or state laws for Veterinarians to follow regarding prescription of these products or even if they could be discussed with pet owners. It is important to clarify that hemp and cannabidiol products are not the same thing as THC and Marijuana which can be extremely dangerous for our pets.

Elko Veterinary Clinic is excited for the opportunity to now discuss hemp and cannabidiol products. We are also now offering ElleVet Sciences CBD and CBDA products. An important question to ask is do medical Cannabinoids help animal patients? The cannabis sativa plant contains more than 90 unique compounds, or cannabinoids as well as almost 500 other compounds. For several millennia, humans have used cannabinoids for pain, epilepsy, gastrointestinal disorders and even infections. All mammals have an endocannabinoid system which is one of the oldest systems in the mammalian body and is responsible for maintaining homeostasis or balance. Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the brain and body and are activated when CBD + CBDA and the smaller cannabinoids are introduced in the body. Since 2018, ElleVet Sciences has published several studies and clinical trials showing safety and efficacy of their products in both dogs and cats for conditions such as arthritis and anxiety.

The body of research that indicates the safety and effectiveness of these products for multiple conditions is growing every year. From human research we know that CBD has been shown to lessen neuropathic pain and has anti-nausea properties and is extremely safe. Dogs with arthritis appeared to benefit from CBD in a way that was like the effect observed with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Dogs showed increased activity and decreased pain. We also know that the toxic dose is very high meaning that these products are well tolerated with minimal side effects. Adverse events can occur, but these are generally not lethal and do not do harm to the patient. In dogs we can see lack of muscle coordination, but this is an individual sensitivity and is short lived if the product is stopped. Lethal events are more likely to occur if chocolate or artificially sweetened products or if significantly concentrated cannabinoid products are ingested.

In today’s market there are numerous companies that are marketing CBD pet products. As with any herbal product or dietary supplement, these products are not approved by the FDA. This means that no one is regulating these products at all. There are no requirements for companies to prove quality, safety, or effectiveness of their products. Therefore, we want to recommend a company such as ElleVet that has done studies, conducted clinical trials with independent groups and published date and safety information on their products.

The bottom line is that emerging research suggests that CBD may help with several pet health conditions including anxiety, chronic pain, and seizures. If you are interested in trying CBD for your pet please have a conversation with your veterinarian before purchasing anything. If you do make sure to try a product that has safety data, has been clinically tested and that is working with veterinarians to develop the product. Not all products out there are the same and just because it may be safe and says something on the label does not mean it has been proven to work. Avoid human products and products that are not science based. Work with your veterinary team to use a product that is trusted and proven to come up with a plan on how to safety help your furry friend.

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