It’s crucial that pet owners make informed choices when purchasing CBD & that they understand why it should only be sourced through a legal pathway and prescribed by a veterinarian.
In recent years, there has been a great surge in interest surrounding the use of medicinal cannabis products for pets. With its potential therapeutic benefits and minimal side effects, medicinal cannabis products such as CBD have gained popularity among owners seeking alternative treatment options for their pets. However, it is crucial to ensure that pet owners can make informed choices when it comes to where they purchase CBD, and that they understand why these products should only be sourced through a legal pathway and prescribed by a veterinarian.
At CBD Vet Australia, we offer free prescribing webinars for veterinarians, so please email us if you’re interested or register for our next one here.
Unfortunately, many CBD (cannabidiol) products available through online marketplaces are not assessed for the purity of their cannabinoid content. Preparations advertised online as ‘pure’ CBD oil may in fact contain impurities and various other substances which may be toxic to pets, such as heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides.
Another issue associated with the purity of CBD oil relates to THC content. THC is the cannabinoid compound derived from the cannabis plant associated with feeling intoxicated or ‘high’. Some online CBD products that are labelled as pure may in fact contain THC, and this can be particularly harmful to dogs. THC poisoning in dogs can cause vomiting, delirium, increased sensitivity to touch and light, decreased heart rate, increased saliva, lethargy, and sometimes death.
An empirical study was conducted in 2020 that found that out of 62 black market products independently tested, there were two things that stood out:
- One in four bottles had labelling errors and contained less CBD or cannabinoids than stated.
- One in nine of these products was an outright scam, containing nothing more than plain olive, coconut or hemp seed oil.
When medicinal cannabis is prescribed through a trusted network like CBD Vets Australia, veterinarians are assured that the purity, efficacy, and safety profile of the CBD products have been validated – thereby protecting their reputation and enhancing the quality of care that they can offer in their practice.
Appropriate dose and administration
Determining the correct dosage of CBD for your pet patients is crucial for optimal results. Online retailers of medicinal cannabis products for pets often lack the relevant expertise and knowledge required to provide accurate dosage recommendations based on a pet’s specific needs. It is paramount that CBD only be prescribed under the guidance of a veterinarian. If you are unsure of dosing for your patient, CBD Vets Australia can provide you with information and advice about the “start low and go slow” dosing regimen.
Tailored treatment plans
Each pet has unique needs and any treatment plan must be tailored to their medical history. When owners purchase CBD products from online retailers, this may lead to a one-size-fits-all approach that does not factor in a pet’s comorbidities and overall health. Veterinarians can prescribe a CBD dose and formulation that is tailored to each patient’s needs. They can then closely monitor how the pet is responding on an individual basis, and adjust the treatment if necessary.
Adverse drug interactions
Online retailers may not provide adequate guidance on the potential interactions of CBD oil with any other medications that a pet may already be taking to manage their symptoms. This increases their risk of experiencing adverse effects of treatment and again underscores why it is so important that pet owners are guided by a veterinarian who can assess the potential interactions of CBD oil with any other medications.
Key Takeaway Points
CBD products should be sourced through a legal pathway and prescribed by a veterinarian and pet owners need to be aware of the risks of purchasing through online marketplaces.
- QUALITY: Preparations advertised online as ‘pure’ CBD oil may in fact contain impurities and various other substances which may be toxic to pets, such as heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides.
- PURITY: Some online CBD products that are labelled as pure may in fact contain THC, and this can be particularly harmful to dogs.
- EFFICACY: Independently tested black market products found 1 in 4 bottles contained less CBD than stated, and one in nine contained ZERO CBD and were a scam
- DOSAGE: Online retailers often lack the expertise and knowledge to determine the appropriate dose and administration, both of which are crucial for optimal results
- TAILORED TREATMENT: the often one-size-fits-all approach of online retailers does not take into account a pet’s comorbidities and overall health, nor can they adjust the treatment according to how the pet is responding
- ADVERSE REACTIONS: Online retailers may not be able to provide the correct guidance on potential interactions of CBD oil with other medications which may increase the risk of an adverse reaction