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CBD – Weeding out the facts

CBD – Weeding out the facts

By: Dr. Matthew Encinosa

CBD and hemp products for dogs and cats are becoming increasingly more common so it is important to be well informed on them. Here are some things to consider before starting your dog on CBD products.

What is CBD?

CBD stands for Cannabidiol. It is one of the many chemicals derived from the cannabis plant (also known as marijuana or hemp) and has no psychotropic (hallucinogenic) effects on the brain. Basically, it does not have the ability to cause a high feeling. The “high” of marijuana is actually caused by the molecule THC.

What does it do?

The actual activity of CBD in the body has not been studied very well. There are several different receptors on cells in the body that show some response to the CBD molecule. These could be related to some of the proposed medical benefits in humans that include: antiseizure and protective to the brain, anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, anti-anxiety, antitumor effects, and treatment of vomiting and inappetence.

Is it legal?

CBD is only legal in the state of Florida if it is derived from industrial hemp. This is hemp that has been grown specifically to have a very low concentration of THC in it.

Is it safe?

CBD by itself is considered safe and non-toxic. Many of the concerns lie within the other components of CBD products. For example, human grade CBD can potentially contain xylitol (an artificial sweetener) which can be very toxic to dogs. Additionally, they can contain higher percentages of THC which can also cause toxicity in our furry friends.

What product is best?

There is no good answer to this question because there are so many products and no clinical trials in dogs and cats. Currently, we recommend making sure it is a veterinary product and that there is a certificate of analysis with whatever product you buy to ensure the THC content is lower than 0.3% and that there are no harmful chemicals for animals. Remember that products you order can come from anywhere and the rules in those states may be different from Florida.