Learning about CBD products and their impact on our furry pals.
WRITTEN BY STEPH RODRIGUEZ
An online survey from the University of California, Davis, reveals that pet owners are interested in the potential medical benefits that cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive compound of cannabis, may offer their furry friends.
Jamie Peyton is chief of service of integrative medicine at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at UC Davis, which focuses on pain management and quality of life as well as medication and non-medication treatment for animals, such as acupuncture and chiropractic care.
She says her department likes to "think outside the box" when it comes to treating animals; she noticed her clients frequently ask about CBD's effects and potential to lessen severe pain in animals that suffer from symptoms of cancer and inflammation.
In October 2017, Peyton launched the Pet Owner Hemp and Cannabis Survey online, which so far had more than 1,100 participants — a number she says most veterinary surveys don't see.
"From our preliminary results, a lot of the products people are using are tinctures or treats or sometimes oral medication, too, like capsules," Peyton says.
No pot for pets?
The tricky part is veterinarians are not included in California's ruling for medical doctors. While MDs are able to recommend and prescribe medical cannabis for people, veterinarians cannot do the same for animals.
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration still classifies marijuana and its extracts as Schedule I drugs, next to, for example, heroin and bath salts. So what's the next step for veterinarians?
"The first goal of the survey is to show that pet owners are interested in this topic and that we as veterinarians have to join this conversation," Peyton says. "The second thing is, because we're limited on the research that we can do, legally, we're hoping that pet owners will give us some information about what types of conditions they're using CBD for and what kind of dosing they're using."
Survey respondents listed dogs and cats mainly as the animals on which they use CBD products, but some noted they also treat their birds, goats, and horses with the substance. The survey closes at the end of March 2018.
"Especially if you have a pet that has cancer or is in severe pain, you're looking for any option," Peyton says. "And I do think there is potential benefit in CBD, but we just need more information."
Clint Crary, founder and CEO of Rhya Pharms in Davis, says that as long as products are derived from hemp versus marijuana, they fall under the protection of the Agricultural Act of 2014, or Farm Bill, signed by President Barack Obama. That's why pet owners may buy boxes of CBD kibble at local pet stores.
"It has to be from hemp, and the standard is 0.3 percent THC," Crary says. "So if your hemp has greater than 0.3 percent, then it's not legal."
Crary launched his CBD pet spray, which is intended to be spritzed on pet food or treats, as well as his time-release CBD capsules, in 2016. Both retail for $25.
He says the two primary reasons he's noticed pet owners turning to his products are to relieve anxiety and inflammation, and improve joint health, all in senior dogs.
"Our recommendation is around one and a half to two milligrams per 10 pounds of dog and up to eight or 10 milligrams max," Crary says.
Crary uses his products on his black lab, Trixie, and on his 14-year-old Welsh corgi, Niah, for her joint pain and inflexibility.
"She has better sleep at night, and she also has better movement," Crary says. "She'll walk around and we'll go chase the ball at the park even though she's 14. She's just a lot more mobile."
For details about CBD Prime pet products by Rhya Pharms in Davis, visit Cbdprime.com.