The popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) products has grown rapidly in the last year, from the skincare industry to the sports industry, but is it possible that these new products could be beneficial for our pets too? New Food Magazine has put it best when they said, that there has been, ‘a shift in mindset in how people think of their furry friends. No longer is ‘Fido’ considered a pet, rather 95 percent of pet owners regard their pet as part of the family... If CBD is all the rage as the new alternative medicine for humans, it is a natural evolution for pet ‘parents’ to reach for CBD for its therapeutic properties.’
CBD is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant, which has been used to manufacture a variety of products centred around this compound and its effects. These CBD-products usually lack another compound found in the cannabis plant, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is thought to produce the mind-altering effects, whereas CBD has all the beneficial effects without creating that “high”.
As new evidence and research about the cannabinoid come to light, people are beginning to not only use CBD products for themselves but for their pets too. This can be seen in the products that are being produced, manufactured, and aimed at pet owners around the world such as animal-specific CBD oils, treats and kibble. However, at present in the UK, no CBD products for use in animals have received UK veterinary marketing authorisation, which is required before they can be sold legally. Although when it comes to veterinary use there are no authorised CBD products in the UK, it is possible for veterinary surgeons to prescribe a legal human CBD product as long as it comes under the provisions of the prescribing cascade.
The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) released a statement in 2018 advising that they, ‘...consider that veterinary products containing Cannabidiol (CBD) are veterinary medicines and should be regulated as such. We have made this decision on the basis that products containing CBD fulfil the following definition of veterinary medicine in the Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR) by virtue of the effects they have: “Any substance or combination of substances that may be used in, or administered to, animals with a view either to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action or to making a medical diagnosis.”’
Despite the fact the VMD consider veterinary CBD products as veterinary medicines, there are no legal products that have been authorised in the UK so far. However, if you do have any concerns in regard to treatment for your pet, and are curious as to whether or not CBD may be able to help them- discuss it with your vet and it might just change both of your lives.