CBD oil has become a popular supplement for people with everything from too much stress and anxiety to chronic pain, and now, pet owners are trying it on their four-legged friends, WKOW-TV reported.
Veterinarians aren't necessarily prescribing CBD oil for treatment since federal laws still prohibit cannabis, but some believe it may have some benefits.
But many states have lifted or eased restrictions on cannabis, which means people can buy CBD in many health food stores and from online retailers.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is most-often derived from hemp, which is marijuana's cousin. It contains less than .3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, which is the chemical that causes marijuana users to get "high."
What's the story?
Dr. Carrie Donahue, who works at Full Circle Holistic Veterinary Care in Madison, Wisconsin, told WKOW that CBD oil is becoming a trend in pet health care.
“A lot of people bring it up with me,” Donahue told WKOW, adding that she's seen several cases where it has helped with an animal's pain management, anxiety or seizures.
But the idea hasn't become mainstream with most vets for several reasons including lack of research.
“I think a lot of conventional veterinarians are hesitant to use something that doesn't have a lot of research behind it,” Donahue said.
Even though Donahue said she had witnessed some positive results, there's still some gray area when it comes to the law.
The FDA doesn't regulate CBD, and in the state of Wisconsin, medicinal marijuana has limited use.
Earlier this year, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel asked law enforcement officials not to take action against CBD products derived from industrial hemp that's legally grown for non-drug use, according to WKOW.
But is it really safe for pets?
Donahue said pet parents should be cautious because some CBD oil can contain higher levels of THC, especially if it's marijuana-derived, which is toxic for animals.
“That's why I recommend that pet owners talk to their veterinarian,” she said.
It's important to know where the oil comes from and exactly what it contains.
“The oil that I carry here in my clinic is from just a few sources. I know the owners of the company,” Donahue said. “I know where the CBD oil is coming from, how it's processed, so I trust the companies.”
There are no guarantees that CBD oil will help your pet, but as long as it is from a safe source at the right dosage, it shouldn't hurt.
“It's either going to help or, you know, if nothing else, it's not going to have an effect, but it's not going to have a negative effect with an animal,” Donahue said.