MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Cannabidiol, or CBD, is an extract made from cannabis oils that many use to self-treat a wide range of medical conditions. As this practice becomes more popular, many want to treat their pets with the oil as well. But is this a safe practice?
Veterinarians are unable to speak about the product to patients due to specific laws. These laws, though, don't prevent stores from carrying CBD in various forms for your pets. (WLUC Photo)
The World Health Organization (WHO) and Federal Drug Administration (FDA) are still undecided on whether CBD is a food supplement, a medicine, or even a narcotic. Because of this, even in many states where cannabis is legal, veterinarians are unable to speak about the product to patients.
"It's okay for physicians to talk about it, but as veterinarians, we're still being told it's illegal for us to recommend,” said Dr. Kellie Holmstrom, owner of the Animal Medical Center of Marquette. “The big question for us is, 'Is it a medicine?' and therefore, we have to have FDA approval, or 'Is it a food supplement?' and then it's okay to talk about unless we find them."
There is also the problem that very limited research is being done to test the product on animals.
According to the WHO, CBD in its purest form is safe for human consumption.
"Where the real problems tend to lie is more in the extras that are added into the products, and it's not very well regulated,” said Holmstrom. “There are people making this at their house, and even for commercial use."
The same can be true for animals, but all evidence is anecdotal at this time. These laws don't prevent stores from carrying CBD in various forms for your pets.
"Everything that we have is 100 percent organic, all natural materials, so it's all suspended in coconut oil, so that's its base,” said Kayleigh Heynen, supervisor at Mares-Z-Doats in Marquette. “All of the flavors off of that are all natural things as well."
Those who use the products often swear by them, but consumers should still be weary and do their research.
“Anytime you give your pets anything, I would recommend researching it and making sure you know exactly what's in it," said Heynen.
Michigan's 110th State House District Representative Greg Markkanen has recently introduced legislation that would allow veterinarians to discuss CBD with their patients. TV6 & FOX UP will continue to keep you updated on that bill as it progresses.