If you’re one of the many pet parents who gives CBD to your pet, this is big news. We know pet owners are using it for everything from anxiety to pain to seizures.
But, while use has grown across North America, some remain hesitant to try, mainly because their local vet just can’t talk about pets and CBD…
But, is that about to change?
Pets and CBD: A Gag Order
When it comes to information on pets and CBD, the internet is an amazing resource. You can find the answer to pretty much any question: dosage, type, what it’s good for. There’s the option of heading to provider as well. And, of course, you can even head onto one of the many Facebook CBD groups and ask questions of others there.
What you can’t do is ask your vet.
And that’s a problem. The very person you’d normally turn to for advice on treating your pet – and what to use – could get in trouble for doing so. Well, probably. Maybe. It’s unclear in most states – and that’s a major problem causing many vets to keep their lips sealed.
Even though the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of Schedule I controlled substances, in many states, vets are restricted from recommending or prescribing CBD for pets. In some cases, they can’t even talk about it at all. Doing so could leave your vet in legal hot water – they could even lose their license to practice.
In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association has stated “under current federal and state law, veterinarians may not administer, dispense, prescribe or recommend cannabis or its products for animals.” Instead, vets are encouraged to provide recommendations for other ways to treat your pet.
Yes, some vets may be willing to help, but others just don’t want to risk it. But all that might change…
Hope on the Horizon
Earlier this month, a bill was introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives that would allow vets to recommend CBD products if they choose to do so.
Medical marijuana was made legal in Michigan in 2008, and hemp and recreational marijuana became legal in 2018. However, vets (and pets) were not included under the umbrella of legalization and their hands remain tied.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Gregory Markkanen, and supported by testimony from several prominent vets in the state.
House Bill 5085 (we know, such flashy names they’ve got), states:
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:
“Sec. 18817. (1) A veterinarian may consult with an owner on the use of marihuana or CBD oil on an animal of the owner pursuant to rules promulgated under this section.“
That’s huge news.
The bill needs to clear both the House and Senate and be signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to become law. If passed, vets in Michigan at least will finally be able to talk to their patients about CBD.
The bill has a long way to go before it becomes law, but there’s currently no outspoken opposition to it, and it will likely be the first step in a movement to make it possible for vets to talk about pets and CBD all across the country.
Fingers (and paws) crossed!