Animal Chat

Issues with Medical Marijuana and Extracts

Fake news, real news. Facts, alternative facts. It gets harder and harder to know what is real. On top of that we so desperately want the good news to be real that we are sometimes willing to ignore the bad news. This sounds like politics but it is in fact pet health information.


There has been a great deal in the news lately both in print and on the internet about the use of marijuana and “marijuana oil” to help pets with issues from cancer to seizures. Twenty three states now allow medical marijuana for humans. There is not one word in these laws that cover the use of medical marijuana in pets. So the first point to make is that in the states where medical marijuana is legal, it is not legal for a veterinarian to prescribe it for a pet.


Marijuana oil, cannabidiol (CBD) is a substance derived from the stem of the hemp plant. It is reported that it does not contain the hallucenogenic compound (THC) found in marijuana. There are several companies that make CBD products for pets. They come in various forms from capsules of oil to treats.


There is little doubt that marijuana has therapeutic effects for some medical conditions, hence the legalization of it in so many states. The problem with CBD that no one is talking about is how these products are manufactured.


The CBD products vary widely on how much CBD they actually contain. The amount listed on the label has absolutely no relationship to how much CBD is actually in the product. The FDA maintains a list of products tested and how much CBD they actually contain. For example Hemp Oil Care's Hemp Honey 21% Cannabidiol Oil was negative for any cannabinoids. The same was true for Natural Organic Solutions 21% CBD Hemp Oil Treatment.


Even more troubling were the products made by a single company, Canna-Pet. Canna Pet offers many different CBD products. They advertise 8 different cannabinoids in each product. Yet, FDA testing shows that no product has more than four CBDs and several of their products test out as having only one form of cannabinoid. So the labeling of these products is highly misleading and not helpful to a consumer truly trying to care for their pet.


No one knows the dosing of these products or how they interact with other medications your pet might be taking. Hopefully, research will advance with these products so they can become an effective part of a pet's care. We can also hope that the industry will standardize and that consumers can trust that what is on the label is what is inside the package. Unfortunately, we don't seem to be there just yet.