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CBD Products

Client advice on CBD (Cannabidiol) products for pets

  • CBD product are classified in the human market as a food stuff. In the animal market, the VMD (the Government organisation that oversees the use of animal treatments for the UK) have classified CBD products as veterinary medicines.
  • As a veterinary medicine in the UK, CBD has to be prescribed by your vet if it is required for your pet. However, your vet has to satisfy the ‘cascade’ in doing this. That means that other treatments have to be used or discussed first before it is considered that CBD may be an option.
  • There is no licensed legal supplier of CBD products to pets in the UK. It is an offence for a human CBD supplier to supply their product to be used in animals.
  • It is an offence for products containing CBD to be given to a pet if the CBD product has not been prescribed by a veterinary surgeon.
  • CBD has interactions with many commonly used veterinary medicines and as such you must make your vet aware if you have given it to your pet.
  • At present, the benefits of CBD in pets are presumptive i.e. no benefits have as yet been proven, though research is ongoing.
  • Because human CBD products are classified as a food stuff, the production of CBD is not as regulated as if it was a medicine. This means that the product may not contain any CBD, or more than is indicated on the packet. This makes the purchase of such products a total unknown in terms of what is being supplied.
  • If it is not known what is in a CBD product, then it is impossible to know how much to give to a pet and whether or not it may cause harm. Cats are particularly difficult to dose as they appear very sensitive to these products.
  • A recent report has found that up to 70% of CBD products can be contaminated with pesticides and heavy metals. These heavy metals can include lead and arsenic, which can be extremely toxic to pets. The quality control of the production of CBD means that the products may not actually contain any CBD at all. 
  • Many manufacturers of CBD do not follow the approved guidelines on the removal of THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) and as such the levels of THC may exceed the legal guidelines for a CBD product. We do not understand, as yet, how this may affect animals from a toxicity point of view.
  • CBD could potentially could cause harm if the wrong type or incorrect dose is given to your pet.
  • Please seek veterinary attention if you are thinking about giving a CBD product to your pet.