Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is still a hot topic all over the news, Facebook and various other media sources. CBD oil is an extract from the hemp plant that, by definition, contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the active ingredient of marijuana at an average of 9%, that makes it a class 1 substance and the topic of many laws and legal debates.
The veterinary community has seen an increase in the use of CBD oil in pets begun researching and discussing its use, safety and efficacy. This week, I had another question regarding the use of CBD oil for a patient with seizures. Here is an update on where the laws and research are at.
This past June, Kansas legalized CBD oil with a 0% THC level for sale in the state. In fact, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming have various laws allowing CBD oil for certain groups with restrictions within their state.
The federal government via the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies the entire cannabis plant as a schedule 1 a product “with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Basically, the entire cannabis plant is an illegal drug except for a single, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medication that is a schedule 5 medication. The freshly passed farm bill does allow hemp to be grown legally, which will allow for further research to progress as well.
So, what does that mean for veterinarians. As of right now, California vets are the closest to the topic and able to discuss it as a treatment for pets, but otherwise until research is completed and published and the DEA and FDA see progress CBD oil is not available for prescription to pets.