CBD has featured in constant social media posts and the news over recent years. People have been quick to celebrate its benefits and show that it has made certain elements of their physical and mental health much better.
In some circles there is still some controversy around its use though, and one large area of doubt has remained over whether the benefits that humans have received from it can be reciprocated in pets.
At present, the UK government states that there are no CBD products authorised for veterinary use, however, a vet may prescribe a legally obtained human CBD product under the provisions of the prescribing cascade.
Any CBD product administered that has not been authorised with a veterinary prescription constitutes an offence under regulation 8 of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations.
So, whilst there are no specific products aimed at the pet market in the UK, in the US, it is estimated that the market for such products will be worth a staggering $4.79bn by 2028.
This leads to the ultimate question: Does CBD help your pet with various ailments or is it a scam to make quick cash off pet owners that will do anything to help a pet in discomfort?
What is CBD used for in pets?
Many dog owners in the USA have stated that they believe CBD products can be used to help treat neuropathic pain and control seizures in their pets. Trials in such products have been limited but those that have been carried out have been conducted largely on dogs. One study in particular showed that dogs suffering with epilepsy were especially benefitting from the use of CBD. It found that seizures were reduced by as much as 89% when treated with a THC-free oil.
There are other potential benefits too and whilst studies have been minimal, early observations on dogs that have been treated with CBD show that benefits could be wide-ranging.
Potential benefits of CBD for pets
Whilst no CBD products in the UK can say that they are suitable for use on animals, if a vet chooses to prescribe any form of CBD product to a pet it is thought that it could benefit things such as:
- Supporting the immune system
- Helping manage stress
- Supporting brain and nerve functions
- Improving cardiovascular health
- Having an anti-inflammatory effect
- Relieving soreness and stiffness
- Supporting connective tissue and joint health
- Supporting antioxidant functions
As mentioned before, with the UK not currently offering any pet-based CBD products, these potential benefits are largely unproven, but should a vet see that the prescribing of a CBD product could help with a certain ailment, it would likely be for the above issues.
Can CBD have side effects for my pet?
With the few studies that have taken place, it would be foolish to say that there are no, few or may side effects. However, the World Health Organisation has stated that CBD is, “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” Some people though have raised concerns and reported the following side effects in their pets:
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
Will CBD for pets be made legal in the UK?
Currently, it is hard to tell. Until there are more studies conducted that show an overwhelmingly positive impact on the product being used on pets, nothing is likely to change. The best thing to do is to consult your vet, they are still able to prescribe human CBD in correct doses. If you spot a product on a shelf labelled as “CBD for pets” it is in fact illegal. We would strongly recommend you do not purchase it and instead get a prescription from your vet for what they recommend your pets uses from the human CBD product range.
No matter where you are in the world, always make sure you follow the guidelines for looking after your pet. Where some practices may be legal at home, they may be breaking the law elsewhere. At PBS Pet Travel we are specialists in pet transport and guide you with everything from the export health certificate, through to the pet travel scheme, allowing for the safe and legal entry and departure of your pet from country to country.