CBD for Dogs—is it Legal?

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Many dog owners have begun to take notice of the growing popularity of cannabidiol, or CBD, as a natural supplement to improve the lives of their best friend. University lab studies are currently underway to fully evaluate the usefulness of this compound, but anecdotal evidence has already demonstrated plenty of positive effects. CBD has been used successfully to help dogs living with cancer, arthritis and joint pain, anxiety, and much, much more.

However, cannabidiol is harvested from the hemp plant, and that gives some dog owners hesitation. Herein, we will address the concerns that come from giving a hemp-based supplement to your dog.

What is CBD Exactly?

Cannabidiol is a compound known as a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids interact with the electrochemical nerve signalling endocannabinoid system in all mammalian bodies. While the full scope of possibility of CBD is not yet known, we do know that it has shown itself to be highly effective at relieving pain and improving the quality of life of those suffering from a wide variety of issues, human and canine alike.

Cannabidiol can come from hemp or from marijuana plants, and is sold in many different forms. The types of CBD marketed for dogs include capsules, chewables, and oils.

Will CBD Get My Dog High?

CBD will not get your dog high, nor will it affect his mental capacity in any way. This concern, of course, has its roots in the fact that cannabidiol can come from the marijuana plant. However, there is no cause for alarm. The ingredient in marijuana that gets people high, THC, is the psychoactive part of the plant. CBD is an inert compound that simply does not have the same psychoactive effect.

When purchasing a CBD product, it’s important to know what’s in it. Some supplies offer pure CBD. Others do include THC in their product. But as long as the product you purchase does not contain THC, your dog will not get high.

Please note that while CBD has shown no significant ill effects in dogs, THC in high doses is toxic for dogs. Make sure you know the contents of any product you buy and give to your dog.

Is CBD Legal?

The lack of THC in CBD products plays a pivotal role in their legality. As a non-psychoactive drug, they are considered safer for use.

On December 12, 2018, the United States Congress voted to pass the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, more commonly referred to as the Farm Bill. This bill also confirms the legalization of hemp — the term given to cannabis containing less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — and provisions for its cultivation, transport, and sale.

With that said, CBD’s legality is currently being determined on a state by state basis. In the United States all cannabinoids are illegal on the federal level, and this includes CBD. However, the FDA has made no determination or assertion that CBD products are illegal or in any way run afoul of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). As was established by the Farm Bill, the sale, production and distribution of CBD oils/products derived from imported raw material industrial hemp, such as those produced and sold, are not in violation of the CSA.

Contact us or speak to your veterinarian if you have any questions about the nature of CBD or what it can do for your dog!