CBD for Dogs and Pets
Pets and CBD is a very popular topic of conversation for pet owners across the UK. If you’re a regular CBD user or pet-owner, you will have probably seen stories and reports about the uses of CBD with a wide variety of animals.
Giving CBD to your pet may seem like a straightforward subject, it does have limitations. Stories and comments online are often anecdotal, and written without knowledge of current laws and regulations about giving CBD to an animal in your care.
This article aims to clear up the misconceptions of CBD and pets in the UK. You’ll find that the regulation is quite clear in many cases. Hopefully, the information below will help you get the best for your furry (or scaly/feathered) friend!
CBD for Pets UK Law
So what are the UK laws around giving CBD to your pets? In their most recent statement, the UK’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) said “products containing Cannabidiol (CBD) are veterinary medicines and should be regulated as such”.
The VMD believes that CBD may be of therapeutic benefit to pets but also that CBD products must be strictly regulated, just like medicines intended for animals. While this will limit what CBD you can give to your pet (more on that below), it also ensures that companion animal’s best interests are maintained.
Regular CBD users will be aware of similar UK regulations around CBD for human consumption, though this is rapidly improving. The current FSA approval procedure that CBD products must go through to be sold in the UK will ensure that only safe and legitimate CBD will be available to buy.
Can You Buy CBD Pet Products in the UK?
Simply put: no, you will not find any CBD pet products for sale in the UK. This is due to the marketing rules set by the VMD where they clearly state that “CBD products for use in animals… require a marketing authorisation before they can be sold or supplied in the UK.”
This may lead you to think that such authorised products may exist, but the VMD clear this up, saying: “There are currently no CBD-based products that have been granted a UK veterinary marketing authorisation.”
That means if you see any CBD product being sold specifically for pet use, that product is being illegally retailed and should be avoided. You may see such products on popular web stores where legality differs between countries, but any medicinal pet product being sold in the UK should be marketed according to VMD guidelines.
Getting CBD for your pets
While there are no authorised CBD products for use with pets, a vet can prescribe CBD for your animal whereupon it can be used legally according to the vet’s advice. The VMD states that “as there are currently no CBD products authorised in the UK for veterinary use, a veterinary surgeon may prescribe a legally obtained human CBD product under the provisions of the prescribing cascade.”
This means that human CBD products, most likely CBD oils, may be given to pets with a vet’s permission. As with any other medical or therapeutic product intended to be given to animals, the prescription from a vet must be adhered to strictly. Your vet may even stipulate a specific CBD product, strength or brand for you to use.
Why do people give CBD to their pets?
People use CBD with their pets for very similar reasons as humans. However, and again similarly to human CBD use, more research is needed into the subject.
Current studies are limited on the effects of CBD on animals, and even though initial results are promising, longer term studies are needed to draw a more accurate picture.
Is CBD safe for use in pets?
CBD for pets has a good safety tolerance according to initial research. A main concern around giving animals CBD is the potential interactions it can have with medication.
CBD is metabolised by the same enzyme that breaks down many common medications such as painkillers and antibiotics. Simply put, CBD can cause medication to remain in your pet’s body longer as it takes up the enzyme that processes some medications. In extreme cases, this has the potential to cause side effects or even overdoses.
This effect is not uncommon and is known as the ‘grapefruit effect’ in humans, as grapefruit is also metabolised by the same enzyme. To avoid any medical interactions with CBD, always listen to your vet’s advice and use CBD on your pet only with a prescription.
What is the difference between human CBD and pet CBD?
There is little difference between the CBD humans take and those used for pets. Due to current guidelines, vets in the UK can only prescribe human CBD supplements for animals as they are readily available.
Because THC is intoxicating in humans as well as pets, only CBD products which contain 0.0% THC will likely be prescribed. Suitable types of CBD include pure CBD isolate or broad spectrum CBD, both of which are 0% THC and non-psychotropic, meaning they don’t cause any ‘high’.
The most popular CBD products are CBD tinctures, or oils, which can be administered in a variety of ways. These versatile products most often contain a relatively high amount of CBD and, to be legal in the UK, 0.0% THC.
CBD for Pets: The Key Facts
- You cannot buy CBD for pet use; no such CBD pet products have been authorised for sale in the UK.
- You can only give CBD to your pet with a prescription from a vet.
- Due to a lack of authorised CBD pet products in the UK, a vet can only prescribe human CBD products such as CBD oils.
As you can see then, the world of CBD for pets is not without its rules and regulations. However, these laws are quite clear and easy to understand. If you think your pet would benefit from CBD, you should consult your vet right away before administering CBD yourself.
Like many things to do with CBD, the rules on CBD for pets are likely to change and evolve. We will update this article as soon as any new information becomes available. In the meantime, feel free to contact our CBD mentors for any more questions about CBD.