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CBD oil and pets: Can it relieve anxiety and pain?

Posted February 21, 2019 6:46 a.m. EST
Updated February 21, 2019 6:54 a.m. EST

Suddenly, it seems like CBD oil -- or cannabidiol -- is everywhere. Now, many people are using it to help their pets.

CBD oil is a non-intoxicating hemp extract that many pet owners are after to treat a variety of ailments. But veterinarians say there are some things to consider first.

Pain, arthritis and seizures are just some of the health problems that have more and more people turning to CBD for their pets.

CBD oil and pets: Can it relieve anxiety and pain?

"A lot of people want it to calm their pets," Dr. Joseph Zuckerman, a veterinarian, said. "So [it seems to help] dogs who have noise aversion or who have a little anxiety. And a lot of people are using it for pain management."

North Carolina is one of 47 states where CBD is legal for human use. Physicians in those states can recommend CBD to their patients, and consumers can purchase it at retail locations.

But veterinarians operate under a different set of laws that require you to initiate the conversation. Ultimately, their guidance is needed anyway.

CBD oil and pets: Can it relieve anxiety and pain?

"You want to make sure the CBD doesn't interact with any medications your pet is already on," said Rachel Rabkin Peachman, a special projects editor with Consumer Reports. "You're also going to want to start with a low dose and increase it gradually to make sure your pet is doing well on the CBD."

Cannabis for pets is largely unregulated, so it's difficult to know which CBD products are formulated responsibly.

Consumer Reports recommends looking for the seal from the National Animal Supplement Council, which can help identify quality products.

You can also check the label or the company's website for a certificate of analysis, which shows it has been tested for its content.

Learn more from Consumer Reports about CBD and pets.