Edit ModuleShow Tags

What’s the Deal with CBD for Pets?

With the legalization of marijuana, some pets are riding the green wave, too


Published:

The passing of Proposition 64, which legalized marijuana use for Californians 21 and older, hasn’t just opened doors to more human consumption—some pets are riding the green wave, too.

Pet stores and dispensaries have seen an influx of cannabis-infused biscuits, tinctures, and oils claiming that the medicinal benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), one of the plant’s non-psychoactive compounds, can alleviate separation anxiety and cancer-related symptoms in animals as well. Cordial Organics, a local e-commerce line of CBD skin care and wellness products, sells a Calm for Pets oil made with whole flower medicinal grade hemp. Cordial co-founder Desi McKinnon adds a few drops into food for her six-year-old Chihuahua mix.

“Now Zeke doesn’t shake and cry when left alone or with someone new,” she says. “He’s chill and in his body. Otherwise he’s a trembling mess.”

But if you ask veterinarians for an opinion, they’ll likely have little to say. The California Veterinary Medical Board, though it doesn’t yet have a formal position on the matter, cautions that vets “are in violation of California law if they are incorporating cannabis into their practices,” since Prop 64 does not specifically allow it.

It’s the wild west right now in terms of CBD in animals. There’s great potential, but we’re not allowed to talk about it.

“It’s the wild west right now in terms of CBD in animals,” says Dr. Brian Evans of Coastal Animal Hospital in Encinitas. “There’s great potential, but we’re not allowed to talk about it. Because it’s a Schedule I drug, very few controlled studies have been formed to figure out the right doses and what is and isn’t good for animals.”

Dr. Evans warns against giving dogs THC, the plant’s psychoactive compound. “I’ve seen zero side effects from too much CBD, but I have seen side effects from dogs getting too much THC. They can get very sick. I saw a little Chihuahua with a whopping dose of THC come in with seizures.” Even the highest-CBD cannabis plant strains can’t eliminate the presence of THC entirely—by definition, “whole flower” CBD products still contain a small percentage of it—so for pet owners interested in trying this therapy, products made with pure CBD oil are most likely a safer bet.

The lack of FDA regulation didn’t stop Bankers Hill resident Candice Johnson from trying cannabis on Abraham Lincoln, her 8-year-old Lhasa apso mix who, two years ago, began sleeping more than usual, getting sore from previously easy walks, and scratching his tail, groin, and legs to the point of bleeding. Using her experience as a healer who had seen “miracles” using CBD tinctures on adult and pediatric patients, she went to Urbn Leaf dispensary to see whether it would produce the same results for her pup. She wound up with a THCA-CBD oil (THCA is a similar non-psychoactive compound that’s said to have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects).

“They knew right away and showed me their pet line,” she says. “I also knew what I wanted, from dosing children. ‘If a child weighs this much, this is how much you start at.’ I did mention it to my vet once—he didn’t sound so sold on it. But I started Abraham in mid-January. By February I had my puppy back. The light’s back in his eyes. The itching gone. I haven’t seen him limp since late February. I take him on walks and walks and walks. On the weekends we don’t stop.”

Edit ModuleShow Tags

San Diego Pets 2018:

Water or Park? The Ultimate Dog Day Itinerary

Here are two itinerary ideas that maximize the outdoor fun and those long summer days, no matter Fido’s preference

6 Summer Dangers to Avoid for Your Pets

Dr. Mitch Ferenstein tells us how to tackle the most common hazards

Animal House: Meet 3 Pet-Loving San Diego Families

Dogs are just the start. These San Diegans take us into their homes, backyards, and chicken coops to show off their menageries.

3 Smart Pet Tech Solutions

Want your dog tracked? Your cat’s activity monitored? There’s an app—or website or device—for that.

8 Pet-Friendly Staycations in San Diego

Here is a list of places where your pet will get the royal treatment—doggy bag included.*

Where to Board Your Pet in San Diego

When you can’t take your BFF on your trip, here are some locally loved spots that will treat your animals like their own

5 Places to Get Your Furry Fix

These organizations will get you up close and personal with dogs, horses, potbellied pigs, and more

What’s the Deal with CBD for Pets?

With the legalization of marijuana, some pets are riding the green wave, too

5 Instagram-Famous Pets in San Diego

Living in San Diego, we’re in the presence of major celebrities—celebrity pets, that is. Check out these local animals with big-time followings.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

5 Instagram-Famous Pets in San Diego

Living in San Diego, we’re in the presence of major celebrities—celebrity pets, that is. Check out these local animals with big-time followings.

5 Places to Get Your Furry Fix

These organizations will get you up close and personal with dogs, horses, potbellied pigs, and more

Where to Board Your Pet in San Diego

When you can’t take your BFF on your trip, here are some locally loved spots that will treat your animals like their own
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Best of San Diego Party 2018
  2. The Best of San Diego 2018
    We crown 103 winners in food, shopping, fitness, kids’ activities, and more
  3. Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants
    Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants
  4. Javier Plascencia Eyes Barrio Logan
    The award-winning chef is all over Mexico, but looks to make a San Diego comeback
  5. A Sneak Peek at ‘The Heart of Rock & Roll’
    The Old Globe’s newest world-premiere musical promises a familiar soundtrack and all the good feels of an ’80s rom-com
  6. What San Diego Women Want
    53 working women share their compelling stories on navigating pay equity, the baby penalty, #MeToo, and more
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Vote Now for Your Orangetheory Winner!

Winners will be announced at our Sweat event on May 12

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants

Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants

AquaVie: 10 Reasons It’s Downtown’s Best Kept Secret

The best workout and spa getaway around? It’s actually right underneath your nose.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags