Medical marijuana is a hot topic in our current society. It is hard not to come across it in the news, publications, and everyday conversation. While we have the pros and cons for human consumption, what about our pets? Some pets are considered closer than family, right?

The Gospel According to the FDA

Technically, the FDA has not approved any form of use on animals. Since the safety of the animal and the effectiveness of the product being used is unknown, the FDA’s stance is that the recommendation of a trusted veterinarian is the best course of action. While the FDA has not filed any instances of animal side-effects, there have been cases where animals experienced varying degrees of symptoms through scientific testing.

While the FDA has not specifically authorized the use of cannabis for pets, cannabis products for animals have become available to consumers. This has prompted the FDA to issue notice of legal action to companies in which their labeling on products was incorrect, incomplete, or non-existent.

Veterinary Law and Cannabis

This is a bigger issue than the FDA in some regards. Currently, each state is addressing this topic as it sees fit. However, while the FDA has its marching orders towards this issue, you now must factor in the state’s authority and the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners protocol. While the sale of CBD products has skyrocketed with veterinarian referral, the issue can potentially place the vet at legal odds with both agencies. Veterinarians are not allowed to recommend or prescribe CBD products themselves, however, they can share how they have helped other animals in the past. Since this has also been a potential legal tinderbox, it has become easier for owners to address it with the doctors first, which allows the doctor to share information. This is not a legal violation, but it sure feels like a vast grey area.

While the medical use of cannabis has its benefits, all we can do is keep a look on the horizon and continue to advocate for change when we can. For humankind, and their pets.