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Veterinarians’ views on pets being treated with CBD vary widely, with some citing the lack of scholarly literature on it specifically in relation to pets. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates pet food in the US, decidedly does not approve of CBD. “With regard to its use in food, FDA's position is that CBD … is an unapproved drug, hence any food (including animal feed or pet food) containing it would be actionable as an adulterated product,” wrote David A. Dzanis, DVM, PhD, DACVN, in a recent Petfood Insights column.
Marijuana, of course, is only one product of cannabis. Sources vary on the exact number, but cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of among 60 to over 100 distinct chemical compounds — called cannabinoids as a group — that can be derived from the plant. Acting on receptors in the brain, cannabidiol has proven effective in alleviating symptoms of human nervous system disorders, from multiple sclerosis to epilepsy.
The American Veterinary Medical Association does not have an official stance on medical marijuana, but cannabis is not FDA-approved for pets. Furthermore, in any given state (even legal states with booming cannabis markets like Colorado), veterinarians are banned from writing prescriptions for cannabis products. In 2015, a bill introduced in the Nevada state legislature that would have allowed pet owners to feed medical marijuana to sick pets was shot down.
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