By April Michelle Short
You may have seen a sign in your local pet store or dispensary advertising CBD — the chemical compound in cannabis that doesn’t get you high and has shown multiple health benefits in people — for pets. Cannabis businesses are flocking to the $30 billion pet market, offering CBD dog supplements and other pot-infused wellness products for animals. As California joins seven other states in legalizing the plant for adult use, pet owners, veterinarians and dispensaries are looking at how cannabis might benefit animals.
The problem is that while physicians can recommend (but not prescribe) cannabis for their human patients, California veterinarians are legally prevented from giving pet owners advice or recommendations regarding the use of medical cannabis. While all cannabis, even CBD, is still federally illegal, pet owners can purchase and give CBD to their pets in legal states. But depending on their state rules, vets may risk losing their licenses if they broach the subject.
As with many things cannabis, when it comes to pot for pets, the rules have not caught up with the science, the business or the culture.
But what do veterinarians think about the safety and benefits of marijuana for animals?
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