5 Things to Know Before Using Medical Cannabis for Your Pets

5 Things to Know Before Using Medical Cannabis for Your Pets

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A growing number of veterinarians believe cannabidiol (CBD) products can be effective in treating an array of ailments in dogs and cats, from anxiety to a lack of appetite—but federal and state laws make it nearly impossible for them to discuss it with pet owners. That’s why Dr. Greg Richter, a veterinarian in California, and Dr. Rob Silver, a holistic vet and pet herbalist in Colorado, have working in home states and beyond to educate pet owners and legislators on the benefits of treating pets with cannabis. Silver has even published a book, Medical Marijuana & Your Pet: The Definitive Guide , which draws on his research and experience to help people determine whether cannabinoid treatment is right for your animal. Leafly spoke with both vets at the Green Flower Media Cannabis Health Summit in Los Angeles to find out what pet owners should know before they start a treatment regimen. 1. It’s Illegal for Vets to Prescribe Cannabis to Pets Vets don’t have the authority to prescribe a Schedule I drug, so don’t expect a quick trip to the local animal hospital to yield a doggie bag for Fido. In fact, vets in many states are barred from counseling pet owners on the potential therapeutic uses of cannabis, Richter explained. “Right now it’s a conversation that has to be had very, very carefully between veterinarians and pet owners so nobody gets into legal jeopardy,” he said. Silver added that because many veterinarians risk their licenses and criminal prosecution for prescribing cannabis to pets, they have to be very careful in how they talk about the plant. “As far as our First Amendment freedom of speech to speak directly about this,” he said, “if we’re not giving medical advice—if we’re giving educational information—it’s a much easier situation.” In California, […]

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