a picture of a yellow lab licking a plastic tincture dropper full of CBD oil

Nevada Allows CBD Treatment for Pets

3 minute read

Nevada is the first state to legalize CBD for pets treatment.  Now that cannabidiol is a legitimate veterinary therapy, animal doctors can prescribe CBD without fear of disciplinary action from the state licensing board. Before the bill, it was unclear whether veterinarians could prescribe CBD products, so many avoided it altogether. 

The bill’s sponsor, state assemblyman Steve Yeager, said that the ambiguity in the law prevented veterinarians from discussing the option, even if they thought it could be beneficial. Secondly, it allows vets to recommend high-quality products to those unfamiliar with cannabis, negating consumer confusion. It will also help people avoid untrustworthy brands. 

“I certainly hope that other states follow Nevada’s lead and provide reassurances to licensed veterinarians that they can administer CBD or talk about it with patients without fear of facing disciplinary proceedings,” Yeager said in an American Veterinary Medical Association article. “The bill itself is fairly simple and, thus, is a good model for other states.”

In humans, CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, pain management, and recovery tool. Because animals also have endocannabinoid systems, some veterinarians theorized the same potential applies to dogs. Canines, however, contain a significantly higher concentration of CB1 receptors. This makes them even more receptive to CBD. 

An English mastiff puppy wearing a collar with a green hemp leaf -shaped tag in a room surrounded by hemp plantsThe only federally legal human CBD medication is for childhood epilepsy. CBD seems to help dogs with epilepsy as well. University of Colorado veterinary neurologist Stephanie McGrath has conducted clinical trials. (Our company provided Fetch CBD and donated funds to support McGrath’s research.) Out of 16 dogs, nine were given CBD and the rest were given placebos. The small sample showed promising results; there was a significant decrease in seizure activity in the CBD group. 

The study also revealed that dogs that naturally absorbed CBD at a greater rate had a better reduction in seizures. McGrath also conducted canine osteoarthritis and had less favorable results, but another study out of Baylor College of Medicine showed potential benefit for the same issue.  

In the randomized, double-blind four-week study, 20 dogs with osteoarthritis received either a placebo or three different doses of CBD. Owners and researchers were unaware of the CBD dose. The dogs were then observed by veterinarians and owners. The placebo and low dose groups showed no improvement by the end of the month. Dogs that took higher doses (20 milligrams per day) and liposomal (CBD in fat) doses saw significant improvement. 

For two weeks after the dogs quit the CBD regimen, owners reported a lasting improvement in their pet’s behavior, suggesting that CBD is treating the underlying inflammatory issue and not just masking pain. 

Beyond scientific studies, there is a wealth of successful anecdotes of pet parents treating their animals with CBD. CBD transparency platform,  Leafreport conducted a US-based survey and found that 50 percent of 1,448 respondents used CBD for their animals. Many were doing so from a recommendation from their vet. Most of the respondents, 44 percent, gave cannabidiol to their pets to relieve anxiety and stress. And 67 percent said they saw moderate to great improvement from the regimen. 

The new law takes effect on October 1. Pet owners’ success with CBD, positive clinical trials, and the recent Nevada treatment approval may signal that it’s just a matter of time before every state acknowledges the benefits of CBD for our best companions. 


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