What is the British veterinary association position on CBD?

June 11, 2019

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), who are the regulators for the manufacture, sale and use of veterinary medicines in the UK, have released a statement where they declared that CBD can only be used in veterinary medicine.

The VMD state that their aim is to protect animal health and they issued the statement quite abruptly following an increase in the use of CBD by pet owners on their pets. In the press release, they stated that “The VMD considers that veterinary products containing Cannabidiol [CBD, a substance derived from the cannabis plant] are veterinary medicine.”

What does this mean for using CBD for pets?

At first glance, this ruling could be considered good for CBD – as it has been recognised for its medical potential for pets. However, because CBD is now considered a veterinary medicine, it is now regulated for sale in general use for pets without requiring to see a veterinary specialist first. Any foods that had previously been manufactured for use by pets that contain CBD are now prohibited. To obtain CBD for use for dogs and pets, you need to first take your pet to the vets and hope that they prescribe them CBD.

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Because the VMD has taken an interest in CBD by regulating it, it means that they recognise its medicinal potential. The general principle for their operation is that if it works, then they will categorise it. However, this categorisation is only going to make it harder for pet owners to get hold of CBD without first seeking advice.

Dog Stethoscope

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This has caused controversy for pet owners who already administer CBD to their pets, because it now makes what they do illegal. Anybody who gives medication to a pet that isn’t licensed or authorised to do to so could find themselves in trouble.

The recommendation for anybody falling under this category is to speak to a vet to obtain a prescription and then to purchase CBD in the same fashion as practised for humans (there isn’t specific CBD oil for pets currently manufactured).

Why have they made this change?

If they didn’t recognise CBD as having medicinal potential, they wouldn’t have bothered regulating it. But, now that they do recognise it, it’s going to be harder to obtain a legal means for using it. You might automatically assume that this is bad for CBD use, however, regulation isn’t always bad.

It means that CBD will now be studied extensively for its use with pets, and more information will be discovered about how it can be used to treat different ailments. It will highlight any risks and adverse effects as discovered by people who aren’t just trying to sell a product and as such will allow people to be able to make more educated decisions over whether to use CBD for their pets. Also, following this research, it means that CBD products for pets will specifically be developed to cater for their needs, instead of a one size fits all bottle of CBD oils for everyone.

Puppy Vet

Should owners keep using CBD on their pets?

Prior to the release of this statement, people were using CBD for their pets as a nutritional supplement. Because CBD has no strong side effects with no possibility of overdose, It stands to reason that owners should still be allowed to use it, but unfortunately the law dictates otherwise.

However, this ruling has mainly been made to protect animals whose owners have decided to use CBD without first seeking medical advice to treat an illness. They don’t particularly seem too concerned with its use as a food supplement, but further study to be used to treat specific conditions.





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