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Most veterinarians not ready for ‘the CBD talk’

Survey participants think the cannabis extract could be useful in pet wellness.

Most veterinarians not ready for ‘the CBD talk’
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How much do you know about cannabidiol (CBD) and its use in veterinary medicine?

A research paper soon to be published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science will report that fewer than half of U.S. veterinarians — 45.5 percent — felt comfortable discussing the topic with clients. When they did, CBD most often was raised as a potential treatment for pain management, anxiety and seizures in dogs.

Oddly, more than 6 in 10 veterinarians — 61.5 percent — felt comfortable discussing CBD with colleagues, according to an anonymous online survey of 2,130 veterinarians.

The research paper was written by Lori R. Kogan, Ph.D., and Peter W. Hellyer, DVM, MS, DACVA, of Colorado State University; Regina Schoenfeld-Tacher, Ph.D., of North Carolina State University; and Mark Rishniw, BVSc, MS, Ph.D., DACVIM, of the Veterinary Information Network. Frontiers in Veterinary Science posted a summary pending release of the full text.

Derived from cannabis, CBD comes with “little empirical research” as to its efficacy in veterinary medicine, the authors stated. Clouding the issue is a “myriad of laws concerning cannabis,” they noted.

The survey team suggested the need for more research and education.

“Participants felt their state veterinary associations and veterinary boards did not provide sufficient guidance for them to practice within applicable laws,” the researchers said. “Recent graduates and those practicing in states with legalized recreational marijuana were more likely to agree that research regarding the use of CBD in dogs is needed.

“These same groups also felt that marijuana and CBD should not remain classified as Schedule I drugs. Most participants agreed that both marijuana and CBD products offer benefits for humans and expressed support for use of CBD products for animals.”

American Veterinary Medical Association members can access a resource guide, “Cannabis: What Veterinarians Need to Know,” at http://bit.ly/2s8Qtex.

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