It’s everywhere: CBD, the “wonder drug”. Each week, several customers – their vet – have likely informed me that they are giving this supplement to their dogs. Her intention and hope is that the supplement will cure their dogs from a variety of disorders including allergies, seizures, immune-mediated syndromes, and cancer. Despite the fact that the treatment was their idea and that they found the product themselves – in a health food store, online, or in a kitchen of someone they know – they often ask me, “What is this exactly? Do you think it works “
If you give your dog products that contain CBD, you must be aware that they are untested, unapproved, and that your vet may not have any experience or reliable information about your dog’s side effects.
The History of CBD Research and Discoveries
It’s hard to believe that a complex chemical signaling system that helps our bodies maintain homeostasis by sending protein messages between cells was only recently discovered – in the late 1980s – by researchers trying to figure out why and how marijuana makes people high. Strange but true: the first piece of what is known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS) was discovered by researchers who wanted to find out which part of the brain is affected by marijuana.
Actually, the word “marijuana” is a derogatory name that became popular for dried parts of in the 1920s cannabis Plants. Marijuana became the generally accepted name for the dried flowers and leaves of cannabis Plants, just as tobacco has become the generally accepted name of the dried leaves of Nicotiana Plants.
In 1964, scientists first isolated the chemical compound in cannabis this causes psychoactive effects in humans and other mammals; it was called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This chemical, in both versions, is derived from cannabis Plants and synthetic, chemically reconstructed versions have been extensively studied for their behavioral effects on humans.
In the late 1980s, while researchers were still trying to figure out what was responsible for the psychoactive effects of THC on mammals, they found clear evidence of the presence of a specific receptor in the brains of rats that “takes in” (responds). THC. Receptors are chemical structures that receive and transmit signals and cause some form of cell / tissue reaction. The receptor that responded to THC was called CB1 (Cannabinoid 1).
The CB1 receptor was subsequently identified in other mammalian brains, including those of humans.
Once the receptor was identified in mammalian brains, researchers began realizing that mammalian brains contained a quantity of these receptors. Once they knew what to look for, they found CB1 be present at a similar density as receptors for other critical neurotransmitters, including glutamate, GABA, and dopamine. Why on earth do mammals have so many receptors for chemicals in Cannabis?
A second cannabinoid receptor, CB2was discovered in 1993 in a surprising place: a rat spleen. In a very short time, researchers who looked specifically for these receptors in humans found an abundance of them – and that in different places in the body! CB1 Receptors are most abundant in the brain and central nervous system; CB2 Receptors are widespread in the immune system and in peripheral organs. Both receptors are also located in the intestine.
The presence of chemical receptors in the body naturally suggests that endogenous chemicals (chemicals produced) are present in the the body – “endo” means inside) that interact with these receptors. Molecules that bind to receptors are called ligands, and scientists soon discovered the endogenous ligands for these receptors.
Research into the function this signaling / response system – known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS) – is up-to-date and running. In recent years, scientists have learned that the ECS plays a role in regulating a number and variety of physiological functions, including appetite, temperature, motor skills, fertility, mood, and pain, to name a few.
When activated by a loss of homeostasis, the body produces and releases endocannabinoid ligands (cannabinoids made in the dog’s body) that bring the affected system back into normal equilibrium. Once they’re done with their job, there are also enzymes that help break down the endocannabinoids.
According to “Overview of the Neurological Benefits of Phytocannabinoids” published in Surgical Neurology International in 2018 “Manipulations of endocannabinoid-degrading enzymes, CB1 and CB2 Receptors and their endogenous ligands have shown promise in modulating numerous processes associated with neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury. “
We come to CBD. . .
The inclusion of derivatives of cannabis Plants affect humans and other mammals (like our dogs) because they contain ligands that randomly interact with CB1 and CB2 Receptors in our body. These chemicals can be known as exogenous cannabinoids (“exo” means outside; exogenous means that they are made outside the body) or phytocannabinoids (“phyto” means “a plant”).
Here’s a fact that might surprise you: there are over 100 different cannabinoids in cannabis Plants. Again, THC is best known for its significant psychoactive effects on mammals. But the first Cannabinoid compound that has been identified in cannabis was called cannabidiol (CBD). Although it rises quickly cannabisCannabinoid popularity contest, when it was first identified (1940!), It was more or less rejected by chemists who mapped its chemical structure as “no marijuana activity”.
You were right: CBD does Not have psychoactive effects. But the growing number of fans in the medical community believe it may have benefits in relieving pain, nausea, anxiety, depression, and seizure disorders, along with many other potential benefits in animals that have cannabinoid receptors in their bodies (humans and dogs among them). .
Let’s talk about what is known about CBD which has not yet been proven and why I can’t give my clients recommendations, pro or con, about CBD products.
The rapidly growing number of CBD fans in the medical community believe this can relieve pain, nausea, anxiety, depression, and seizure disorders. You can hear more claims about its supposed benefits, but these are the ones that have the most scientific evidence yet to support them.
These claims sound amazing! Why isn’t the veterinary community betting on the use of CBD for pets? Well it’s complicated.
The claims about the health benefits of CBD for pets are largely made based on research by a pharmaceutical company that has used synthetic analogues of cannabinoids. widespread anecdotal evidence; and very small, very recent studies of CBD in dogs.
The ability to study CBD in research laboratories has been severely compromised until recently. For many years, drug companies trying to study cannabinoids have had to use synthetic versions. That’s because in the US cannabis was officially banned for any use (including medical supplies) with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
In 2018, however, plants were classified as “hemp” – cannabis Species with less than 0.3% dry weight of the psychoactive cannabinoid substance Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were identified as controlled substances in the 2018 Farm Bill. This removed significant research barriers to academic and commercial research into CBD, as well as legal barriers to growing and harvesting these plants, and subsequently refined products containing CBD and sold them to the public. In response, the market became flooded with CBD-containing products for humans and – of particular interest to readers of this magazine – dogs!
Meanwhile Power Being a good thing, it brings new problems. First, these products are not subject any At sight. Why? Because they were classified as “dietary supplements” rather than “drugs”.
Any drug that makes therapeutic claims (prevents, cures, or treats disease) must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This ensures that the drug is safe and effective.
However, this process does not apply to products that are considered to be such Additions, This is how most CBD products are currently treated. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), dietary supplements may not be labeled or marketed for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, relief, or cure of any disease.
Instead, manufacturers of dietary supplements can only provide information on “structure or function”: They may only describe “the role of a nutrient or a food component that is intended to influence the structure or function in humans (or in pets)” or “characterize the documented mechanism, through the a nutrient or food component serves to maintain such a structure or function. “
Does that sound like gibberish? A 2018 article entitled “How to Market CBD Products in a Sea of Uncertainty,” published in Cannabis Business Executive (it’s an actual thing) clarified the difference and offered these tips to companies that want to make and sell CBD-containing companies:
What are the dos for a CBD supplier?
- Use cosmetic claims (“embellished”, “improved”).
- Refer to emotions (“reduces irritability”).
- Use words like “wellness”, “supports”, “cares”.
- Refer to common parts of the body including systems.
- Use qualifiers like “mild” and “occasional” to differentiate a temporary condition from the symptoms of the disease.
- Use the FDA disclaimer, but only with information about structure / function: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. “
What are the prohibitions for a CBD provider?
- Do not use words like “treat”, “cure”, “repair”, “acute”, “sick”, “chronic”.
- Don’t mention illnesses like cancer, fibromyalgia, or osteoarthritis.
- Do not refer to symptoms such as fever, cough, sneezing.
- Do not use disease claims.
- Do not recommend a product to supplement another drug.
- Do not recommend a product as a substitute for another drug.
Since there are no statutory pre-sale tests or the monitoring of the manufacture or labeling of food supplements, it is entirely possible that there is no similarity between the information on the label and the actual information in the product. No testing is required to determine the purity or safety of any of these CBD supplements – or to confirm the reliability of any tests a manufacturer may have performed.
It’s the wild, wild west out there! A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association In 2015, it was found that CBD / hemp products were significantly mislabelled and often contained much more or less CBD than reported. Other concerns include the purity and adulteration of substances that may be toxic to dogs, such as xylitol.
Those of us who would like our supplements to be served along with a healthy dose of scientific data to support their use are holding back from trying these products out a little longer. Apart from a handful of smaller studies on the use of CBD oil in dogs, no data are available on veterinary use. Most of the information available is case studies and / or anecdotes.
So far, there have only been three studies examining the use of CBD in dogs.
The earliest was published in January 2018 Limits in Veterinary Medicine and evaluated the oral pharmacokinetics, safety, and effectiveness of CBD oil. The results showed that CBD appeared safe and well tolerated at the concentrations used, and reduced the pain associated with osteoarthritis. It has been found that serum alkaline phosphatase, a liver function test (SAP or ALP), increases. However, this is not uncommon with many drugs, including phenobarbital and prednisone. This is called liver induction and can occur with drugs that are highly dependent on liver metabolism. The significance of this finding is unknown.
A second study, published in September 2018, assessed side effects when a group of 30 healthy research dogs was given CBD oil. Different formulations were used and despite the differences, all dogs in the study developed diarrhea. Some also developed elevations in SAP, as in the first study. Overall, the CBD was considered to be well tolerated, but further research is required on the significance of the associated diarrhea and the increase in liver enzymes.
Recently (June 2019) a study was published examining CBD oil in combination with antiseizure drugs in dogs with difficult-to-treat epilepsy. One group received CBD-infused oil and the other a placebo. Seizure frequency decreased in the CBD oil group, but the results need further investigation. As in previous studies, SAP was elevated in many patients.
The American Veterinary Medical Association is currently actively promoting controlled trials of cannabinoid use. It also works with the FDA to encourage the development of veterinary-specific products. Government veterinarians are also making strides in tackling the sudden glut of products and claims.
Veterinarians and “legal” CBD products
There is not a single one drug contains CBD, which is approved for use on animals by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
In 1994, the FDA introduced the Animal Drug Consumption Clarification Act (AMDUCA), which allows veterinarians to use drugs “off-label” on patients – and use the drug in a way that does not comply with the instructions on the label. Use of a medicament in this manner may involve the use of a medicament in a dose, frequency, or route of administration that is not indicated on the label or in a manner for which it is not indicated. Like us, for example can Use FDA approved human medicines on our animal patients. This must be done within the framework of a valid relationship between the vet, client and patient.
There is only one thing cannabis-derived drugs that contain CBD and are FDA approved and therefore could potentially be legally “off-label” prescribed or recommended by a veterinarian for a dog. This drug is Epidiolex and it is used to treat seizures in people with certain types of abnormalities. However, the estimated annual cost of this drug is $ 32,500, making it prohibitively expensive for the majority of dog owners.
One more thing you need to know, the law currently prohibits veterinarians in any state from supplying or administering cannabis or cannabis products to an animal patient. It doesn’t matter if your dog has a chronic, painful illness or seizures. It doesn’t matter if the product is a supplement (and not a medicine) and you could buy it from a pet store.
With the exception of veterinarians licensed in California, Colorado, and Oregon, we can’t even act legally to discuss CBD products with our customers. Why are veterinarians allowed to talk about it in these states?
Late 2018 California was the first state to pass veterinary laws that changed the state’s corporate and professional code to allow veterinarians to debate cannabis and its derivatives. It also requires the California Veterinary Medical Board to develop guidelines for these discussions by 2020. However, like any other state, the California Code expressly prohibits “a licensed veterinarian from dispensing or administering it cannabis or cannabis Products for an animal patient. “
The Colorado The Veterinary Medical Association’s statement on what it describes as “marijuana and marijuana-derived products,” said the state “recognizes the interest of animal lovers and veterinarians in the potential benefits of marijuana therapies for a variety of animal diseases . Similar to human medicine, there is extremely limited data on the medical benefits and side effects of marijuana products in pets. “
Additionally, the Colorado statement clarifies that state licensed veterinarians “have an obligation to provide complete education to pet owners about the potential risks and benefits of marijuana products in animals. . . . Any discussion of a particular marijuana product as part of a companion’s regimen should be consistent with a valid vet, client, and patient (VCP) relationship. “
Manufacturing and quality control
CBD is most commonly made commercially available in the form of an oil or tincture. Both forms are obtained from hemp – cannabis Plants that contain less than 0.03% (dry weight) THC – using chemical solvents. The most common solvents used for this extraction include carbon dioxide, butane, or ethanol. Once the CBD has been leached from the plant material, the solvents are extracted using various methods. Due to the potential harmful effects of incompletely extracted solvents, CBD products should be subjected to laboratory analysis to confirm the absence of solvent residues.
Laboratory tests are also recommended to confirm that the product does not contain any other potentially dangerous toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, or mycotoxins.
Cannabis and help plants absorb heavy metals easily from their environment. The use of pesticides is common in hemp cultivation – although the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has not yet given hemp growers any guidelines or restrictions on the use of pesticides on hemp or on the residues of hemp products for consumption. Hemp plants are prone to fungal growth, which can lead to the presence of carcinogenic mycotoxins such as ochratoxin A and aflatoxins. Due to the risk of accidental adulteration during manufacture, the FDA recommends that all drugs be tested for cadmium, arsenic, lead, and mercury. Granted, CBD products are considered dietary supplements, not drugs. However, since they are intended for consumption, this test (as well as the test for pesticides and mycotoxins) makes sense.
And finally, any supplement that you consume or give your dog should have a certificate of analysis confirming the effectiveness or concentration of the product so that you can administer consistent dosages for a predictable effect.
Oregon The Veterinary Medical Examining Board emailed its members in August 2016 stating, “Veterinarians can discuss the use of veterinarians cannabis with customers, and it is recommended that customers be notified of published animal toxicity data and any lack of scientific data on the benefit. Please note that any unorthodox treatment requires written consent from a client. ”
State legislation and the decisions of the Veterinary Committee are likely to change quickly as the landscape of cannabis Usage evolves quickly. With many veterinarians currently concerned that violating their government regulations could result in them having legal ramifications, few pet owners have much recourse to discussions with vets about CBD.
I repeat this: if you give your dog products that contain CBD, you must be aware that they are untested, unapproved and that your vet may not have experience or reliable information about your dog’s side effects.
If you are taking your dog to a veterinarian for treatment, testing, or advice and your dog is receiving any kind of CBD products, make sure the veterinarian is aware of this. Ideally, it can alert you to the dangers of possible adverse interactions between the CBD and any prescription drugs (or other dietary supplements) you may give your dog.
Your veterinarian should also be notified so you can look out for any side effects – or maybe you hope to see signs of improvement in your dog’s health and / or comfort.