The Farm Act removed hemp from the list of Schedule I controlled substances last year in December. Moreover, the federal government legalized hemp-derived cannabidiol with a maximum concentration of 0.3% THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana.
THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical responsible for causing hallucinations and a euphoria-like feeling. If used in high potency over a long period of time, THC rich substances can cause mental health disorders like seizures, anxiety, insomnia, and withdrawal symptoms in users addicted to marijuana.
The government set a higher cap to THC looking at its potency, and the lack of research available on its safety. However, Cannabidiol or popularly known as CBD is a non-psychoactive substance with anti-inflammatory properties. It is known to alleviate the symptoms of life-threatening diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and Tourette.
Many people tout CBD for its medicinal benefits, in fact, it has become an everyday product in many people’s lives. It is widely known to be used for relieving stress, anxiety, depression, acute pain, chronic pain, inflammation, muscle spasms, back pain, neck pain, etc.
CBD products like ointment, oil, topical, cream, isolate, gummies and chocolate have been flooding the consumer market. Since the Farm Bill passed, everybody seems to be jumping on the CBD bandwagon. This made hemp an ordinary agricultural item that paved the way for mass production and research of CBD.
At present, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved only one CBD based drug, Epidiolex. It is an oral solution used to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy- Dravet syndrome and Lennox Gastaut syndrome.
Other than this product, the FDA has not approved any CBD product. The agency is yet to create a regulatory framework for CBD products. But currently, it is nowhere near legalizing CBD edibles. Moreover, it recently sent warning letters to 15 companies that were not complying with the federal regulations.
In a recent press release, the Federal Trade Commission said that it is illegal to market or advertise products with medicinal claims that haven’t been completely proved or backed by scientific evidence.
Despite the lack of research and evidence, many internet websites and brick and mortar stores claim that CBD is a miracle drug. But the truth is, that many of these claims are, to date, not completely found.
There is also a major confusion over the legal implications of a medical professional like a veterinarian recommending or prescribing CBD. This is not surprising because until very recently, CBD was also in the same category as heroin.
However, with scientific discoveries, it was revealed that CBD can influence certain conditions, including cancer, and a host of psychological conditions. It is known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). In layman language, it describes a system that keeps your bodily processes running smoothly.
CBD has been found to influence, or regulate, things like mood, sleep, pain, learning, inflammatory responses, and many others. Endocannabinoids are cellular receptors that report to receptors in places like the immune cells or the central nervous system. THC interacts at these receptor sites, but the interesting part is that CBD does not. So while everyone suspects that CBD does interact with these receptors, it’s not known how it exactly happens.
After the Hemp Act, research about cannabinoids has been in full swing and early reports indicate that some of the medicinal claims made by CBD users might just be true. In the veterinary arena, a recent study at Colorado State University on the effects of CBD for canine epilepsy management showed promising results.
In fact, 89% of the patients showed improvement in health with the addition of CBD to their existing treatment regimes. The study was relatively small but still encouraging. Another study conducted at Cornell University on the effects of CBD on arthritic pain in dogs showed that there were clinically significant reductions in pain and increased activity levels in dogs that received CBD.
As long as CBD is derived from hemp, and contains less than 0.3% THC, it is perfectly legal to sell, recommend or provide it to clients. There is an array of CBD products right now in the market, but most of them vary widely in terms of THC and CBD content. So before you buy a CBD product, make sure you check it is authorized and legal. Most of the retailers are selling illicit products that contain higher concentrations of THC and can result in a positive drug test.
Like any other drug, THC or CBD could interfere with drugs your dog is already taking. Consult with your veterinarian before you start the treatment. CBD is a widely unregulated industry currently with minimal compliance and guidelines. Ask your pharmacist for reputable sources of safe and effective products.