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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — CBD biscuits, cookies and oils aren’t just for humans anymore, they are for your pets!
The marijuana extract, growing in popularity across South Florida and the rest of the country, has users claiming it works wonders for their aches, pains and anxiety.
But does CBD oil work for your pets?
Heather Golden, who adopted her dog Jeter four years ago, believes it does.
Golden said Jeter nipped at people, jumped on them and also didn’t get along with other dogs. He would hover under the tables during a rainstorm.
“So we got him CBD oil, in hopes it would calm him down,” said Golden. “And it did.”
Golden said it took some fine-tuning. She started with smaller doses and worked her way up until she found the right amount that would help.
“[Now, we] don’t have to be on guard all the time and lock the dogs up, put them in the crate,” said Golden. “He’s more calm, relaxed. We don’t have to worry about him every time someone walks in the door.”
While Golden said CBD oil worked for her dog, there are not many studies that back up the claims of CBD working for pets.
CBD products from hemp, classified as cannabis with less than .3% THC, can be easily purchased all over the country and is widely available in Florida.
However, when it comes to the legality and research, it is still very much in a gray area.
“There’s no research done on proper doses,” said Dr. Daniel Levin, a veterinarian who practices in Cooper City. “Everything we have taken is from human research [and there have been] few studies done on the vet side.”
Del-Ray based firm, Prana Pets, has been selling CBD products for pets for more than three years.
“The natural approach, we feel is much better,” said Brad Solomon, a company co-founder.
He and his partner Brad Noonan are yoga instructors and dog owners who started when they saw great results with their own pets.
“We developed CBD dog treats,” said Solomon. “One for hip and joints, another for anxiety and calming.”
As the hemp industry is still very much in a ‘gray area,’ Solomon said they have consulted with many veterinarians and work closely with a legal team.
“Prior to December, it was really a wild west for the CBD business,” said Solomon.
The 2018 Farm Bill passed in December makes hemp an agricultural commodity and removed it from a list of controlled substances. Many businesses took this federal ruling as a go-ahead and now CBD products are popping up everywhere.
“CBD can be expensive,” said Solomon, who has noticed prices have gone down significantly since the Farm Bill.
The new ruling also gives each state the power to make their own rules when it comes to industrializing hemp. Florida doesn’t have those laws yet, as a hemp program is in the works. Florida state laws also don’t differentiate between hemp and other forms of cannabis.
Solomon said he’s excited for the hemp industry to move forward and hopeful that research to back up CBD’s power on pets will come soon.
Dr. Levin would also like to see that research.
“It could be a great drug for us,” said Dr. Levin.
Until then, he said veterinarians can’t prescribe or use CBD for pets. It would put their licenses in jeopardy.
“I can say I’ve heard from clients that use it ‘this is what they tell me,’” said Dr. Levin. “I’m a little weary of the products.”
In addition to the legality being in a gray area and the lack of research, there is no regulation.
Solomon said when picking out products, be sure to know the source of the product. He said Prana Pets gets their supply from a farm in Colorado to ensure every batch is the same and the products are consistent.
Commissioner Nikki Fried has voiced her support for a hemp program. Earlier this month, a bill that would create a state hemp program was passed unanimously by the Florida House.