Should I use CBD oil for my pet?

At this time…no you should not. CBD or cannabidiol was found to be highly effective for a seizure disorder in children called Dravet syndrome. This led to the production of Epidiolex, the only FDA approved and tested CBD oil.

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil is a concentrated extract made from cannabis flowers or leaves that is dissolved in an edible oil such as sunflower, hemp, or olive oil. Cannabis is a plant. There are different kinds of cannabis plants, one yields hemp and CBD while another kind of cannabis yields marijuana and psychoactive chemical THC (tetrahydrocannabinol.) It is believed that hemp and CBD have less than 0.3% THC so there is no psychological effects from CBD.

The law

Cannabis, all plants in this family, is regulated by the Controlled Substance Act or DEA in the United States. It is considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance and can only be prescribed by a doctor that holds a schedule 1 license. In 2018 a US Farm Bill was passed to allow the farm production of hemp (the plant CBD is obtained from). The FDA commissioner stated that CBD is a drug ingredient and therefore illegal to add to food or health products without approval from the FDA because it can put patients at risk and none have been proven to be safe and effective (with the exception of Epidiolex.)


As it stands right now, some states have legalized marijuana and similar cannabis products. Most have not. The federal law states it is legal to farm hemp but the FDA says it is illegal to use it in food or health products. There are many producers of CBD products and, at this current time, is completely unregulated and producing cannabis products (hemp and CBD) with very little oversight by any regulatory agency for safety, quality, strength or purity. There is no current research that says it is a therapeutic agent for pets. It may help or it may not. It could also make your pet’s condition worse.

Why is it available?

The biggest issue is the conflicting laws outlined above and the lack of government funding to enforce any safety or quality regulations. It is truly up to the consumer to do extensive research into how the CBD is produced and if it is a quality product. Things to be aware of is the way it is produced, the way it is extracted, and how is purity tested. In a Dutch study, quality was tested in 21 products and over 50% were found to not contain the concentrations of CBD or THC.


At this time, I do not recommend using any CBD oil on any pet. There have been no studies to support that it is helpful and no FDA or USDA approved products are available. If you choose to do so be aware that products can contain heavy metals, toxins and solvents that may actually be dangerous to your pet.  As research progresses, quality products may be available in the future.