Nevada Becomes First State to Allow Veterinary CBD Treatment

Nevada Becomes First State to Allow Veterinary CBD Treatment

Nevada Becomes First State to Allow Veterinary CBD Treatment

The simple question,  “Is CBD Safe for Pets?” has been a topic on many pet owners’ minds. However, many veterinarians steered clear from discussing the issue due to unclear legislation. Now, under a new law, that’s changing. 

Nevada recently became the first state to allow veterinarians to recommend and administer cannabinoid products. The new law, which went into effect on Oct. 1, allows practitioners to prescribe hemp and CBD products below 0.3% THC without fear of sanction from the state licensing board. 

Prior to this, veterinarians by and large avoided discussing CBD without explicit approval from the boards. Because CBD products have not been approved for animal use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, recommending or administering them could have resulted in a penalty. Fortunately, Nevada veterinarians no longer need to worry. 

The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Steve Yeager and signed into law by Governor Steve Sisolak, protects practitioners from disciplinary action if they treat patients with the cannabis derivative. 

Veterinarians can also now discuss it with pet owners, offer product recommendations and dosing advice. Only two other states, California and Michigan, currently allow veterinarians to discuss cannabis with clients, though both prohibit the administration of the product. 

The bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Steve Yeager, first introduced the measure in February. Similar to previous state legislation, Nevada’s law prior to AB 101 was unclear on whether veterinarians could discuss CBD products, though it was legal for human consumption. 

Through the help of Yaeger and the Nevada Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, the bill encountered no opposition and passed without a single no vote. 

Promising Research

Though the ban remains in most states, promising research gives hope for the future. Currently, the FDA only authorizes one CBD-containing medication, Epidolex, to treat epilepsy in humans. However, studies show that CBD also reduces the frequency of seizures in dogs at high success rates. 

Similar to the halt on human research, studies on cannabinoids’ effects on pets have been complicated by the war on drugs. Because of the Federal Controlled Substances Act, which listed cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug (meaning the government regarded it as having no therapeutic use and a high potential for abuse), research interest in the plant halted in the 70s. 

Since then, the tangle of federal and state regulations, coupled with the stigmatization of cannabis, left research on cannabinoids decades in the past. Though the direction’s changed in recent years, medical research still has years to catch up. 

For these reasons, studies on CBD’s benefits on pets are not fully known yet. However, anecdotally, many pet owners report using CBD to treat their pet’s pain and anxiety. Similarly, of the studies that have been conducted, most find that CBD products have medicinal benefits similar to humans, such as cardiac benefits, anti-inflammatory properties, and possibly even anti-cancer properties

Despite the restrictions on veterinarians, this hasn’t diminished pet owners’ interest in CBD. In 2021, the global pet CBD market is estimated to generate $629 million in sales. The same study predicts by 2025 it will hit $1.1 billion. 

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Disclaimer: This story is intended for informational purposes only and is not for the purpose of providing medical advice. Please always consult with your pet’s veterinarian.