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Some pet owners swear by CBD's positive effects on family animals while experts remain cautious

Posted at 10:32 AM, May 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-04 14:05:34-04

CLEVELAND — While pet owners claim anecdotal success giving their animals CBD to treat pain, veterinarians say more evidence is needed before pets should take CBD.

Pet owners will try almost anything to keep their four-legged friends happy and healthy.

"They're both French bullodgs," Stacey Allen said. "Little dogs but they have a big personality."

So when Allen's dog, Bentley, was struggling with anxiety, she tried something new.

"We started experimenting with CBD treats to see if it helped," said Allen. "We definitely noticed a difference."

Brett Johnson had similar positive results for his two border collies.

"I highly recommend it," said Johnson. "They have an internal condition that's yeast infection and it's causing them to itch. The CBD oil is helping a lot."

Those success stories are making CBD products more and more popular with dog owners but veterinarians aren't so supportive.

"I probably have clients asking me about CBD on a weekly basis," said Veterinarian Dr. Annette Sysel. "So at this time, there's really not enough there to say is the product safe."

Sysel says there is still very little research involving CBD and dogs with practically no research for cats or horses.

"It can be very dangerous for owners to be giving CBD from uncertain sources when they're not even sure exactly what is in the product," said Dr. Sysel.

Congress' 2018 Farm Bill took hemp off the controlled substance list, potentially clearing the way for a boom in CBD products.

In Ohio, CBD is still illegal until Senate Bill 57, titled "Decriminalize hemp and license hemp cultivation," can be signed into law. The bill would set up a state program under the Department of Agriculture that would allow hemp to be sold and CBD products, which come from hemp, to be sold.

But the Federal Drug Administration still considers CBD to be a drug.

"So essentially, as a veterinarian, we're not allowed to discuss CBD with clients," said Dr. Sysel.

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