Some Pet Owners Turn to CBD for Animals' Ailments

CBD is a budding industry with many hailing its health benefits, and it isn’t just for people: Some are using it to help their pets.

When Nina Panageotou's 11-year-old dog got cancer, she decided to give the dog a daily dose of CBD oil rather than chemotherapy or radiation.

“I wouldn’t give her anything else,” Panageotou said. “I mean, she’s eating, she’s playing, she sleeps well.”

CBD comes from the extract of a hemp or marijuana plant but lacks the THC in marijuana that people use to get high.

There’s no science to suggest it will cure pets' ailments, but it may improve their quality of life.

It can be used for everything from arthritis and seizures for dogs and cats to simply helping ease their nerves.

“To calm their pets — so dogs who have noise aversion or dogs who have a little anxiety it seems to help with, and a lot of people are using it for pain management,” veterinarian Dr. Joseph Zuckerman said.

CBD is legal in 47 states, including Maryland, Virginia, and the District.

It’s sold at specialty pet stores, natural food stores and online.

But it's an industry not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration with little oversight into what's going inside the product. It's up to companies to police themselves.

“Now that I know about it, she has to have it,” Panageotou said, adding, “That’s all I can do, is give her the best life I can while she’s here.”

The health benefits and side-effects of CBD are still unclear and have not been studied.

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