Pubdate: Thu, 28 Jul 2016
Source: Portland Mercury (OR)
Column: Ask a Pot Lawyer
Copyright: 2016 The Portland Mercury
Author: Vince Sliwoski


Yep, They Are.

What's the deal with cannabidiol (CBD) pet treats? Are they really a thing?

YES, CBD-INFUSED pet treats are definitely a thing. They are often 
marketed to "all pets, large and small," and you can order them 
online from any number of manufacturers. As with any product, some of 
the websites look better than others. Some even contain product 
testimonials from pet owners, which can make for delightful reading.

Pet treats are pricey little morsels designed to relieve ill and 
aging animals. Sellers also promote them for anxiety and "bonding" 
issues. These treats are infused with non-psychoactive CBD and they 
are marketed to the humane souls among us concerned with arthritic 
rabbits, not the guy who blows smoke in his cat's face.

These websites make many claims about the products' benefits and 
results. I have no idea if any of them are true. The federal 
government has ignored these claims, mostly, although the US Food and 
Drug Administration (FDA) warned one manufacturer about overly 
enthusiastic language a while back, stating that "[Canna Companion] 
is an unapproved new animal drug and your marketing of it violates 
the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act." Apparently that manufacturer has 
dialed down its language and continues to peddle its snacks.

Warning letters from the FDA are not unusual in the food and drug 
world, especially when it comes to CBD. Still, it is interesting that 
the feds have not taken meaningful action to restrain this booming 
market-even though the FDA has not approved cannabis for 
animal-related use and even though these treats are sold nationwide. 
This is perhaps because CBD is arguably legal, so long as it is 
derived from imported hemp. Which is convoluted legal nonsense.

Note that the process of extracting CBD from industrial hemp is more 
involved than from high-resin marijuana plants. Thus, these products 
"lack the full spectrum of aromatic terpenes and other cannabinoids 
found in high-resin" weed, according to the folks at Project CBD. 
This means that if CBD pet treats are being made lawfully, they may 
lack some of the pharmaceutical properties that you and your 
Pekingese both deserve and expect.

It also seems unlikely that all or even most of the CBD pet treats 
are made with CBD derived from imported hemp. Verifying the true 
origin of CBD oil is difficult for customs officials, and federal law 
is opaque. Here in Oregon, the Department of Agriculture has taken a 
hands-off approach on this item, and the Oregon Liquor Control 
Commission has narrowed its focus to pet owners, not pets.

The bottom line is that CBD pet treats are available and you probably 
won't get in trouble for buying them. However, there are no standards 
in place to ensure you are getting what you think, or even that the 
CBD ratios are accurate. Your vet will likely disapprove. All that 
said, if your hamster seems to dig it, maybe that's enough.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom