CBD Oil For Dogs UK: Everything You Need To Know

Curious about CBD oil for dogs in the UK?

CBD has seen a surge in popularity recently, with the market projected to grow to almost £1 billion by 2025.

With more and more people using CBD themselves, some dog owners are considering getting their pups in on the action too.

In this article, we explore everything you need to know about CBD oil for dogs in the UK.

cbd oil for dogs uk

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of a number of cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. 

Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another well-known cannabinoid, CBD doesn’t have any psychotropic or intoxicating effects – in other words, it won’t get you high.

CBD is widely available to buy on the UK high street and online. It comes in a variety of different forms, including oils and tinctures, cosmetics, capsules, gummies, drinks, vape products and more.

The recent boom in the CBD market has been driven by growing interest in CBD’s potential therapeutic properties, combined with its favourable safety profile and lack of addiction risk.

However, CBD’s therapeutic potential is not yet fully known, and new studies are underway around the world aiming to improve our understanding of it.

Is it legal to buy CBD oil for dogs in the UK?

CBD products for human consumption are legal in the UK as long as they contain less than the legal limit of THC – however, the law is different for animals.

In the UK, it is illegal to purchase or administer CBD for dogs unless it is prescribed by a vet. Only a qualified vet can prescribe CBD for use on any animal.

In September 2018, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) published a statement saying that it considers veterinary products containing CBD to be veterinary medicines and that they should be regulated as such. 

This decision was made on the basis that products containing CBD meet the definition of veterinary medicine in the Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR). 

The definition is as follows: 

“any substance or combination of substances that may be used in, or administered to, animals with a view either to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action or to making a medical diagnosis.”

The VMD’s decision means that CBD products designed for use in animals require marketing authorisation before they can be supplied or sold in the UK. There are currently no CBD products that have been granted a UK veterinary marketing authorisation.

Since no CBD products are authorised for veterinary use in the UK, vets may prescribe products designed for human use. CBD companies are not allowed to recommend or indicate their products for use on animals.

Administering a CBD product to an animal without a prescription from a vet is an offence under Regulation 8 of the VMR.

In other words, it’s illegal to give your dog CBD unless it has been prescribed by a vet. So, if you’re considering trying CBD oil on your pet, you’ll need to talk to your vet about it first.

Is CBD safe for dogs?

There has been very little research on the use of CBD for dogs. 

So far, there hasn’t been any evidence to suggest that CBD is toxic to dogs. However, there is a lack of knowledge around how CBD interacts with other medications, and what the correct dosage is.

Much of the existing research concentrates on the toxic effects of marijuana on dogs, rather than just CBD.

For example, a study in Colorado found that the frequency of marijuana toxicosis in dogs increased in conjunction with the increase in medical marijuana licenses issued.

It is reported that dogs have more cannabinoid receptors in their brains than humans, which may make them more susceptible to the toxic effects of marijuana.

In the Colorado study, two dogs died after ingesting baked goods containing medical-grade THC. It is therefore not recommended to give your dog any products containing THC.

Since CBD products must contain less than 1mg of THC per pack to be legal in the UK, any CBD product prescribed by a UK vet should contain only trace amounts of THC at most.

What dosage will vets prescribe for dogs?

As with humans, the correct dosage of CBD for dogs will depend on several factors. For any individual dog, these factors may include:

  • The dog’s weight
  • The dog’s breed
  • The reason the CBD is being prescribed

If your vet prescribes CBD for your dog, they will take all relevant factors into account when choosing the dosage.

They may decide to start with a low dosage and monitor how your dog responds to the CBD. Then, they can adjust the dosage over time if necessary.

For more information on CBD dosage and humans, read our in-depth blog explaining how much CBD should I take?

How is CBD oil for dogs administered?

If your vet prescribes CBD, they will prescribe an appropriate product for your dog and recommend a method of administration.

This is likely to be either putting it directly into their mouth or adding it to their food. This may be done using CBD oil drops, spray or capsules.

Will CBD react with my dog’s other medications?

There is evidence that CBD can interact with some medications. Many drugs are broken down by enzymes in the liver, and research suggests that CBD can interfere with these enzymes.

Therefore, if a dog takes one of these medications, using CBD may alter the concentration of the drug in their body. This may result in the medication not working, or an increased risk of side effects.

If your dog is on any other medication, you will need to consider this. However, since CBD can only legally be prescribed for dogs by a vet, they will take this into account.

If you have any concerns, always talk to your vet.

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