Cannabis for pets??

Unlike physicians and human health-care practitioners, veterinarians cannot prescribe cannabis for medical purposes for their animal patients. Under the Cannabis Act, cannabis for medical purposes applies to humans only.

Under the Cannabis Act, prescription drugs derived from cannabis are a legal pathway for access to cannabis for animals. All phytocannabinoids, including CBD and all the other naturally occurring active ingredients in cannabis plants, have been placed on the Prescription Drug List and, therefore, they are subject to the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations as well. There are currently no approved cannabis-derived prescription drugs for animals, meaning there is no legal pathway for veterinarians to obtain or dispense these products for animals in Canada. CBD products currently being marketed and sold in Canada for use in pets are operating outside of the current legislative framework.

Legally purchased recreational cannabis from authorized provincial retail sales outlets can be distinguished from black market cannabis by its packaging. Legal products:

  • Are packaged and labeled according to strict rules set by Health Canada;
  • Have packaging with a CRA excise stamp on it;
  • Do not make health claims;
  • Do not have an indication for animal use; and
  • Undergo quality control to ensure, among other things, that concentrations of CBD and THC that are indicated on the label are accurate, and free of specified contaminants (e.g. certain pesticides, mold toxins, heavy metals)

Veterinarians may advise clients on the use of legally available recreational cannabis for their pets based on sound professional judgment.

At this time there are no Health Canada approved cannabis products for veterinary use.   For this reason, veterinarians are unable to prescribe or recommend cannabis products for our patients. 

However, if this is a product you are already using, or you would like to add it to your pet’s medical plan, I may guide you on the safe use of legally available recreational cannabis products.

As part of your consultation, we will discuss the treatment goals you have and the benefits (and drawbacks) of adding cannabis to your pet’s medical therapy plan.

How comfortable are you with purchasing an extract product or plant material to extract yourself, administering the product, and monitoring your pet for its effects?

The consultation also consists of a complete review of medical records including current diet, medications, supplements and any other therapies in use, potential drug-drug and drug-herb interactions, and analysis of products being used. Follow up visits will fine-tune therapies until the treatment goals have been met.

Comments are closed.