Although Dr. Nancy is not currently prescribing cannabisderived CBD oil for her patients, she does report that those who procure the medicine themselves see much better results when it comes to pain management, epilepsy and various forms of anxiety.
“The use of medical marijuana isn’t going to go away. I want to help my patients in a safe and effective way, with minimal risk,” says Dr. Nancy. She currently directs her patients toward hemp-derived CBD oil obtained through Hemp & Bone, a Vancouver company specializing in these products, but states that she would prefer to administer cannabis-derived CBD oil instead.
Although the CVO explicitly prohibits veterinarians from prescribing medical marijuana for their patients, their website also states that veterinarians are “not prohibited from prescribing cannabidiol (CBD) oil or capsules, and hemp (e.g., hemp oil, hemp seed oil).”
Based on the language on the college’s site, making a distinction between the two types of oil suggests that veterinarians may in fact be licensed to prescribe both cannabis-derived CBD oil and hemp-derived product.
According to Dr. Nancy, the college has not issued any more formal statements allowing veterinarians to prescribe cannabis. Still, she is hopeful that this will soon change. However, the issue of supply would remain. To date, there is no record of any of the Health Canada licensed producers of medical cannabis supplying CBD oil for the purposes of treating animals. It is not clear whether the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) would be able to include a provision specific to veterinarians.
It is possible that upcoming legalization of recreational pot will help clear the air for the CVO and help increase access to cannabis-derived CBD oil for pets, as well as improve veterinarians’ knowledge of safe and effective dosing guidelines.