VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Some pet owners across the country are turning to products containing hemp oil to help their pets, but in Virginia veterinarians are not allowed to prescribe CBD oil.
CBS News interviewed Kelly Alto, whose dog Kogi has severe separation anxiety. She and her fiancee decided to try hemp oil – a cannabis based supplement for pets.
“It’s worse when we both leave together,” Alto said. “Before using it, we would be able to hear him like squealing and barking and jumping up and scratching on the door, and since using it we would be able to get down the hall and not hear him freaking out."
Several companies are now making pet products that use CBD, one of the active ingredients found in hemp and cannabis plants that can affect mood, health and bodily functions. The health claims include relieving pain and anxiety and reducing seizures in epileptic animals.
The products do not contain THC, which gives marijuana psychoactive effects.
In Virginia, veterinarians are not allowed to prescribe CBD oil.
During the 2018 General Assembly, SB726 was passed, which included amendments affecting the use of CBD oil.
Under the law, a veterinarian is not included in the definition of "practitioner" allowed to prescribe the oil.
Veterinarians have varying opinions on the safety and effectiveness of Cannabis pet products, but say it has become a popular topic at continuing education courses across the country.
"The popularity among the veterinarian to find out about it is also there because we are getting asked this question in practice. We want to be able to be understanding of what the clients are asking us so we can give them the best advice," Virginia Beach veterinarian Dr. Andrew Silverstone told News 3 anchor Todd Corillo.
Dr. Silverstone says he supports the research underway on products to make sure the most effective and safest options are available for companion animals.
"We need to be careful with latching on to an idea well one pet did fine on it so it helps other. The research is being done by credible researchers looking at these products."
There are some companies that are selling CBD oil derived from Hemp over the counter. The legality of that is unclear.