How do I talk about this with an owner?
I'm a Veterinary Assistant first! I love interacting with clients and contributing to their total wellness plan. If we're chatting about diet options, exercise routines, or training, I LOVE to hear about your dog! With that being said, CBD and hemp can be a touchy subject with some owners, especially those that are just starting to recognize the legitimacy behind cannabis medicine.
Do we have to talk about it?.....
Everyone is different, some owners feel very comfortable bringing up cannabis with their Veterinarian and others would never dream of “going there.” I have had the pleasure of working with Veterinarians that hold the reins in the conversation and mention cannabinoids unprompted as an alternative therapy for their patients. Some pet owners pick up a bag of CBD treats and give them a try without a conversation involving their veterinary team. This can be a dangerous thing if the dog is already being prescribed pharmaceuticals. Cannabinoids, and the majority of your typically prescribed pharmaceuticals, are broken down by the same superfamily of enzymes in the liver called cytochrome P450. Using cannabinoids in addition to these medications may cause adverse reactions or therapeutic failures. Current research demonstrates certain cannabinoids and terpenes having stronger medicinal effects for certain ailments and symptom severity. Armed with this knowledge, an owner can make an informed decision about their animal's treatment.
Stay informed and up-to-date on current veterinary cannabis research. The AVMA released a symposium on Veterinary Cannabis in August 2020. University studies are a great place to start! It is always best to approach a skeptic armed with knowledge!