Cannabis dog treats could soon be used to calm down anxious or frightened dogs if campaigners succeed in changing existing regulations.
Dog treats containing cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive derivative of hemp plants related to marijuana, are currently classed as a medicine by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate and therefore cannot be sold as a food supplement.
Law firm Mackrell Turner Garrett is challenging this policy on the basis that government guidelines allow CBD products intended for humans to be sold over the counter, so long as no medical claims are made about them.
- Read more: Britain's first legal cannabis farm granted planning permission
- Read more: Steph and Dom: 'Our son could die at any minute'
Speaking to talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright, Mackrell Turner Garrett’s head of cannabis law Robert Jappie said: “Nobody is advocating giving products to pets to make them high, that’s completely out of the question, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence, and the scientific data is following, to show that CBD products have a big impact on wellness and that’s for people as well as pets.
“When you have dogs or cats cowering from fireworks on bonfire night or separation anxiety, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to show these CBD products do improve their anxiety and calm then a great deal.
“Our position is the approach is inconsistent, how can it be ok to sell these products to humans as food supplements but that not be the same for pets.”
Mr Jappie said CBD dog treats were becoming increasingly popular in the US, and added a number of American companies were looking at the UK and Europe as a potential new growth market.
According to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate website, CBD dog treats are considered medicines on the basis they contain 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”.