Using CBD for pets is becoming increasingly popular. Here's a look at whether it's legal in Australia and what CBD can really do for animals.

The medicinal cannabis market is strengthening in Australia, and the country has grand plans of growing, retailing and exporting cannabidiol (CBD) to a keen market.

Among its many applications, CBD is seen as a medicinal aid for people — but what about for pets?

CBD is gaining traction as a remedy for pet ailments as part of an overall treatment plan for chronic illnesses. Read on to learn more about CBD for pets in Australia, from legality to how it can help animals.


What is CBD and is it legal in Australia?

Products containing low doses of CBD are considered safe and legal, provided they have been approved by the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).

This is a fairly new development — on February 1, 2021, it became legal to purchase low-dose CBD products over the counter at the pharmacist. This change signalled a reclassification of CBD from Australia's Therapeutic Good Administration; it went from being a Schedule 4 product (prescription medicine) to a Schedule 3 product (pharmacist-only medicine).

The catch is that so far no product has yet been approved by the ARTG — unlike other nations that have differing state laws, or even classify CBD as a dietary supplement, in Australia the classification of CBD as medicine has created a lengthy path for approval. Still, CBD is theoretically a legal substance in Australia.

Because of these circumstances, owners who want to source CBD for their pets will need their vet to prescribe the substance. This can be done providing the product to be used meets four conditions:

  1. Cannabidiol comprises 98 percent or more of the total cannabinoid in the preparation.
  2. Any cannabinoids other than cannabidiol must be only those naturally found in cannabis.
  3. The owner must consent to trial an unlicenced and potentially harmful treatment.
  4. There is adequate monitoring of the furry patient's response and any side effects.

The process can be tricky, but there are dedicated businesses set up purely to facilitate the process of obtaining legal medicinal CBD for pets — like CBD Vets Australia.

How can CBD help pets?

Through anecdotal data and information, CBD is thought to be able to assist pets with a number of conditions, such as epilepsy, arthritis, stress and anxiety, chronic pain and nausea; it can even help them sleep.

CBD is an antidote for owners looking to soothe their pets' ailments and keep them both calm and free of pain. As it comes in both capsule and liquid forms, it can be easily mixed in pet food.

In terms of CBD pet products currently available in Australia, animals could access the same CBD oil as humans as of the time of publication.

Importantly, CBD is not to be confused with hemp products. Hemp products, including creams and edible oil, contain extremely low forms of THC cannabis, but are considered to be a safe and legal food product — they are particularly high in omega 3 and six fatty acids.

What's the outlook for Australia's CBD pet products market?

It is early days for the CBD pet market in Australia, and more research is needed on the impacts and effects of CBD on our four-legged companions.

There is positive anecdotal feedback on its benefits, but further information is needed to allow a greater number of vets to feel comfortable prescribing CBD to pets.

The industry has seen growth in medicinal cannabis prescriptions in Australia, and it's possible that the same movement will start to be seen in the pet niche over the coming years, making it a potential avenue for investors to keep an eye on. For now, click the links below for more on Australia's CBD market:

Don't forget to follow @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Ronelle Richards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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