December 27, 2021

CBD For Pets: Is It Legal?

After feeling or seeing what CBD can do for humans, you might be thinking about giving it to your pet. Which might make you wonder… “Is it legal to give my pet CBD oil?”

Great news! Pet CBD oil made from industrial hemp (hemp with 0.3% THC or less) is federally legal.(1) But there are some caveats pet parents should know about before shopping for CBD oil. Read on to learn what the law says about CBD products for dogs and cats.

Pet CBD Laws At A Glance

Here are the main points you need to know about CBD for pets.

  • CBD oil for pets is federally legal as long as it’s made from industrial hemp.
  • CBD can’t be added to pet food (including treats and snacks).(2)
  • Pet CBD can’t be marketed as a dietary supplement.(3)
  • It’s illegal to sell CBD-infused pet food across state lines.(4)
  • Veterinarians can’t prescribe CBD to pets.
  • Vets also can’t discuss or recommend CBD for pets in most states.

Is Pet CBD Legal In The US?

The legality of any CBD product depends on the CBD’s origin, what form it comes in, and how it’s marketed. We fetched the laws as of 2021. Read on to get caught up faster than a hyperactive labrador can run zoomies around your living room.

  • Through the 2018 Farm Bill, the US federal government legalized industrial hemp and products made with it — like CBD oil for pets.
  • Per the Official Publication of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO OP), hemp-derived substances (like CBD) can’t be added to pet food. Pet food is anything made for pet consumption, so that means no CBD treats. Sorry, Muffie.
  • Under the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetics Act (FD&C Act), it’s illegal to sell pet food containing CBD across state lines. It’s also illegal to sell ingredients intended for use in CBD pet food to another state. Which makes it basically impossible to legally produce or sell CBD pet food.
  • Whether for people or pets, CBD can’t be marketed as a dietary supplement per FDA regulations.(4)

Beyond what Uncle Sam says, keep in mind that states have their own laws about CBD. Some states are more lenient, and some have strict regulations. You should check out the latest laws about CBD for pets in your state.

We have a whole section dedicated to CBD Laws in all 50 states under the Blog tab at the top of this page. You’re welcome!

Laws About Veterinarians & CBD Oil

There are some mighty specific laws about vets and CBD. Keep these nuggets in your paw-cket so you know how to approach the topic with your veterinarian.

  • There aren’t any FDA-approved forms of CBD for pets, so your veterinarian can’t prescribe your dog or cat CBD. Veterinarians could technically prescribe Epilodex, the only FDA-approved CBD drug for humans. But they’d have to meet extensive requirements outlined in the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act of 1994 (AMDUCA).(5)
  • Since there are no FDA-approved CBD products for pets (prescription or over-the-counter), veterinarians could face professional repercussions if they even talk about or recommend CBD oil. We say “could” face because it’s still a gray area.
  • Some states have moved to clarify things — such as in California where Assembly Bill #2215 made it legal for vets to talk about CBD with patients (and their people).(6) They still can’t prescribe it, though.

To get around talking about CBD directly, many vet offices have printed or online resources about CBD to help you decide if it’s right for your pet.

You should always talk to your vet about anything you give your pet whether it be CBD or supplements.

How To Legally Buy CBD For Pets

Now here’s something to wag yourtail about. For pet parents, it’s pretty easy to get your paws on legal CBD oil. Unless you live in a state that’s not-so-friendly to CBD, you can probably snout it out at a local retailer. And, pet CBD products can be ordered online.

Wherever you shop, find a CBD oil made for pets. CBD made for humans could contain more THC than is safe for your furry friend.

Purchase CBD For Pets At Pet Stores & More

You may be able to dig your claws into CBD for dogs and cats at local pet stores. If you choose to buy your pooch or kitty CBD in person, find a reputable retailer with knowledgeable staff.

Buy CBD For Pets Online

If paws on the ground shopping isn’t convenient for you, don’t worry — there’s always virtual CBD shopping! This is also the way to go if you’re wanting to stay well within the lines of federal law. You can easily avoid CBD dog treats and other prohibited products, choosing legal hemp-derived pet CBD oil drops.

Pet CBD Legality — The Bottom Line

CBD for pets is legal as long as it’s made from industrial hemp, has ≤ 0.3% THC, and hasn’t been added to pet food, treats, and snacks.

Veterinarians can’t prescribe CBD to pets. They also can’t discuss or recommend CBD oil in many states.

CBD oil for dogs and cats can legally be purchased at in-person establishments in most areas. It can be bought and sold online as well.

SHOP FOR LEGAL PET CBD OIL

Disclaimer

We’re not legal professionals or otherwise qualified to offer legal advice. So, while we do our very best to be thorough, up-to-date, and 100% correct, the content above is for informational purposes only. Please also note that the laws surrounding CBD are subject to change. We recommend checking our source(s) to see if the information or legal status have been revised since our content was published.

References

  1. (2018). U.S. Department of Agriculture. Farm Bill. https://www.usda.gov/farmbill
  2. (2021). Association of American Feed Control Officials. AAFCO Publications. https://www.aafco.org/Publications
  3. (2021). U.S. Food & Drug Administration. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD). https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd#dietarysupplements
  4. (2018). U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/laws-enforced-fda/federal-food-drug-and-cosmetic-act-fdc-act
  5. (2021). U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act of 1994 (AMDUCA). https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/guidance-regulations/animal-medicinal-drug-use-clarification-act-1994-amduca
  6. (2018). California Legislative Information. Assembly Bill No. 2215. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB2215


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