Health Canada Approves Clinical Trials for Cannabis-Laced Pet Food to Treat Animal Anxiety

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Health Canada approves clinical trials for cannabis-laced pet food to treat animal anxiety By PERRIN GRAUER StarMetro Vancouver

One of Canada’s largest cannabis companies announced Wednesday it has received Health Canada approval for clinical trials of the effectiveness of cannabis-derived compound cannabidiol as a treatment for anxiety in animals.

Dana M. Vaughn, executive vice-president and chief scientific officer for Canopy Animal Health, said while CBD is becoming an increasingly common folk remedy for pets’ ailments, Canopy’s clinical trials represent the first time a company has sought federal regulatory approval for the practice of adding the substance to pet food.

“There has been very little (research) done with CBD or other phytocannabinoids in pets up until now,” Vaughn said in an email. The addition of phytocannabinoids (naturally occurring, plant-derived cannabis compounds like CBD) to pet foods has so far been done “without regulatory approval, with the exception of hemp seed oil products that contain fatty acids. But not CBD to any extent.”
A spokesperson from Health Canada said in an email that the potential use of cannabis as veterinary medicine had been a consideration during the development of cannabis regulations, and confirmed that, to date, “no drugs containing cannabis have been authorized for veterinary use in Canada.”
Vaughn said Canopy’s hope is to provide a concrete body of evidence demonstrating how CBD affects different animal species and how it affects different sizes of animal within those species.

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