It is important that veterinarians recognize that these products are not indicated for animal use; they are not classified as drugs and do not make health claims. The scientific evidence to support the use of cannabis in animals, including safety and efficacy, is growing but remains limited. THC in cannabis has known toxic effects in pets and symptoms of toxicity can be severe. Veterinarians are accountable for any professional advice they provide to a client about their pet.
Under the Cannabis Act, veterinarians are permitted to prescribe and dispense Health Canada approved drugs with cannabinoids, whether human or veterinary label; however, there are currently no veterinary drugs available on the market. Current human prescription products containing cannabinoids (e.g. Sativex) are often not appropriate for veterinary use. Veterinarians may recommend and sell veterinary health products with hemp that are approved through Health Canada’s Notification Program. Veterinarians may advise clients on the use of legally available recreational cannabis for their pets based on sound professional judgment.