The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked for public input on the safety and efficacy of CBD—and more than 100 people used that opportunity to tell the agency that their pets benefit from the cannabis compound.
The volume of pet-related comment submissions stood out to the analysis firm PARC, which sifted through the thousands of submissions FDA received during the three months that the comment period for CBD regulations was open and shared its takeaways with Marijuana Moment.
Though FDA didn’t request anecdotal accounts about personal experiences with CBD—let alone comments about people’s pets—it sure received a whole lot.
More than four percent of the 4,269 comments whose text has been posted online by FDA mention dogs.
In general, the posts describe dramatic improvement in conditions such as epilepsy, arthritis, chronic pain and anxiety among pets—primarily dogs—after starting CBD treatment. Similar to stories about humans who start consuming the compound, these comments often note that CBD worked in ways that pharmaceuticals didn’t, and it didn’t carry serious side effects.
Judy Hoover said that she administers CBD to her 20-year-old dog who previously “could not go up and down the stairs.” The dog “now runs up and down the stairs,” she said. “So it does work.”
“I use CBD oil for my dog who is 13 and has autoimmune disease and hip problems,” Nikki Gurule wrote. “She stopped going on her daily walks and wouldn’t jump into the car or up on the couch anymore as she had her whole life. She was on prednisone for the autoimmune issues.”
“Since I started giving her CBD oil orally daily, she is now walking 30 min on a treadmill daily, jumping up onto the couch by herself and into the car without aid,” she continued. “She no longer limps or yelps when touched. She is off of her prednisone now and is showing improvement in all her thyroid levels and immune issues are gone.”
“Dogs don’t lie, she is feeling better and out of pain. I will continue to use CBD oil for her for the rest of her life.”
“I first became familiar with CBD oils when my dog developed arthritis in her hips and spine,” Deb McClellan, a teacher, wrote. “I honestly believe we got her an additional 2 years of comfortable, content life with the CBD oil.”
An anonymous commenter said that “CBD has been very useful for the treatment of both my dog’s and mine own anxiety.”
“My dog used to destroy many of my belongings in the house if we left him alone for too long,” the person wrote. “After beginning treatment with a low dose of CBD my dog has ceased to have that behavior and overall seems more relaxed.”
Pets also seem to indirectly benefit from CBD, according to certain posts, with owners reporting that their own use of the compound makes it easier to take dogs on walks. One person wrote that CBD allowed him to get “enough reduction from inflammation to walk the dog and play golf five days a week.”
Though the anecdotal reports are not especially scientific in and of themselves, the comments are bolstered by recent research. A study published in April, for example, showed marked improvement in dogs suffering from seizures who received CBD. A separate study from last year found that CBD oil reduced symptoms of arthritis.
It’s not clear what, if any, bearing these pet-centric comments will have on FDA’s rulemaking process for CBD, but collectively they serve as another example of the intense interest that consumers have in ensuring that the agency develops regulations that emphasize safe access to CBD products—for humans and pets alike.
Photo courtesy of Chris Yarzab.
Trump Says Marijuana Makes People “Lose IQ Points” In Secret Recording
President Trump could be heard saying that using marijuana makes people “lose IQ points” in a secretly recorded conversation released on Saturday.
“In Colorado they have more accidents,” the president said in the clip captured by Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani, who is at the center of the Ukraine scandal that led to the president’s impeachment. “It does cause an IQ problem.”
(Marijuana Moment’s editor provides some content to Forbes via a temporary exclusive publishing license arrangement.)
Photo courtesy of YouTube/White House.
Austin Police Chief Says Marijuana Arrests Will Continue Despite City Council Vote
Chief Brian Manley said he would continue to enforce marijuana laws the day after the city council unanimously approved stopping arrests and tickets for low-level cases.
The day after the Austin City Council approved a resolution to stop arresting or ticketing people for most low-level marijuana possession offenses, the police chief made clear he had no plans to do so.
“[Marijuana] is still illegal, and we will still enforce marijuana law if we come across people smoking in the community,” Chief Brian Manley said during a news conference Friday afternoon.
Though cracking down on those in possession of small amounts of marijuana has never been a priority for the department, he said, police will continue to either issue tickets under the city’s “cite-and-release” policy or arrest people if officers “come across it.”
The difference, according to City Council member and resolution sponsor Greg Casar, is that the council’s move now guarantees those actions will come with no penalty. Tickets will be meaningless pieces of paper and any arrests will result in a quick release with no charges accepted from prosecutors, he told The Texas Tribune after the news conference.
“What has changed since yesterday is that enforcement, almost in virtually all cases, is now handing someone a piece of paper with no penalty or no court date,” Casar said.
The move by the City Council came as a direct result from Texas’ new hemp law which complicated marijuana prosecution across the state. Last summer, when lawmakers legalized hemp, they also changed the definition of marijuana from cannabis to cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive ingredient in the plant.
Many prosecutors, including those in Austin’s Travis County, now won’t accept pot cases based on look and smell alone, requiring lab testing to determine THC levels before accepting a case. Such testing is not yet available in public crime labs, though some counties and cities have spent money to obtain test results from private labs.
The council’s resolution prohibited using city funds or personnel to conduct such testing in non-felony marijuana cases. It also directed the elimination, to the furthest extent possible, of arrests or citations for cannabis possession. As Manley also noted, the resolution clarifies it can’t technically decriminalize marijuana, since that is state law.
The resolution gave the city manager until May 1 to report back to the council on how police were trained in this new resolution, and Casar said he hopes Manley reviews his policies before then.
Manley said in the news conference that he would continue to review the resolution, as well as police policies.
But, he assured, “a City Council does not have the authority to tell a police department not to enforce a state law.”
The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
Andrew Yang Wants To Legalize Psychedelic Mushrooms For Military Veterans
Andrew Yang says he wants to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for military veterans to help them combat mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
During a town hall event at an Iowa college on Thursday, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate was asked whether he would take initiative and allow veterans to access medical marijuana if elected. Yang replied he “will be so excited to be that commander-in-chief” that he would not only end federal cannabis prohibition but would go one step further by legalizing the psychedelic fungus for veterans as well.
“We need to get marijuana off of the Controlled Substances Act and legalize it at the federal level, make it freely available,” he said. “I say this because I’ve talked to hundreds of veterans and other Americans who benefit from marijuana as a pain relief treatment, and it’s much less deadly than the opiates that many, many people are using for the same conditions.”
“I’ve talked to veterans who’ve also benefited from psilocybin mushrooms,” he added. “They said it was the only thing that actually has helped combat their PTSD. I’m for legalizing psilocybin mushrooms for veterans as well. Pretty much if it’s going to help a veteran, we should make it easier, not harder, for them to get access to it.”
Yang’s drug policy reform platform is unique in that respect. While the majority of Democratic candidates support marijuana legalization, he’s pushed unique proposals such as decriminalizing possession of opioids and making psilocybin mushrooms “more freely available” for therapeutic purposes. The candidate also wants to invest federal funds in safe injection facilities where individuals can use prohibited drugs in a medically supervised environment and receive help getting into treatment.
He hasn’t gone so far as embracing the decriminalization of all drugs, as former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has, however.
That said, Yang did signal that he’s open to legalizing and regulating “certain drugs” beyond cannabis, which he argued would disrupt international drug cartels. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) recently said she backs “legalizing and regulating” currently illegal controlled substances to protect public safety and combat the illicit market.
At the Iowa town hall, Yang went on to say that he’s particularly interested in legalizing marijuana, and he again pledged to “pardon everyone who’s in jail for a non-violent marijuana-related offense because they shouldn’t be in jail for something that’s frankly legal in other parts of the country.”
“And I would pardon them all on April 20, 2021, high-five them on the way out of jail and be like, ‘things got a lot better in the last year,'” he said, referencing the unofficial cannabis holiday 4/20.
Photo element courtesy of Gage Skidmore.