Dr. Doug Kramer was a champion of veterinary cannabis research. During his life, he became a champion for veterinarian cannabis research after cannabis helped his own dog, Nikita, live out her last months in comfort instead of pain.

“My position is the same as the [American Medical Association’s]. We need to investigate marijuana further to determine whether the case reports I’m hearing are true or whether there’s a placebo effect at work,” he told the American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA) in an interview in 2013.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and some major research institutions feel the same way. The AVMA has encouraged the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to change marijuana’s Schedule 1 status in order to “facilitate research opportunities for veterinary and human medical uses.

Concurrently, leading researchers at veterinary schools in the United States are actively seeking FDA approval for veterinary cannabis research. One place is Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which has been seeking participants for a clinical trial to assess how CBD may affect osteoarthritis and epilepsy in canines.

5 Tips When Using CBD for Your Dog

If you’re considering giving CBD to your pet, keep in mind that dogs are not simply the same as humans. While there is some evidence that CBD may benefit human health, there isn’t nearly as much research on the topic in the canine world. The safety and health of your pet will depend greatly on your own knowledge, training, and judgment, and may also vary by breed.

#1: Start off slow and low. CBD from hemp (or very low THC found in other strains) has many benefits on its own, but dosages can vary depending on the product. One recommendation is 1 milligrams of CBD for every 10 pounds of animal weight. Depending on your dogs age and health, they may require more or less depending on their condition and constitution. So be conservative at first and observe your dog during the first week. If need be, you can adjust the dose if you think it is warranted.

#2: Use CBD tincture oil. By using a CBD tincture, you can mix it into your dogs food or give it to them directly with the dropper. CBD oil allows the cannabis to be absorbed into the body through the liver, producing longer-lasting and less intense effects. And of course, don’t use any form of smoked CBD on your pets.

#3: Watch Your Dog. This is a given, especially right when you start. Keep a journal of when you started giving your dog CBD and the amounts, as well as your observations on how it has improved their condition or behavior.

#4: Use pure CBD extract. Make your you use a pure form of CBD extract, one that doesn’t have any fillers. It is crucial that you avoid giving your dog any CBD supplement that may have pesticides or other harmful chemicals (and that goes for the CBD you take as well!).

#5: Consult with a your vet. Talk to your vet about CBD. Just like an osteopathic doctor, many vets are becoming more open to CBD for their furry patients. If you live in a cannabis-friendly state, you shouldn’t assume that your vet is not aware of the potential benefits CBD can have for your dog. These days, some vets have even received special training in cannabinoids.