Updated: Sep 17, 2020
With the rise in pet-specific CBD products, many pet parents are taking a second look and considering if CBD could be right for their furry friend. While CBD has mainly been directed towards cats and dogs, others have wondered if their other more unique pets could benefit as well.
Before I continue, please let me state I am not a vet or an expert on exotic pets. My background and interest stems from a career in the cannabis industry and owning an exotic pet myself.
One question I have heard circling within the sugar glider community is whether or not it is safe to give these cute little critters CBD. To answer this, we have to look at several factors.
First and foremost is sugar gliders themselves. For those who do not own or are unfamiliar with sugar gliders, their diet can be tricky. They get most of their water from the foods they eat, so foods like cucumbers are a great thing to keep on hand. However, there is a long list of what you can't feed them (oranges, strawberries, and spinach to name a few) as well. When I first got my sugar glider, Eitri, I was researching everything I fed him.
The second thing to consider is dosage. Many CBD powders, gels, and oils directed towards pets will have a recommended dosage based on weight. According to VCA Hospitals, a healthy male sugar glider will weigh between 100 - 160 grams. That's a tiny animal. As a long time user of CBD products and an industry veteran, I have yet to see a product come out with a recommended dosage for an animal that small.
Finally, we have to take a look at CBD products themselves. What is the THC content? What other ingredients are included in the product? How was the CBD oil used in the product extracted? All these factors must be taken into consideration.
But here is the bottom line. There has not been enough research done to determine whether or not CBD is safe for exotic pets. And while there are a select few companies out there marketing CBD products to "pocket pets", I would encourage owners to remain skeptical and look at all the facts.
CBD has many wonderful uses, but just like any herb or modernized medicine, we have to know how to properly use it. As it stands, there is not enough research done for me to advise giving exotic pets CBD products. I hope to be able to change my stance in the future when more research is done.
For now, however, Eitri is perfectly content to sit on my shoulder and eat blueberries while I spread knowledge of all things hemp.