EDITORIAL: Finding balance

In last week’s Observer, the article “Cannabidiol products growing in popularity,” interviewed some Agassiz and area residents about their experience with cannabidiol (CBD) oil.

The job of the news is not to tell readers what to think or how to make their decisions, but to provide the information they need to make their own decisions. There are high standards for accuracy and balance in any story and I regret that this article in particular may not have met those standards.

CBD oil has seemingly changed the lives of some people who have tried it, and there is no doubt that Roxy Ellis saw a change in her pets when she gave them drops.

But with minimal research existing around therapeutic cannabinoid products for both people and pets, “balancing” this article was of utmost importance.

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association said in an emailed statement that no therapeutic protocols exist for cannabis, since it is not legal for veterinarians to use in pets.

“As with any veterinary drug, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association would support a cautious approach to ensure safety and efficacy through the application of sound science. In line with that it is essential that risk to patients from accidental ingestion of medication be mitigated,” the statement read. “We acknowledge that that we are in the midst of rapid change in this area and will consider developing a position as we move forward.”

Research has shown that dogs are proportionately more sensitive to the active compounds in marijuana than people and excessive intake can easily result in signs of toxicity like fast or slow heart rate or depression. Since there are no proven safe and effective doses published, there are risks to administering CBD oil to yourself or your pet and it is highly reccomended to consult a professional before doing so.

Reporting comes with responsibility and each reporter has to exercise due diligence within their own work. But when mistakes are made, the best recourse for the public is to bring these mistakes to the media’s attention. In this case, that is exactly what happened and I’m glad I have the opportunity to provide the missing information here.

If there is an issue, a story or an article that impacts you, I want to hear from you. Dialogue and continous scrutiny are integral to the functioning of media and contribute to progress and improvements in reporting and in our communities.

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