By Associated Press
(AP) — A four-time Iditarod champion has found himself in a cannabis controversy.
The Anchorage Daily News reported that Lance Mackey is giving his dogs CBD oil, which he says improves their recovery time.
Mackey told the newspaper the race’s head veterinarian, Stuart Nelson, asked him not to give CBD oil to his dogs, but Mackey declined because CBD oil is not among the list of banned substances in the Iditarod rule book.
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a non-intoxicating molecule found in hemp and marijuana. Both are cannabis plants, but only marijuana has enough of the compound THC to get users high.
The market for CBD for pets has boomed, with some touting health benefits for treating seizures and pain management, but the federal government has yet to establish standards for CBD.
Mackey is a cancer survivor who acknowledged using medical marijuana during his four-year run of consecutive victories, starting in 2007. The Iditarod eventually banned marijuana use by mushers in 2010, which Mackey chalked up to other mushers being jealous of his string of championships.
Mackey won his fourth championship in 2011, after the marijuana ban was instituted.
AP Photo Loren Holmes