Local barber treats his furry friends with CBD oil

By Kevin Reyes

Christopher Columbus High School

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Ronald “Ron” Nahmod is clipping, styling and grooming hair at his Coral Gables barbershop, Hot Heads.

But when he gets home, his focus goes from hair to fur.  

As he sits on his bed, Nahmod is surrounded by three cats. While gently petting Lilly, he reaches under the bed to invite Phoebe to come out and calls to Bella from afar. 

Ronald “Ron” Nahmod relaxes on his bed with his cat, Lilly, after she finished her meal that was mixed with the CBD oil. (Photo by: Kevin Reyes)

“Feeble Phoebe is a total nut,” said Nahmod, using her nickname. “When I first got her, she attacked me.”

Nahmod adopted all of his cats in November 2018, after the passing of his former cat. 

What was supposed to be a two-cat adoption turned into three, he said, because he didn’t want to split up sisters. Then pet ownership got even more complicated when Nahmod realized two of his cats had health issues. 

Lilly, a pillow-sized white cat, was nearly a goner, he said. Turns out she had diabetes.

“She was never treated and was close to death,” he said. “She had to lean over to eat her food. She lived on my bed and I had to put everything on my bed, including the litter box.”

Nahmod asked his friend, another owner of a diabetic cat, for some advice. His friend told him that CBD oil had been a miracle for his own cat.

“They told him they had to put his cat to sleep,” Nahmod said. “He went home and gave the cat CBD oil and the cat is totally back to normal. It doesn’t need no insulin anymore.”

Nahmod decided to give it a try and began gradually adding CBD oil to Lilly’s meals. He takes extra precaution by basing it off of her blood sugar levels and measuring exact doses.

Timothy Brooks, a veterinarian at Bartow Animal Clinic, said CBD can be therapeutic for pets, especially for behavior issues.

“I’ve used it for a couple cases of just inflammation, but for the most part, I’ve used it mostly for anxiety,” Brooks said.

In the past six months, Brooks said the number of customers using it to treat their pets has increased substantially, with nearly all of them coming back for refills.

Whenever possible, Brooks tries to use CBD as a primary treatment, he said. But it can also be helpful in combination with other medications.

Nahmod said CBD has also helped “feeble” Phoebe, the second sister, who had behavioral issues.

“Phoebe is a totally different cat,” he said. “Her personality has totally changed. She’s not as aggressive as she was, she’s still Feeble Phoebe, but a kinder, gentler version.”

Although there are pet specific CBD products, Nahmod wants only the best for his cats. He buys pure CBD oil and mixes it himself. 

“You know where it’s coming from,” he said. “Because when it comes to your cats you want to be on top of that.”