VETCBD offers scholarship to veterinary students, technicians

Hayden Hawley

A graphic with funky text and marijuana leaves, used for Collegian Cannabis Coverage.
(Graphic Illustration by Falyn Sebastian | The Collegian)

VETCBD, a California manufacturer of cannabidiol products for animals, announced a new scholarship for veterinary and veterinary technician students.

VETCBD has been making cannabidiol products for pets since 2015. They are available in hundreds of dispensaries in cities across California. The VETCBD Memorial Scholarship seeks to lift others up through their mutual love of animals and those who care for them. Each scholarship award will be named after a beloved animal companion who has since passed away to keep their memory alive.


“With this program, VETCBD gives back to the veterinary community while investing in the future of veterinary medicine and research,” the company said in a press release.

VETCBD will award $1,000 scholarships to six veterinary hopefuls — two veterinary students, two veterinary technician students and two registered veterinary technicians with existing student debt — on a biannual basis.

There’s this black hole that’s been caused by this era of prohibition, and we really need to do everything that we can to traverse that.” -Tim Shu, CEO of VETCBD

“Student debt is a crisis that everyone faces here in the U.S., but it is an even greater burden in the veterinary community,” said Tim Shu, a doctor of veterinary medicine and the founder and CEO of VETCBD. “We have seen over the years the cost for tuition continue to rise with veterinarians and veterinary technicians, but the pay hasn’t scaled accordingly. … It weighs heavy in the veterinary community.”

The scholarship has an interesting catch: Recipients must be nominated by a peer to be considered and will be judged on their ability to “create positive environments for teamwork and exhibit compassion and empathy for their patients, clients and peers.”

“It’s one thing for anybody to say something about themselves, but it comes from a different place when you have your peers say something about you,” Shu said. “Nobody can do things alone, and we all need to be team players and we all need to lift each other up because the opportunity to do that comes along every single day.”

With this scholarship, VETCBD hopes not only to give some students a leg up but to help dispel some of the stigma that continues to surround cannabis-focused medicine through philanthropy.

“There’s this black hole that’s been caused by this era of prohibition, and we really need to do everything that we can to traverse that,” Shu said. “Essentially what prohibition has done is it has put us 100 years behind in terms of the research and our understanding of the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid therapeutics and really the group that suffers the most because of that is the patients.”

Shu said a lot about the lack of medical understanding of the endocannabinoid system. Despite the fact that human beings have been using cannabis for thousands of years, progress in understanding how it works is going slow.

“We’ve only known about (the endocannabinoid system) for about 30 years, and so our knowledge of it is very rudimentary,” Shu said. “For me, one of the biggest changes that we need to see in our society is we need to see that shift to the point where it’s routine for clients to be talking to their doctors about the endocannabinoid system and the role that it has in health and disease.”

To hear Shu tell it, the patients they deal with — the animal companions of their customers — can benefit greatly from the use of their product when it comes to treating anxiety.

“Some of these owners are at their wits’ end because they’ve tried everything, and it hurts them to see their pets struggle and be scared,” Shu said. “A lot of them have heard about the calming effects of CBD, and when they try it for themselves, and they see the difference that it makes in their animals and how much relaxation and how much it takes away their stress. … To hear about that is just absolutely amazing.”

Applications for the VETCBD Memorial Scholarship must be submitted by Oct. 1.

Hayden Hawley can be reached at or on Twitter @hateonhawley.