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Medical Cannabis for Pets

 Submitted by Nic on April 13, 2016

There is a lot of talk going on the last years about the health benefits of Cannabis. This is the reason why a lot of States are changing their laws, but also many countries all over the world are taking steps allowing the use of Cannabis for medical purposes. As a result many Cannabis became suddenly a very popular kind of medication as all these different legislation realized the medical possibilities of the plant for Humans.

But what about our loving Pets? Is there any medical application including cannabis for our little friends? And is it legal to use Cannabis to heal your pet?

Cannabis is illegal in most states, and the FDA has not approved cannabis to be used as veterinary medication. So it's illegal for a vet to prescribe marijuana to treat a pet. But still many pet owners living in States where Marijuana dispensaries offer their products for recreational use, can still find pet-friendly products of medical marijuana. Others choose to just grow their own medical marijuana plant from medical cannabis seeds.

Pets have an endocannabinoid system just like humans do.  The most common reasons for cannabis being given to pets is to relieve their pain (cannabis is a well known natural pain killer) and to stimulate their appetite(human patient with cancer use it the same way). Medical cannabis extracts are used against the pain caused by terminal cancers, or to heal a traumatized animal also by helping it to ease the anxiety caused by the trauma or even a psychological issue.

Often is the case that many pet owners take the initiative and they give to their pet cannabis extracts in combination with other medication. Some times these experiments work but this does not mean that the experiment will succeed in every case. It can be risky for the health of the animal and finally bring the opposite results.

The truth is that there is still no scientific evidence that proves that all of these Marijuana treatments for pets work. Additionally more studies need to be done to determine the safe dosages. It is necessary all the owners to know that they are taking a risk for their animals health. It is better to seek advise from a professional veterinarian as there is a possibility to harm your pet with a marijuana overdose-instead of helping it.

We would suggest that if you decide to give your pet some cannabis product you better start by using small amounts of cannabis extracts and observe how the animal's organism reacts to that.  If all seem normal and healthy then you can slowly increase the dose of the extract.

Recently in the market we see cannabis extracts specialized for pets that contain  CBD(cannabidiol), a Cannabinoid which is (compared to the THC) non-psychoactive, so the pets will not get high after consuming it. There is a number vets that support the idea that CBD can help animals suffering from chronic pain, arthritis, seizures, and anxiety disorders.

There is a big debate going on whether the Vets should support medical cannabis for pets. In any case the legal framework does not allow them to prescribe Marijuana. Many Vets agree that cannabis has a huge potential in healing certain symptoms and could have a positive effect in the Health of a pet. But it is still early to get into a definitive conclusion. We still have to wait for the scientific evidence to prove all these arguments.

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