Jun 8, 2017 12:25 PM

What You Should Know Before Treating Pets With Cannabis

Cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming more and more popular among patients with various ailments. The list of the medical properties of cannabis is impressive. Recently, the trend spread to veterinarians as well. Many of them believe that CBD-based remedies can treat animals.

The fact that CBD can help not only humans but our pets as well is good news for many people. However, the federal laws are not in favor of such marijuana use.

That is why a couple of U.S. veterinarians, Dr. Greg Richter and Dr. Rob Silver, are working on educating both pet owners and legislators on the matter of cannabis influence on animals. Rob Silver even published a book on the cannabinoid treatment of pets—Medical Marijuana & Your Pet: The Definitive Guide.

Both doctors dwell on the most important questions concerning the subject. Let us look at some of them closer.

Can Veterinarians Prescribe Cannabis to Pets?

The answer to this question is no, unfortunately. They do not have the authority to prescribe marijuana, which is still considered to be a Schedule I drug. Moreover, despite the existing research, vets in many states cannot consult the owners on the matter of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. The legal jeopardy of simply suggesting the herb as an alternative treatment results in the complete omission of the subject. Veterinarians risk not only losing their license but also undergoing criminal prosecution for prescribing weed to pets.

The situation may change in the future—Dr. Richter is already pushing the legislation for the legalization of medical use of the plant for animals in California.

How Can You Medicate Your Pet?

Of course, dogs and cats cannot puff the stuff like humans do. However, it does not mean that there are no ways to medicate a pet. First of all, there are many edibles that can be consumed by animals. Unfortunately, this fact led to many occasions of dogs finding good-smelling marijuana cookies and overdosing.

Marijuana Legalization Endangers Pets
Marijuana Legalization Endangers Pets
After the legalization of marijuana in some states, veterinarians around the country have more work to do. Clinics report an increased number of pets that have accidentally gotten high. Marijuana edibles are very appealing to our animals who cannot tell whether the treat is dangerous for them. Leaving your pot in a place that can be reached by your pet is irresponsible. However, many of us do not even think about the consequences.

However, the best option for pets are tinctures. These oil-based extracts contain large amounts of cannabinoids. Tinctures usually come in small bottles with droppers. This way of consumption is quite easy for animals‪—spreading the tincture on the tongue will do the trick. This way, cannabinoids are absorbed through an oral mucous membrane.

How to Determine Right Dosage?

Many people make a crucial mistake thinking that they can count the right dosage for pets applying the standards used for humans. Dogs and cats are not just small versions of us. They require a different approach. Quite often, pets are brought to vet clinics with symptoms of overdose: vomiting, trouble with equilibrium, diarrhea, spacey and zoned-out behavior.

First of all, you have to choose the right product to medicate an animal. Start with small amounts. Increase the dosage with caution and stop the treatment if any side effects appear.

Marijuana and Pets: Can Dogs Get High?
Marijuana and Pets: Can Dogs Get High?
We are responsible for those we tame. With the marijuana legalization movement gaining momentum across the country, these words get a totally new meaning. While the law protects our kids and states that they should not be exposed to marijuana, it does not say a single word about protecting our pets. Can a dog get high on weed? Is marijuana dangerous to our little furry friends? Or maybe it is a new generation of veterinary medicine that may even save your pet's life?

What Conditions Can Be Treated?

Just like humans, pets experience several ailments that can be treated with cannabis-based remedies. Among them, there are cancer, depression, arthritis, anxiety, stress, and seizures. In addition, anecdotal evidence supports successful use of cannabinoids to treat noise phobia, separation anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, and lack of appetite. Interestingly, animals also appear to experience munchies as a weed side effect. Medical use of marijuana can also help your pets with sleeping problems.

Weed for Animals: Can You Cure Your Pet With Cannabis?
Weed for Animals: Can You Cure Your Pet With Cannabis?
Cannabis can be an effective medical treatment for many serious human diseases, such as cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, and a wide range of other conditions. But can cannabis ease the suffering of our furry friends? Let us find out.

Luckily for pet owners who have decided to resort to cannabinoid treatment, hemp-based products are just as useful. While it is hard to obtain marijuana, hemp products are widely available. Furthermore, the plant has low amounts of THC and is rich in CBD, which means that this source of medication is safer, especially considering the fact that dogs have the highest density of THC receptors in their brain.

Colorado Approves Using Hemp in Animal Feed Study
Colorado Approves Using Hemp in Animal Feed Study
Hemp has been used in the production of textiles, paper, and cordage for hundreds of years. Currently, it is usually cultivated as a source of raw materials that can be transformed into many products. Hemp flowers and seeds are used in organic body care, numerous kinds of health foods, and the light industry. The agricultural sector is also likely to benefit from hemp cultivation: Colorado authorities have recently approved a study on hemp animal feed.
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