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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.