Friday September 30, 2016
Medical marijuana has become extremely popular for human patients, but it may be beneficial for their furry friends as well. Many pet owners swear by the use of medical cannabis for their feline and canine companions. Though studies are still being completed regarding the efficacy of cannabis on pet diseases, there's quite a few pet owners who claim cannabis has improved their pet’s health. Moreover, there have been very few side effects reported regarding the use of cannabis in pets.
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The Theory Behind Cannabis for Pets
Cannabis is commonly used in humans to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and treat both anxiety and depression. Cannabis can even be used for certain seizure disorders to significant effect -- and it's commonly prescribed to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy when undergoing cancer treatment. All of this is generally suggested to be the work of "CBD," a type of chemical that is found in cannabis. Most animals, just like humans, can also be affected by CBD. All mammals, and even slugs, have what is called an Endocannabinoid system (ECS), a group of receptors found in the body that match the CBD and THC compounds found in marijuana. Thus, the theory is that they can benefit from cannabis treatments as well.
The Best Cannabis Treatments
It should be noted that it’s CBD, not THC, that is ascribed most of the medical benefits of cannabis. CBD is what creates most of the physical effects, such as relaxation. THC is what creates the psychoactive effects. In other words, the feeling of being high. Human patients can safely use CBD tinctures, oils, and pills, without any mind-altering experience. Likewise, the best treatments for dogs, cats, and other pets, are CBD concentrates. Despite the Entourage effect increasing the benefits of marijuana as medicine, it’s not recommended to give THC products to pets.
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The Legality of Pet Cannabis
Because CBD, not THC, is the active ingredient in medical cannabis for pets, there are many medical treatments that are legal anywhere within the United States. This is because many of the CBD extracts that are sold are derived from hemp rather than cannabis. Hemp is legal throughout the country (though production of it is limited to thirteen states), and CBD is an uncontrolled substance that can be sold in health food stores and supplement shops.
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Getting Cannabis Prescribed by Veterinarians
Pet owners often notice improvements in their pet's behavior following the administration of medical cannabis. These improvements can include being more mobile, eating more, or simply seeming to "feel better." Despite this, it can be a challenge to get this medication prescribed by vets. The issue is two-fold: cannabis is not legal everywhere , and studies are still being performed to determine whether this type of treatment is viable. Regardless, the treatment is generally considered palliative; cannabis is generally used to alleviate symptoms rather than treat diseases. Thus, it's used in place of pain medication and other medications, rather than as a "treatment."
Getting CBD for Your Pet
There are many companies making CBD products for our furry companions. If you have a pet who might benefit from pain relief, increased mobility, or you just want to see them act like a pup again, CBD treats might be a great option. Many hemp companies make CBD treats enhanced with terpenes to create an entourage effect for better results.
Medical cannabis is still being studied not only for pets but also for humans. As it becomes more popular and available, it's likely that pet owners will see a surge in availability. For pet owners who have pets that are currently suffering from seizures, arthritis, or other common diseases often treated with cannabis, CBD supplements may be an answer. There are many supplements -- such as hemp-derived pills -- that can be administered as a nutritional supplement, though the guidance of a veterinarian professional is always desirable.
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