Saturday July 18, 2015

By Abby Hutmacher

Medical Marijuana for Pets Health/Science

Pets are a part of the family. When they become sick or injured, most pet owners would do anything they could to take the pain away from their “fur babies.” But when chronic pain or debilitating conditions like cancer or epilepsy occur, many pet owners face a terrible decision: treat their pet with expensive surgery or sometimes dangerous medication, watch their beloved pets suffer the last few months of their lives away or end the pain altogether by giving them the “big sleep.”

Fortunately, there is a fourth option that is low-risk, affordable and effective:

Hemp-based pet treats

Hemp comes from the same species as marijuana (Cannabis sativa) but is specially bred to contain little to no Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or the primary psychoactive chemical in marijuana (most states define hemp as having no more than a 0.03 percent THC level). Fibers from the plant can then be used to make clothing, fuel or even medicine thanks to a high concentration of the chemical Cannabidiol (CBD) which has outstanding medical potential. The best part? It’s legal all across the U.S.

Direct CBD is a great resource for pet-based CBD products. Click here to visit their website.

Conditions that can be improved with CBD pet treats

Though research is limited, anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD can improve mobility, increase appetite and reduce pain in pets who suffer from cancer or arthritis. What's more, CBD supplements seem to reduce the occurrence of seizures in both human and non-human animals, though lack of FDA approval prevents many companies from making these claims official.

But it's not just pets with physical ailments that can benefit from CBD supplements. Those who suffer from noise- or separation-related anxiety or depression can be treated with CBD supplements, as well. It also helps reduce aggression in pets related to PTSD. Watch veterinarian Dr. Doug Kramer explain more about his experiences working with CBD-treated pets in his practice.

How to find the right CBD dose for animals

Because of the small size and fast metabolism of a pet, CBD supplements will affect him much more quickly and heavily. Even without THC and thus the psychoactive high, this experience can be overwhelming for an animal which is why it’s so important to find the right dose for little Fido before handing over the whole bag.

The best way to determine a pet’s CBD dose is to contact the veterinarian and ask them directly. It is important to remember, however, that many veterinarians are reluctant to recommend CBD due to a lack of research on the subject and a general discomfort with the idea of cannabis as a medicine. If this is the case, pet owners can attempt to determine their pet’s dosing requirements on their own starting with one milligram per 10 pounds of body weight. A second dose can be administered after a few hours, but extreme caution should be used to prevent an uncomfortable overdose.

Cautions concerning marijuana and pets

Using marijuana to treat sick or scared pets is much more involved than simply blowing smoke into an animals mouth or feeding him a cannabis-infused treat. That’s because pets metabolize and process the chemicals in cannabis much more quickly and efficiently than humans. If someone were to “share” his or her stash of THC-filled marijuana with his or her pet without proper caution, Fluffy could suffer from an overdose resulting in incontinence, lethargy and in severe cases, convulsions and death. It is therefore highly recommended that only CBD-rich strains that lack THC be used to treat animals with serious health or anxiety issues, and even then, only in small doses to start.

Marijuana’s medicinal value is becoming increasingly difficult to argue with. Even doctors who once opposed medical marijuana legalization are now publicly apologizing for their ill-informed disapproval. Most notable is Dr. Sanjay Gupta who has retracted his 2009 statement that marijuana has no proven medical applications after witnessing for himself the amazing potential of this versatile plant.

Now, medical marijuana’s list of qualifying patients has grown to include our K9 and feline friends, as well. And the best part is that it’s legal in all 50 states because it is derived from hemp and contains very little THC.

Supplements can be found online or at your local dispensary. As always, consult your veterinarian prior to beginning any regimen with your pets and closely monitor their progress at all times.

Would you give your pets CBDS supplements? Why or why not?

Photo Credit: Cannabis Culture (license)

Abby Hutmacher Abby Hutmacher

Abby is a freelance writer and founder of Cannabis Content, a marketplace where marijuana enthusiasts can create and sell digital content to businesses in the cannabis industry. Follow Cannabis Content on Facebook and Twitter, or visit to learn more.

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