Does medical cannabis offer benefits for dogs and cats? | Infographic
Does medical cannabis offer benefits for dogs and cats?
For some, it’s a moral issue; they just can’t see the idea of using medical cannabis for pets. But, why not? Why is it any different than any other medicine? If it helps a dog to receive a prescription of medical cannabis to treat a condition or symptoms, what is wrong with that?
Of course, there is the social stigma associated with marijuana. But, if you think of medical cannabis the same as any other drug a doctor or, in this case, a veterinarian might prescribe, the only questions are whether it’s effective and if there are any side effects.
First of all, keep in mind that all cannabis does not contain a psychoactive chemical. In other words, not all cannabis will make someone high, or make a pet high. Only cannabis with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will give a person, or a pet, a high. That doesn’t mean that medical cannabis with THC has no medical value; it may.
A substantial number of those in the medical profession recognize that medicinal potential of cannabis. Keep in mind that, medical cannabis that has a higher percentage of Cannabidiol (CBD), and little or no THC, can offer benefits with little or no psychoactive effects.
What are the potential benefits of medical cannabis for pets? Here are some conditions where medical cannabis has proven to offer help:
- Chronic Inflammations – primarily medical cannabis without THC
- Appetite reduction – yes, obesity is a problem with pets the same as with people, though it can also help to increase a pet’s appetite
- Gastric Disorders – may help to reduce vomiting
- Pain Control – often difficult to prove since pets do not communicate about the effects of a treatment as effectively as people do
Are there any risks with giving medical cannabis to pets? Yes, there are.
As with any medication, you’ll only want to give a pet medical cannabis under a vet’s orders.
Pets can overdose on cannabis. It can dangerously slow a pet’s heart rate and lower its blood pressure. It can also cause diarrhea and vomiting. It can cause muscle twitching and anxiety, the latter especially with dogs or pets that have demonstrated a prior sense of fearfulness.
Vastly more cases of pets overdosing on cannabis involve dogs . In some cases, the dog has consumed the cannabis as an ingredient of a chocolate brownie. Since dogs have a problem digesting chocolate anyhow, this can cause a two-fold problem. Once again, it’s important to only administer cannabis as part of a medical prescription and under a veterinarian’s orders.