Medical marijuana has shown to be effective in curing and alleviating symptoms in some diseases for people. With the legalization of cannabis becoming a reality one country at a time, there?s a new trend going around: medical marijuana for your pets.
Before you say that?s a crazy idea, this isn?t about rolling a joint with your cat or dog. No, this is about an invention that is supposed to cure or ease the symptoms of your sick or aging pets: cannabis containing edible treats. At least, that was the general idea Auntie Dolores had, an edibles manufacturer company based in the San Francisco Bay Area, US.
Matthew J. Cote, the brand manager of this company explained to ABC news that the cannabis plant has many compounds in it, and not just THC which most people grow cannabis for. Another component found in the cannabis plant is cannabidol, also known as CBD and unlike THC it?s completely non-psychoactive and doesn?t produce the high THC does. CBD is becoming a very popular component and manufacturers everywhere are putting it in their products, and some doctors prescribe it as a pain relief for their patients suffering from cancer of epilepsy. Cote went on to explain that aging dogs actually share quite a few health problems as humans and that they could benefit from dog ?medicine? infused with medical cannabis.
The dog treats the company Auntie Dolores came up with are called ?Treatable? and they contain 40 milligrams of CBD per treat. They are sold online for $22 per bag containing 40 treats, and dog and cat owners are advised to give their pet one treat per 20 pounds of their weight.
Cote also told ABC news that some of the dogs who were given these ?medical? treats responded almost instantly.
“One woman from Fort Bragg was ready to put down her dog due to how sick and in pain he was, but the day before he was scheduled to go under, she administered our treats and just like that the dog was up, walking around, and acting normally again.” Said Cote.
Auntie Dolores isn?t the only manufacturer of these pet treats. Another proprietor of these ?marijuana treats? for pets is Canna Companion and they?re based in Sultan, Washington. They pride themselves on positive experience from customers, one of the testimonials published on their websites reads: “It seems as though [Canna Companion] is the best kept secret in the animal world for pain management and anxiety issues. I originally ordered it for my cat Robbie for anxiety/inflamed bladder issues and it works! Robbie has had issues for the past year or so, and now they are all but gone.”
This all seems well and good, but what do the veterinarians have to say about marijuana treatment for pets? So far, the American Veterinary Medical Association has been quiet on the matter but doctors aren?t allowed to prescribe medical cannabis to the animal they?re treating
It?s obvious that the producers of these medical treats are being cautious about the claims they?re making and promises about what their products could cure. Sarah Brandon, who is a veterinarian and the co-owner of Canna Companion was sent a notice by the U.S Food and Drug Administration where they explained that she was selling an unapproved drug and that by marketing it, she was violating the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act.
So, since these products aren?t regulated and haven?t been approved by the FDA, it?s wise to have a cautionary approach when giving your pets these treats, as you don?t really know what your pet might be eating and what could be the possible side effects.
According to Tina Wismer, the medical director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, these products show potential, however since there hasn?t been too much research at this point and not even the manufactures are sure about what the dosage should be, it?s best to be careful.
It?s important to add that this could also be potentially very dangerous for your pet. According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, since medical marijuana was legalized in the state of Colorado, the number of dogs treated for overdoses of the plant has quadrupled. In some cases, the owners deliberately gave their pets a form of medical marijuana ? such as pot brownies and in others the pets inhaled second-hand smoke from their owners. Even though there still hasn?t been any such problems with Treatibles or Canna Companion, there?s still not a 100% guarantee that these treats are completely safe for your pets.
The benefits of humans using medical marijuana is something which is becoming more and more clear over time. However, what about our pets? The bottom line is that you shouldn?t give your pets marijuana in any form, but if you?re thinking about feeding them one of these ?medical treats?, it?s best to first consult with your veterinarian.