The controversy surrounding cannabis never ceases to make it to the headlines. While many U.S. states can’t still come to an agreement surrounding the medical marijuana on humans, the issue of using cannabis on pets has now surfaced and piqued the curiosity of animals lovers throughout the country. Because many believe on the healing properties of marijuana, there are now pet owners and organizations who are willing to get their pets treated using cannabis.
Cannabis is known to offer relief and even cure diseases that have hurt and killed humans for a long time now. So, it is not surprising that pet owners also want to give it a try and see if it really works wonder especially when nothing else worked for their pets.
As more states legalize medical and recreational marijuana use for humans, many pet owners are treating their companions with cannabis extracts for a range of ailments, from anxiety to cancer.
Many owners turn to cannabis because pharmaceuticals don’t work for their pets. “We don’t want to give her painkillers because they just knock her out,” says Michael Fasman, who has been treating his arthritic dog, Hudson, with a high-CBD cannabis tincture made specifically for pets.
Cannabis products high on CBD and low on the psychoactive molecule, THC, allow animals to benefit from the pain-relieving effects of cannabinoids without becoming a stoner.
While many people frown upon this controversial practice, the use of medical cannabis on pets isn’t totally unheard of and has actually been done in the past.
This is not a new idea. There is evidence that the ancient Greeks treated their horses and perhaps other livestock with cannabis for a wide host of ailments, from nosebleeds to tapeworms, especially skin conditions and wounds. The U.S. Cavalry used cannabis to treat intestinal problems in their horses in the late 1800s.
On the downside, basically zero clinical research has been done on any of the effects of cannabis on any nonhuman animal. And because cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug, veterinarians in some states are forbidden even to discuss it as a treatment option, so figuring out what a safe dosage is could be tricky. Almost the entire body of evidence in favor of this experimental treatment is anecdotal.
But that evidence is astonishing. Many stories come from pet owners who want to relieve their pet’s suffering during their last months or weeks with terminal diseases. The pharmaceuticals that vets are allowed to prescribe often rob their pets of their joy for life, and some even make the problems worse. Pet owners who switch to cannabis report an ability to manage their pet’s pain without the side effects of traditional medicines like tramadol. Pet owners often report an increase in appetite, a desire to play and snuggle, and a general sense of “returning to normal.” Treatments are even starting to turn up in shops, with dispensaries in California offering high-CBD or THC-A tinctures from Dr. Douglas Kramer, a veterinarian specializing in cannabis treatment for pets. Specifically created for cats and dogs with high inflammation, severe pain, and end-of-life issues, the tinctures are available to people with medical cards.
And there were many cases where the results were positive – where both pet and owner can’t thank cannabis enough for providing them relief where most conventional medicines have failed.
Michael Fasman’s 12-year-old dog, Hudson, limps from pain caused by arthritis and an amputated toe, but Fasman doesn’t want to give her painkillers because “they just knock her out.”
So, the San Francisco resident has turned to an alternative medicine that many humans use to treat their own pain and illness: marijuana.
On a recent morning, Fasman squeezed several drops of a cannabis extract onto a plate of yogurt, which the Portuguese water dog lapped up in seconds. It’s become part of Hudson’s daily routine.
“We think it’s really lifted her spirits and made her a happier dog,” Fasman said. “It’s not that she’s changed. She’s just back to her good old self.”
Pets are family to most pet owners (yes, we’re even talking about birds). Their humans will do everything for their pets especially when it involves their health and well-being. Despite lacking in scientific data, nobody can’t stop pet owners who want to resort to medical marijuana for help because it has worked for others so it might work for their pets too. Since they are aware of the risks involved, they have no one to blame in case something goes wrong. So, we’ll see in the future how pets react to the use of medical cannabis.