Can Pets Benefit From Cannabis Oil?

October 8, 2019 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized

Very limited research.

There is very limited (virtually nonexistent) scientific research about cannabis’s medical benefits for dogs. This being said, Dr. Robin Downing of the Downing Center For Animal Pain Management in Windsor, Colorado considers medical marijuana for pets “good in theory”.

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) president Dr. Troye McPhereson said in a statement, “The CVMA recognizes the veterinary community is in the midst of rapid change in this area with some anecdotal evidence of benefits, but [there’s] a lack of peer-reviewed, controlled clinical studies on cannabis.”

The CVMA does not endorse the application of cannabis, CBD or THC, to pets. 

The most significant risk for pets surrounding medical marijuana, according to Dr. Gary Richter, is THCs’ toxicity. This means that the animal is high, which is not good. Depending on the dosage, the effects can last for days. The pet may not be able to eat or even stand and if the dosage is high enough! Worst case scenario the animal can die. To avoid this, the use of a cannabis oil or other cannabis product with Cannabidiol (CBD) but very low in THC is not just desirable, but essential.

More and more common.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is more and more commonly being used to treat a great number of medical issues in humans with success, including pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, rheumatoid arthritis, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. The ever-increasing body of research appears to be, by and large, very positive. Dogs, like humans, have cannabinoid receptors. It would then seem logical that cannabis oil could be used to treat similar medical issues as humans. While there are many advocates of medical marijuana for dogs, the evidence to support it is primarily anecdotal.

Doug Kramer, a California veterinarian and vocal supporter of veterinary cannabis, amassed hundreds of positive reports through surveys and his website. These are reports collected from pet owners who experimented with marijuana treatment for their pets.

What research says:

The Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association published a survey of 632 people who found 72 percent used a hemp product (presumably containing CBD but very low in THC) for their dog and 64% believed it was helpful. Recent studies out of Cornell University and Colorado State University found significant decrease in pain and the frequency of seizures, increased activity with no observable side effects in dogs. 

It’s possible that CBD treatment is going to prove as beneficial for pets as it does for humans. There is no shortage of positive testimonials from pet owners and vets, but one must tread carefully. Considering the comparative lack of formal scientific research on the subject about animals, it is strongly recommended that interested pet owners talk to a veterinarian with personal experience of cannabis treatment for pets before they embark on a treatment plan of their own.