For animal lovers, our pets are a member of the family. Unfortunately, the conventional medication does not always work for our furry friends, and just as we do with our loved ones, we go further to find an alternative with our pets.
Luckily, some components in the cannabis plant are gaining interest as a safe and natural way to treat different ailments such as arthritis, epilepsy and anxiety in our pets. Let's look at what we know so far about medicinal cannabis for pets.
If you have a spine, you also have an Endocannabinoid System
As human beings, we like to think that we are above the rest of the animal kingdom. But it turns out that we have more in common with animals than we think. For example, we all share an endocannabinoid system (SEC) – the vast cellular communication network comprising special endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), and cannabis-like chemicals known as endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG). The purpose of the SEC is to create a homeostasis and regulate all biological functions including sleep, appetite, reproduction, memory, mood and immune system.
The SEC receptors are also activated by chemicals found in cannabis, known as cannabinoids, of which the best known are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). However, while humans enjoy both recreational and medicinal benefits with the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, dogs and THC do not get along very well. This is because canines have a higher density of CB1 receptors in their brains, making them too sensitive to the intoxicating effects of THC.
As a result, when we talk about medicinal cannabis for pets, we actually talk about CBD, cannabinoid that does not adhere to CB1 receptors. Instead, cannabidiol activates receptors that are not part of the SEC and are related to pain, inflammation, anxiety, nausea, and seizure reduction.
Right now, there are a large number of CBD products on the market specially formulated for your pet: from edible CBD (chews, prizes and cookies) to CBD capsules or CBD oil for dogs and cats.
Research on medicinal cannabis for pets
Cannabinoids are the subject of research for conditions as varied as PTSD, anxiety, depression, intestinal inflammatory diseases, cancer, chronic pain, neurodegenerative diseases and epilepsy.
Most studies are trying to find out if medicinal cannabis could be an effective treatment for human diseases. Having said that, Before any substance can be tested in humans, it must be tested on animals first; normally mice or rats. However, just because THC or CBD could have health benefits in rodents, this does not mean that the results are extrapolated in the same way to other animals, such as dogs and cats.
Unfortunately, due to the category 1 to which cannabis and its derivatives belong, the research is severely restricted, and only in the last two years have clinical trials been conducted on the use of cannabinoids in pets.
CBD and osteoarthritis in dogs
Use CBD oil to treat chronic pain or arthritis In dogs it is one of the most popular reasons why people give cannabinoids to their pets. That's why the team at Cornell University chose to investigate the safety of CBD and its analgesic efficacy in dogs last year. The results were promising. They found that administering 2mg per kilogram of whole-plant CBD oil twice a day, decreased pain and caused more activity in terms of canine activities.
Encouragingly, no short-term side effects were noted, making CBD a safe alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) generally prescribed for pets with osteoarthritis.
CBD and epilepsy in dogs
For thousands of years, doctors have detected the ability of cannabis to reduce seizures in patients. In this sense, going back to the modern medical era, one of the two cannabis-based medicines is focused on reducing seizures in children with rare types of epilepsy.
Unfortunately, Epilepsy can also affect our pets, with dogs in particular suffering from idiopathic epilepsy. Like humans, not all pets respond to conventional medication prescribed by their veterinarian and their owners start with CBD oil as a natural alternative.
Anecdotal reports describing the effects of CBD to reduce seizures in dogs, stimulated Dr. Stephanie McGrath at the University of Colorado to conduct a small pilot study in 16 dogs of various breeds and sizes. Ninety-nine dogs were given CBD oil from the whole plant and another 7 were part of the control and placebo group. McGrath found that 89% of dogs treated with CBD experienced a reduction in the frequency of seizures.
CBD and behavioral problems in your pet
As happens to humans, our pets can suffer from anxiety, a low mood, fear of abandonment and PTSD. Unfortunately, they can not always express their suffering. Therefore, finding a way to calm your nerves causing minimal side effects is an attractive alternative for their owners.
Considering the popularity of CBD for human anxiety, several pet owners are turning to non-psychoactive cannabinoids to alleviate the stress of their pets. While positive anecdotal reports abound, at the moment, no clinical trial has been conducted on pets.
If you are considering giving CBD oil to your pet it is a good idea to consult your veterinarian first. There is a good chance that they will know very little about medicinal cannabis, but it is always advisable to discuss the use of CBD oil with them, particularly if your dog or cat is taking another prescribed medication. However, Canna Vets specializes in medical cannabis for pets and offers remote consultation service.
Gamble LJ, Boesch JM, Frye CW, et al. Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs. Front Vet Sci. 2018; 5: 165. Published 2018 Jul 23. doi: 10.3389 / fvets.2018.00165
Guiden Mary, Preliminary data from CBD clinical trials 'promising,' Colorado State University, News from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, 2018
Did you like this post about medicinal cannabis for pets? Make an assessment. This post has been made based on existing research until the date of publication of the article. Due to the increase of studies around medical cannabis, the information exposed may vary over time and we will inform in subsequent writings.
Here is what you need to know before seeing your local medical dispensary:You may need a doctor’s recommendation, medical cannabis certification, or whatever appropriate documentation is needed by your condition. Ordinarily, you must be 18 or older to qualify for a medical consent, but exceptions may be made in some conditions for minors with particularly debilitating problems. You will usually register with a medicinal dispensary. This is to keep your medical cannabis recommendation or certification on file for legal and regulatory purposes. There’ll be a waiting room. This is to control the circulation of product and patients, but a simple dividing wall also gives patients privacy and direct one-on-one contact using a budtender to candidly discuss medical issues. Many times, but not necessarily, your purchases will be tracked by medical dispensaries. This procedure can assist budtenders and patients monitor effective medicine in addition to possess a living listing of manufacturers and goods for future reference and follow up. Medicinal dispensaries usually permit you to smell and analyze the buds before buy. This might differ from state-to-state.
DOES AN APPLICANT NEED MUNICIPAL APPROVAL BEFORE RECEIVING A RETAIL CANNABIS LICENSE? Yes, municipal approval is necessary prior to the AGLC will issue a retail cannabis license. Applicants should get in contact with their intended municipality to find out requirements concerning municipal retail cannabis laws, zoning requirements, land-use limitations, and place requirements regarding how near a retail shop can be to a provincial health care centre, college, or parcel of land designated as a school book.
Keep non-medical cannabis legal Adults that are 19 decades or older are able to:Possess up to 30 g of legal dried cannabis or the equivalent in their person. Share up to 30 g of legal cannabis along with other adults in Canada. Buy cannabis products from a Yukon Liquor Corporation licensed merchant. Grow up to four crops per household. It is illegal to provide non invasive cannabis to anyone below the age of 19 and for anybody below the age of 19 to possess any quantity of non-medical cannabis in Yukon.It is dangerous and illegal to drive while under the influence of cannabis or other intoxicants.