How safe is medical marijuana for your pet?

By March 21 | See Comments

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Only over the past decade has the public opinion —and hence legislation— regarding the medical use of Marijuana shifted to align with the medical opinion: that of doctors and experts. But usage of medical marijuana for diseased and suffering pets is still a controversial debate across the globe. Formal research is limited on the subject, and vets are not authorized to prescribe cannabis for pets even if their inclinations to help our furry friends are scientifically sound.Cannabis, in theory, can help relieve various ailments that pets can suffer from — anxiety, stress, seizures, arthritis, gastrointestinal conditions, or even cancers. But since size is not the only adjustment to be made, the dosage, the ratio of components, the side-effects, and the overall curative impact of cannabis for pets are all complex questions that need careful consideration.

The Science

The compounds present in Cannabis affect the ECS (Endocannabinoid System), a group of receptors in the nervous system that help regulate pain and stress within the body. While no conclusive research has been published on cats and dogs, the impact of cannabis on various ailments in humans has been tested and proved beyond scientific doubt.Pets suffer most of these ailments, too, and the key to using Cannabis in their treatment is in the selection of dosage, most vets and experts say. The two main components of Cannabis are THC, which gets its users high, and CBD, which has milder effects. The ratio of these components, and their concentration in a product, is vital to know, in order to administer it safely for pets.

The Laws

Vets in most countries are not allowed to prescribe medical marijuana for pets, irrespective of the disease. Laws regarding the medical usage of cannabis are unclear in some regions, and even suggesting it informally to pet-owners could cause trouble for vets.Until conclusive studies are published explaining the medical benefits and safety of using Cannabis for pets, most vets who believe in the cause are restricted to research, and to educating pet-owners and legislators about it.

The Treatment

While they believe that calculated doses of the right product, can help cure or at least relieve the suffering of our loved little animals, these vets also caution about dreadful side-effects and consequences of accidental misuse or overuse of Cannabis.Start with a tiny dosage of the rightly chosen product for your animal, they suggest, and never without consulting a well-informed vet who understands the animal. As you increase the dosage when required, monitor your pet’s activity for side-effects, which may include being zoned out, vomiting, or even diarrhea.Switch to hemp-based cannabinoids, which are low in THC and easily available, if you see signs of over-consumption. Hemp-oils in pet-food are perhaps the easiest way to give your pets the advised dosage, and get them both healthy and cheerful again.

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