Pot for Pets? Understanding New Hemp-Based Treatments

BY | October 13 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
Pot for Pets? Understanding New Hemp-Based Treatments

The perception of marijuana has

changed a lot in recent years

- from being vilified as a schedule I narcotic (on par with drugs like heroin and LSD), to being acknowledged for having genuine medicinal value in 23 states, (as well as the nationโ€™s capital). Not only has the widespread acceptance of medical marijuana softened the public view of this long-time taboo substance, but it has also given people the ability to experiment with possible underlying benefits of the cannabis plant.One of the more experimental advancements is the inclusion of hemp and hemp by-products into dog treats, food, and

supplements

.

Pot for pets?

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A key distinction that needs to be made about pot for pets before moving on -- the hemp-based additives will not get your dog stoned. Many of the medicinal benefits from cannabis are not a result of the mind-altering capabilities of the plant. The plant itself - and the seeds especially - contain

certain oils that are remarkably rich in essential minerals and nutrients.Cannabidiol (CBD) is proven to help relieve anxiety, convulsions, depressions, muscle spasms, and general inflammation. It is incredibly useful for pets with arthritis

or any other issue with mobility.Also, thanks to CBDโ€™s anxiety relieving properties, vets are now giving dogs hemp-based supplements to help manage their fear of thunderstorms, car rides, or just a general unrest.And because these products are devoid of any of the psychedelic components of marijuana, these supplements are available in all 50 states, and in many other countries as well.

Is Pot Food Right for You?

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Just like any other supplement or treatment, it pays to

consult with your vet

before making any dietary changes. That said, research surrounding CBD and hemp-based pet products shows it as a fairly low-risk addition to any dogโ€™s diet, offering a slew of potential benefits (joint health, pain management, anxiety reduction, and maintaining a healthy coat) with minimal chance for negative side effects.If your dog suffers from any of the following, adding a cannabinoid supplement to their diet could help.

Talk to your vet about the possible benefits of adding hemp oil or hemp-based pet products to your petโ€™s regimen.

Changing Marijuana Laws May Lead to Increase in Pot-Related Vet Visits

Since the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana in select states across America, the growing industry of distributing cannabis for medical and recreational use promises to stimulate economy, but not without its fair share of controversy and challenges.

One unforeseen challenge arising from this laissez faire attitude towards cannabis is a massive increase in the number of dogs being treated for ingesting large amounts of pot.

RELATED STORY: Poisonous Plants to Cats and Dogs

The Canine Cannabis Conundrum

In Arizona, where medicinal marijuana has recently been legalized, veterinarians are reporting a year over year doubling in the amount of dogs requiring treatment for exposure to pot. Luckily, natural cannabis is generally non-fatal, resulting in your dog feeling sick for a day or two, but without any major lasting effects. Synthetic cannabinoids, however, are trickier. โ€œBecause they're often manufactured overseas, we have seen some dogs with serious illness related to ingesting the synthetic marijuana,โ€ said Billy Griswold, director of medical management for the Emergency Animal Clinic in Phoenix.

The Side Effectspot-dog-2-blog

Symptoms of marijuana exposure include:

As far as treatment for exposure is concerned, it is mainly a matter of dealing with the symptoms on a case by case basis and keeping the patient comfortable, as there is no outright antidote to marijuana.

The Takeaway

So, while the recent movement across America to decriminalize, or even legalize, marijuana has many people excited, we cannot lose sight of certain sobering aspects of cannabis, one of them being the strong, and often harmful, effect it has on our pets. Just because it has been made vastly more acceptable for people to imbibe, it is still by and large an emphatic no-go when it comes to our feline and canine compadres.

RELATED STORY: The Most Poisonous Foods for Dogs

pot-dog-3-blogIf you live in an area where marijuana is available, in either a medicinal or recreational capacity, and you choose to use, make sure you treat it like you would any other medication or libation, in that you keep it out of your paw's reach. When not in use, put your stash in a cabinet or drawer, and try to keep any smoke away from your pets, as even minimal exposure can result in your pet becoming intoxicated.

Most importantly...

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If you suspect your pet has gotten a hold of your marijuana, tell your vet.

"To be perfectly honest, we really don't care what [pet parents] do on their free time," says Griswold. "We just try and impress upon folks that in the long run it's better for the pet and usually for your wallet to just own up to it so we can figure out what it is and react in the most specific way possible."

Have an opinion on what you just read? Let us know in the comments section!

What do you think about giving pets marijuana supplements? Let us know in the comments! And remember that, for whatever your pet care needs, PetPlus has got you covered. Sign up for PetPlus here, and start saving today.

Source:CBS Chicago - HempMeds Rolls Out Pot For PetsMedical Marijuana Inc. - HempMeds Introduces Advances in Cannabis WebMD - Medical Marijuana Uses

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