Project CBD | Claws and Effect
All beings with a backbone have an endocannabinoid system. Is cannabis medicine a good option for the health of your dog or cat?
Any animal with a backbone (classified as a chordate) has an endocannabinoid system. The Kingdom of Chordata includes amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, and mammals, including house pets. Many animal-owners treat their beloved pets like family members. When a dog or a cat gets sick and conventional options don’t work, people seek alternatives. In the realm of natural healing, cannabis for animals seems like a logical botanical pathway to explore.
When it comes to CBD, or cannabis in general, little research has been done on cats and dogs. Are cannabis preparations safe for use in animals? Does marijuana affect pets the same way as humans? Many pet-owners are looking for something to support their animal’s health, but there is little quality control with respect to the numerous pet-focused CBD products that are available in the medical marijuana sector and the hemp CBD grey market. And there aren’t many trusted, educated individuals who can provide professional guidance on cannabinoid therapies for pets.
To help pet-owners become better informed about the use of cannabis for their four-legged companions, Sarah Russo of Project CBD spoke with Gary Richter, DVM, an integrative medicine veterinarian based in Oakland, California. Richter considers cannabis to be part of a holistic approach to animal medicine. Due to marijuana’s proscribed Schedule I status, veterinarians are not allowed to write letters of recommendation for their clients or tell them where to obtain cannabis medicine. But Richter is able to speak about the benefits of CBD and cannabis therapeutics for pets.
Project CBD: Can you tell us about your work? Based on what you’ve seen in your practice, what types …….FOR SOURCE AND FULL ARTICLE PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK
Project CBD: What is your response when veterinarians say: “There isn’t enough scientific data to show cannabis is safe and effective for treating animals.”
Richter: In a perfect world, we would benefit from more scientific information. However, the case reports and anecdotal evidence about the efficacy of cannabis medicine are already overwhelming. In veterinary medicine, practitioners typically have no problem using off-label medications—those not explicitly approved for use in dogs or cats. But mention medical cannabis, which has a mountain of evidence for efficacy in humans, and they suddenly say, “You can’t do that, there’s been no research on dogs!” It’s disingenuous.
Project CBD: But you just said that cannabis toxicity in nonfatal. You’ve seen cases where an animal ate too much cannabis and actually died?
Richter: One case that I have personally seen was a dog that got into a bunch of cannabis edibles and the owner didn’t bring his dog to the veterinarian immediately. They called us the following day. Unfortunately, the dog had vomited and aspirated while at home, his lungs filled with fluid, and he wound up dying from a systemic infection related to that. To be honest, if this dog had received medical treatment the day he ate cannabis, he almost certainly would have been fine. It was only because the owner waited, and by that time it was too late. It was very sad. But this type of event is really quite rare.