The topic medical marijuana HAS, and probably ALWAYS will be a controversial topic. There will always be those that oppose it, and there will be those who swear by it. When it comes to medical marijuana, the truth is, research is still premature, and while studies are beginning to prove how cannabis helps with specific conditions, such as migraines, epilepsy and more, researchers are still not clear in regards to its long-term effects on our health.
With that being said, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have the right to use it. If we can intoxicate our bodies with alcohol and pharmaceutical poison, then shouldn’t we have the right to use medical marijuana for any illness or condition?
Furthermore, why shouldn’t our loved ones and four-legged friends also have the right to use it, if we decide that it is best for them?
In this practical guide, we are going to explain the effects of marijuana on pets and explain to you your options when it comes to medical cannabis.
Can Pets Consume Weed?
Similar to us humans, pets can ingest pot by eating it.
It is known to treat various problems including chronic pain, epilepsy and more. What’s important to remember is that the effects of marijuana on dogs (for example) are extremely similar to us humans. They include lethargic, breathing problems, lower blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, loss of balance and incontinence. Sounds familiar, right?
Well, in general, all of these symptoms are fine, if they are monitored by a specialist who prescribed the right dose of weed.
Simple right? You go to the vet and he prescribes a set dose of weed.
The problem is that more and more pets are coming across marijuana accidentally as it becomes legal. In states where it is allowed for recreational use, Pets are often stumbling upon it, eating it and then…well you can imagine what happens next!
You come into the room only to find your dog or cat leaning against the wall about to pass out.
What to Do If you Suspect That Your Pet Has Eaten Weed?
First of all, DON’T PANIC!
Your pet most probably won’t die from weed, unless he/she has consumed a ridiculous amount. Just careful. During a research study in Colorado 125 dogs were evaluated under the effect of marijuana. Two out of those dogs who ingested cannabis butter died.
If your pet has consumed cannabis then immediately contact your vet. Veterinarians know the signs of marijuana overdose in pets considerably well and know how to act accordingly. Once your veterinarian determines that your pet is not in immediate danger, he/she will often give an oral dose of activated charcoal. This helps the absorption of the drug.
In most cases, everything will be fine, and your dog or cat will only need continuous observation. So to cut a long story short, if your pet has consumed marijuana, call your veterinarian or Animal Poison Control.
Also look out for these immediate symptoms:
- Severe depression
- Walking drunk
- Low heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Respiratory depression
- Dilated pupils
How Can Cannabis Help Your Dog?
It’s important to understand that Cannabis is an illegal drug in most states and is only prescribed to patients that suffer from specific medical conditions. This is in agreement with state and federal laws.
Due to this fact, receiving pure cannabis to treat/give to your beloved Dog or Cat is virtually impossible, especially in the U.S. Unless you live in a recreational state or you have permission from the state’s Bureau of Health to purchase cannabis.
Now let’s understand the type of Cannabis that is given to animals, as it is not the buds that you smoke.
The cannabis that can help dogs and cats is known as hemp cannabis, not marijuana.
Marijuana Vs Hemp
Marijuana and hemp both come from the Cannabis sativa plant.
The cannabis plant has over 60 chemicals called cannabinoids. Two of these cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The THC is the component that gives you the high effect. Something you don’t want your dog or cat to have. The
CBDs are therapeutic cannabinoids, and that’s what your precious pet will want.
In general, unlike different strains that have high levels of THC, HEMP tends to have only 0.3% or less of THC. What makes Hemp so unique, is its CBD, which provides the therapeutic effects.
How CBD Works?
The cannabis plant contains different chemicals, including CBD, phytocannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids. Humans and other mammals have specific cannabinoid receptor sites. These sites are primarily in the brain and central nervous system, and in peripheral organs, especially immune cells. They make up what’s called the endocannabinoid system.
Studies have shown that many cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory effects, and can help with:
- Muscle spasms
- Skin conditions
- Appetite stimulation
- Neurological disorders
- Joints & Mobility
- Aging & Wellness.
There are currently ongoing studies that show that it even helps to treat symptoms of diabetes, organ diseases, and cancer.
If your dog’s taking conventional drugs for any of these conditions, CBD hemp may make it possible to use lower doses of the drugs to achieve therapeutic effects.
Where to Buy CBD Hemp for Your Dog?
The best way to get CBD for your dog is to go with trusted brands that have formulated specific products. Some of these are in the form of oils, tincture or even capsules that can be added to your pet’s food. Reputable brands include Canna-Pet, Canna4Pets and Treat Well.
Before purchasing any CBD Hemp, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian.