Medical marijuana isn’t just providing people with pain relief. Pets are able to receive many of the same relief benefits of medical marijuana, according to a report by the New York Times published Saturday.
As marijuana reform is increasingly pushed in the U.S. – nines states will vote on new marijuana laws on Election Day – people are turning to cannabis-based products to help relieve their cats, dogs, horses, pigs and other domesticated wild animals of inflammation, anxiety and pain, the report said. All of this even though the drug has not yet been approved for distribution for pets by the Food and Drug Administration.
Although veterinarians aren’t permitted to prescribe cannabinoids — products like oils and edibles which do not contain the THC compound that creates the high effects generally associated with weed – that hasn’t stopped pet owners from treating their animals.
For instance, a pet owner in Vermont told the New York Times she drives her Rottweilers to a veterinarian in New Hampshire – where medical marijuana is legal – to receive treatment for anxiety and seizures. The owner said that her pets’ doctor won’t prescribe her medical marijuana, but she is able to purchase a hemp-based product called Canna-Pet that has led to a “great reduction in the severity” of her dog’s seizures, which affects one to five percent of dogs, according to a report by Australian Veterinary Association. In Florida, a woman admitted to treating her domesticated skunk’s limp and cataracts with edible marijuana after the ailments caused the skunk to become so withdrawn that she wouldn’t even eat.
In California, where medical marijuana is legal, the pot-for-pets trend has been growing increasingly, resulting in the creation of VETCBD and Canine Companion – non-psychoactive cannabis-based tinctures sold in dispensaries for dogs and cats with seizures, pain, anxiety and cancer. Even members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have advocated for medical marijuana reform to also include animals.
Medical marijuana for pets has not been approved simply because there is a lack of scientific research regarding how the Schedule I drug effects animals, according to the The U.S. Food and Drug Administration.