Is it Safe to Give Your Pet Medical Cannabis Treats?

Is it Safe to Give Your Pet Medical Cannabis Treats?

Cannabidiol oil (CBD) has gained popularity in recent years as a way to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy. Now, entrepreneurs are hoping to expand its use to the animal kingdom by manufacturing pet treats containing CBD to help four-legged friends who are suffering from illness and ailments associated with aging.

Matthew J. Cote, brand manager for Auntie Dolores, a company that manufactures edible treats for dogs, explained:

“Most people grow cannabis for the euphoric experience of THC. But they’ve been overlooking cannabidiol—commonly known as CBD—which is non-psychoactive.”

CBD can relieve pain and joint stiffness for pets, just as it does for humans.

Those producing the therapeutic animal treats must use caution in marketing, and are not supposed to make healing claims about their products because they aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Pet owners, however, are quick to applaud the benefits. A woman from Fort Bragg decided to give the treats to her aging dog—who was scheduled to be put down—and asserts they enabled the dog to walk around and act normal again. Another pet owner reported that medicinal marijuana treats cured her cat of anxiety and inflamed bladder issues that had been going on for over a year.

It is important for pet owners to realize that the treats made by manufacturers such as Auntie Delores are not made with the same cannabis consumed recreationally by humans. These special treats are made with high CBD, low THC cannabis strains. Giving your pet a treat made with high THC marijuana could cause adverse side effects. 

If a dog, for example, ingests too much marijuana, he or she can face serious consequences. Tina Wismer, medical director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, explained:

“You would think they’d become sedated and wobbly, but almost a quarter of them become quite agitated. They’re trying to pace. They’re panting. You reach out to pet them and they jerk their heads away.”

While not everyone agrees on the effectiveness of CBD for animals, it may soon become more common. Nevada’s legislature is now considering a bill allowing vets to prescribe it and, if approved, would be the first state to do so. Even in the 23 states where medical marijuana is legal, vets are currently not allowed to prescribe its use for pets.

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