The Endocannabinoid System
As medical marijuana is becoming increasingly popular and more success stories are being publicized, people are asking whether it can also help man’s best friend. Dogs, like humans and all other mammals, have an endocannabinoid system, that is made up of receptors that process cannabinoids. It can be assumed, that much like humans, dogs produce endocannabinoids that are supplemented by cannabinoids in cannabis. There are thousands of anecdotal stories where people claim that cannabis is beneficial in helping dogs with conditions like pain, anxiety, inflammation, arthritis, and appetite loss.
Hemp Derived Dog Products
Accessing whole plant cannabis, which requires a medical recommendation, may be a challenge for most people. As a result hemp derived pet treats are a viable alternative that have become increasingly popular. Hemp provides cannabinoids, including CBD, to dogs without the added THC that can potentially cause them distress. Some conditions in dogs, however are better treated with minimal amounts of THC, however dogs are extremely sensitive to the psychoactive cannabinoid. More people are now looking to buy whole plant cannabis products for their dogs in order to provide them more relief.
Whole Plant Cannabis or Hemp?
The issue of access to medical cannabis for pets has been raised in various states without much success. Nevada recently ruled that it would not allow veterinarians to prescribe cannabis to pets and an Arizona bill that would have also allowed pets to get a medical marijuana cards failed to even get a hearing from the Committee of Health and Human Services. There is, however, hope for a Florida bill that would allow researchers at the University of Florida to work with other veterinary researchers to look into how low THC, high CBD medical marijuana could benefit dogs with seizure disorders.
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A survey from the Journal of American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association found that out of the 632 people surveyed, 72% gave their dogs hemp based products and 64% of the people surveyed felt that the hemp products helped their pets in various ways. Some vets are speaking out regarding the potential benefits that cannabis may have for dogs. An Australian holistic veterinarian, Dr. Edward Bassingthwaighte, has found success treating dogs with cannabis for a variety of conditions and is a vocal proponent of cannabis for pets. He has treated dogs with conditions such as tumors, heart murmurs and arthritis with both CBD and THC, as well as cold pressed hemp oil with degrees of success.
Treating Medical Conditions
What has become evident is that dog owners are buying whole plant and hemp products for their animals but they are also using their own medical cards to buy their pets medical cannabis. VetCBD provides dog owners with medical grade cannabis that is specifically formulated for dogs and cats. VetCBD makes a tincture that is formulated to help with seizures, nausea, lack of appetite, inflammation, pain, and a host of other medical conditions. The product is lab tested for potency and cleanliness and is found in dispensaries all across the state of California.
An extremely popular brand called Holistic Hound is a pet treat company started by Heidi Hill. With her 15 years experience, Heidi centered Holistic Hound on pet wellness and nutrition.
Holistic Hound's dog treats come in 3 or 7 mg per bite. These treats won't make your dog feel high, but will ward off anxiety if your companion is jittery.
Older pets can benefit from the pain-relieving and organically grown hemp oil in each treat. The cannabinoids can reduce inflammation, aiding in arthritis or any chronic pain your dog may be experiencing.
What distinguishes Holistic Hound is their mixture of medicinal mushrooms, a five mushroom blend of:
- Turkey tail
The chicken flavored treats contain pasture-raised chickens from Wisconsin, while the lamb treats use grass-fed lamb from family farms in New Zealand.
Keep in mind your dog's weight when figuring out how many treats to feed them. Start with a small amount and increase if you feel your dog needs it.
Currently, there is no formal scientific research on the effect of cannabis on dogs, so there is not any conclusive evidence of its benefits. There is clear anecdotal evidence, however, on how cannabis may benefit dogs with various conditions and improve the quality of their life. If you would be interested in looking more into how cannabis could benefit your dog, some holistic vets do use cannabis as part of their protocol, and it could be possible to locate one to assist you if you do not desire to start the process on your own. If you are looking to assist your dog with a medical condition and improve their quality of life, cannabis may be the answer to a healthy, happy dog.