According to amedical marijuana pet’s article published in Animal Wellness magazine, “Scientists have so far recognized up to 60 important chemicals, or cannabinoids, unique to marijuana. TheNational Cancer Institute adds that “cannabinoids activate specific receptors found throughout the body to produce pharmacologic effects, particularly in the central nervous system and the immune system.” These natural chemicals may be helpful in treating cancer-related symptoms such as pain.
“Dogs prescribed medical marijuana have definitely benefitted,” says Darlene Arden, a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant via Animal Wellness. “The results are almost immediate. Elderly dogs are running around like puppies, and their last months or years are far more comfortable. Those with cancer are no longer in any sort of pain. It increases the appetite. In other words, it improves the quality of life. Not surprisingly, few veterinarians are prescribing medical marijuana yet, but I think we’ll see a trend that way once some testing is done.”
Dr. Duncan Lascelles, Professor of Surgery and Pain Management at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine has spent 22 years of his professional career researching how to better alleviate pain in animals. He firmly believes that medical marijuana has a lot of potential, but there needs to be more research done.
“Just because it’s natural, does not mean it’s safe,” he says via Animal Wellness. “There are many natural products that are toxic in certain quantities, or when presented as certain extracts or preparations, and we need to remember there are many, many different formulations and strengths of marijuana.”
“However, dogs do have the same natural cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system as humans,” Dr. Lascelles adds. (The endocannabinoid system involves physiological processes such as appetite, pain sensation, mood and memory.) These receptors are found in the dog’s brain and peripheral nervous system. In fact, scientific research has confirmed that cannabis receptors exist in many different species, including dogs. But not enough study has been done on how to administer medical marijuana to dogs.”
“Veterinarians and animal parents do not know how much to use, and we don’t know all the possible side effects or interactions with other medications,” says Dr. Lascelles. “It would be irresponsible to prescribe medical marijuana without knowing more about it. Veterinarians need to be able to carefully inform people about the benefits and side effects, and that information is currently lacking.”
Dr. Kramer via Animal Wellness also adds that “Temporary side effects of medical marijuana could include mild behavioral effects, decreased appetite, vomiting, drooling, excitation, twitching, tremors and convulsions. “The side effects would last somewhere between six to 12 hours after ingestion, although if a dog ingested a single ‘human hit’, he would be unlikely to die,” explains Dr. Lascelles.
An overdose, on the other hand, could be dangerous. “Accidental marijuana overdoses have increased over the past couple of years,” says Dr. Lascelles. “Some dogs may have hallucinogenic reactions, which may cause them to have a higher pulse rate, and muscle weakness with loss of coordination,” viaAnimal Wellness.
CBD for Pain in Dogs
CBD may be beneficial for pain in dogs, with one of the most common pains related to joint pain. As dogs age, muscles, joints, and bones age as they go through wear and tear. You’ll need to pay attention to how your furry best friend tolerates those walks, and consult with your veterinarian as to the best approach for chronic pain.
- Weight loss and muscle atrophy due to decreased activity
- Lack of grooming
- Unusual aggression
- Reluctance to lie down or run up stairs
- Anxiety or unusual restlessness
- Withdrawn behavior
- Personality changes
- Biting, licking or rubbing against painful area
Perhaps the most relevant 2018,CBD study about the effectiveness of cannabidiol comes from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine by Dr. Joe Wakshlag, who tested to see whether pain from osteoarthritis and multi joint pain could be eliminated with CBD oil. The CBD oil was made from industrial hemp or placebo hemp and dogs received every 12 hours for 4 weeks.
Cornell worked together with ElleVet Sciences that created soft CBD ElleVet Mobility chews, which are hemp based. The chews also contained chondroitin and glucosamine which are two natural compounds that help with movement in arthritic dogs. The results of this study demonstrated that over 80% of the participating dogs that used the chews had significant improvement in mobility. The product was referred to by veterinarians in the study as “a game changer that will change the face of veterinary medicine,” via Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
In the end, it’s up to you in choosing thebest CBD pet product for your furry best friend. As usual, it’s always recommended that you first visit your veterinarian for a complete check-up and diagnosis, so that your dog can be treated properly.
As a responsible pet parent, learn how to spot the signs of illness in your dog early on before it becomes serious. You’ll need to always keep your pooch in tip top condition, but to do so, you’ll have to understand your dog, and be able to spot the signs of when your dog is not feeling his usual self.