More and more cannabis extracts are being marketed toward our canine counterparts. One leading marijuana for pets company, Canna-Pet, says that weed can be used by pets to treat a wide range of conditions ranging, including “anxiety, arthritis, allergies,” and, “cancer.” That last one is a bold claim, to put it mildly.
Medicated doggy treats and such are more commonly used to treat anxiety doses. But is that even legal? Does it work? And is it safe?
Is it legal?
Not a single cannabis-infused pet product has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, according to a report from NPR. Furthermore, state licensing agents like the California Veterinary Medical Board don’t permit veterinarians to officially recommend cannabis treatment for animals. The CVMB furthermore makes clear on their website that neither current California law nor the soon-to-be-enacted Proposition 64 say anything about legal cannabis use for pets and only permit use of the drug by human adults who are 21 and over.
On its FAQ page, Canna-Pet says it offers “the only legal, veterinarian-recommended, non-prescription CBD products for animals,” but does not explain anywhere on its website what law exactly would make their product legal. It also says, “Our nutritional products are available for purchase worldwide,” which implies they export cannabis products not only across state lines but internationally, violating at least a couple of federal statutes. But they haven’t been raided by the DEA yet, so they must be doing something right.
Is it safe?
There is little to no research on the safety or effectiveness of treating dogs or other pets with medical cannabis. What there is (and plenty of it) is anecdotal evidence. In a recent NPR report, several dog owners said they have had luck using CBD-heavy edibles to ease their dogs anxieties, especially ones caused by loud noises such as fireworks. “I can actually walk her outside during Fourth of July fireworks. For a lot of owners, it’s a night-and-day difference,” said one dog owner.
But for every story of a dog getting rid of its jitters with a little elevation, there’s one about a dog accidentally getting into its owner’s stash and suffering from alarming, though not fatal, overdose symptoms such as disorientation, loss of bladder control, and vomiting.
VetCBD, a CBD oil company for pets, makes an oil with a 20:1 CBD to THC ratio, a mild medication that’s preferable for fewer side effects, especially in cats and older dogs.