Pot for Pets: Animals Seek Relief Through Cannabis-Based Treatment

October 24, 2016
First Harvest Financial

We’ve heard a great deal about medical marijuana easing the effects of epilepsy, arthritis, chemotherapy, and more. But most of this medical marijuana conversation discusses the drug’s medical uses for people. We aren’t the only ones who can benefit from cannabis’s pain-relieving powers; our pets can too.

One California Tabby cat restricted and isolated by arthritis pain was given edible oils developed especially for pets. Though Little Kitty’s owner, who is involved in California’s marijuana industry and is part of the Women Grow group, was reluctant to give her cat marijuana, the results proved that she made the right decision.

“My concern was that it’s not my place to get my cat high,” Lisa Mastramico said.

Since starting her cat on cannabis oil treatments, Mastramico has been very pleased with the changes in Little Kitty’s personality and behavior. Her pet no longer hides from and shies away from people, because of arthritis pain.

“When I’ve given it to her, she’s never acted high: falling face-first into her food bowl, chowing down,” Mastramico said. “She comes out and socializes, wants to be in your lap, wants to be petted. It’s a very noticeable difference.”

Little Kitty is not alone in her cannabis-related relief. Cats, dogs, pigs, horses, and domesticated wild animals have been treated for seizures, inflammation, anxiety, and pain with cannabis-based products.

Vets across the country have expressed particular interest in being able to prescribe animals medical marijuana products for anxiety, as tranquilizers and sedatives can have harsh effects on animals’ cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

These cannabis products for animals are not regulated as of now, but are certainly growing in popularity. Because the Food and Drug Administration has not approved cannabis for pets, veterinarians are not able to prescribe cannabis products in states where marijuana is illegal. Still, those animal owners who have been able to see the results of medicinal marijuana for their furry friends first hand swear by plant.

It is important though to note that animals and humans do not react to the chemical compounds in marijuana in the same way. The plant’s two main components—CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)—produce very different effects. THC, for example, produces the high effect in people, but can have adverse effects on animals.

For this reason and the added complication of animals not being able to speak, veterinarians and cannabis retailers, like Melinda Hayes of Los Angeles’ Sweet Leaf Shoppe, advocate for monitoring pets on marijuana very closely, especially in their first few months on the treatment plans.

Hayes, who opened her dispensary in nearly three years ago, admits that serving pets means a lot of “going back and forth” for her.

“I go as often as I can to meet the pet,” Hayes said. “Owners look at their loved ones through rose-colored glasses. People verbalize their reactions. Animals cannot.”

Despite the extra work, Hayes claims that treating pets with cannabis products is worth it if she can deliver relief and happiness to suffering animals. For more information regarding pot for pets, [Click Here].