The use of cannabis medicine in humans has been long known, and its popularity in treating common conditions like chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, and insomnia is well known. Cannabinoids have also shown promise in treating a multitude of potentially fatal diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. All of these conditions are capable of afflicting animals as well, which begs the question…
Is cannabis medicine a suitable option for pets as well? From a scientific perspective, the answer is yes.
For one, many of the same drugs prescribed to animals are identical or very similar to those prescribed to humans, indicating some level of shared biology. All vertebrates contain endocannabinoid systems, the network of CB1 and CB2 receptors and associated endocannabinoids which regulate homeostasis. Cannabinoid medicine should theoretically function effectively within any endocannabinoid system, not just that present in humans.
In practice, those treating pets with Cannabidiol (CBD) have observed remarkable effectiveness. An article on CBS New York discussed three people who treated their pets with CBD oil. Rowyn Capers’s dog Luna was suffering from late-stage lymphoma and side effects of chemotherapy. After administering CBD oil, Luna began feeling better overall and there was cessation of vomiting and diarrhea.
Mary Lynn Mathre, Executive Director of Patients Out of Time, and her husband Al Byrne have seen first hand the power of cannabis for animals. Mary Lynn reported that cannabis oil helped one of her dog’s cancer and effectively treated a hot spot on a different dog. Her husband Al said cannabis oil remarkably improved all three dogs’ demeanors and appearances, including delivering more energy.
Ladybud described a woman treating her terminally ill cat India. While the oil did not eliminate the cancer, it greatly facilitated India’s passing on her own terms. Mobility and appetite were greatly improved and there was a substantial reduction in pain. For a couple years, India had been taking a cannabis-infused olive oil product, which had done amazing things on its own. Once stronger CBD oil was introduced, the relief was apparently even greater. This indicates that, just as in humans, adequate dosing is integral to getting better relief.
The use of cannabis for pets was even advocated by Veterinarian Doug Kramer. In a Vice.com article, he described his work with cannabis and animals, advising that CBD tinctures were the best route of administration because of their taste and dosing accuracy. Dr. Kramer also recounted his experience treating his dog Nikita with terminal cancer, and stated she was “up and around” after the first dose.
Don’t worry! There’s a cure!
The reports surrounding animal use of cannabis extracts are just as compelling as human use. Like humans, animals deserve to live long, happy lives, and it’s clear that CBD medicine can be an integral component of ensuring long-term health.