Would you ever give pot to your pooch? Most of us likely think this idea is, well, barking mad, but a new bill out of Nevada could soon make medical marijuana for pets a reality.
Animals and Weed
Democratic Sen. Tick Segerblom is sponsoring the bill that could see animals receiving their own medical marijuana card. Segerblom wants state officials to issue the cards if the animal’s owner lives in the state and a veterinarian can vouch that the pet has an illness which might be helped by pot.
The only problem? There’s no proof that marijuana is a viable option for treating illnesses in pets. This could also explain why no federal or state agency has made provisions for marijuana use for animals.
Even Segerblom admitted that pot could have a negative effect on the animals, but said there’s no way to know for sure unless vets can test out the practice.
The Clinical Benefits
However, some pet owners and vets swear that marijuana has helped their furry loved ones.
Dr. Cynthia Graves, who practices alternative veterinary care in Philadephia, recommends hemp-based supplements for dogs experiencing pain or anxiety.
The supplements only contain trace amounts of THC, but even that can be enough to boost appetite in dogs that won’t eat. However, she was adamantly clear that animals don’t get high from ingesting these products.
“It has truly been a miracle and I don’t say that lightly,” said Kelly Conway, the owner of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who uses the supplement to treat his symptoms of syringomyelia, a serious neurological disorder.
“I feel like I have a whole new dog. Georgia’s happy and relaxed. She’s not in pain. It’s amazing.”
Targeting Pets and Pet Parents
There’s also a burgeoning medical marijuana industry for animals. Seattle-based Canna Companion was launched in March 2014 by husband-and-wife veterinarians Dr. Sarah Brandon and Dr. Greg Copas. They don’t advertise their product as a cure-all, but rather as an aid to assist with ongoing therapies.
Canna grinds up an entire hemp plant to make their capsules, which contain minor amounts of THC.
“We have no information that is reliable, valid or useful about the true applications for cannabinoids. What we don’t know far exceeds what we know. We have no efficacy data…zero safety data in animals,” said Dr. Robin Downing, hospital director at the Downing Center for Animal Pain Management.
While the idea of legal medical marijuana for pets is controversial, it could provide a catalyst for initial research to be done on the subject. But for now, it appears that the sale of hemp products and potentially medical marijuana for animals will come before the research does.
Additional Reading:Smoking Weed Can Damage Your DNA
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