Medical Cannabis and Dogs
Medicinal cannabis in the form of CBD has been widely recognised for its low risk profile and broad therapeutic benefits for dogs. Read on to see if is a good option for your dog.
Benefits of medicinal cannabis
The benefits of cannabis for dogs are similar to those for humans. According to research, cannabis – taken orally in the form of CBD oil – may be helpful for pets with epilepsy, arthritis, chronic pain and anxious or depressed behaviors. Some dog owners have also shared positive outcomes when treating their dogs with medical cannabis for the symptoms of cancer, diabetes, and gastrointestinal concerns.
A survey of dog owners in international markets shows CBD or medical cannabis products are most commonly utilised by dog owners for pain relief, inflammation, anxiety and noise phobias.
Will my dog feel “high” taking medicinal cannabis?
Unlike its major cannabinoid partner THC, medicinal cannabis in the form of CBD prescribed by CBD Vets Australia is not intoxicating and won’t provide the euphoric or ‘high’ feeling.
Cannabis has been researched for a range of actions including being anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, anxiety-easing, a muscle relaxant and antioxidant. It is thought the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD contribute to its action as a neuroprotective.
Is medicinal cannabis safe?
The safety profile of prescribed medicinal cannabis for dogs is promising , with one study showing a 6 week administration of high dose CBD (10-20mg/kg) did not affect bile acids or liver enzymes. This is an important discovery as one of the few safety concerns regarding medicinal cannabis in general is its effect on liver enzymes and liver metabolism.
A pharmacokinetic and safety study conducted over 90 days on a small number of dogs (n=5), showed dogs were more likely to exhibit gastrointestinal symptoms, with loose stool being most common.
Despite recorded side effects, authors from this and other studies agree that side effects are often within clinically acceptable ranges and appropriately-dosed and prescribed medicinal cannabis is generally safe for dogs.
Dangers associated with black market medicinal cannabis
There are a number of differences to keep in mind when comparing medicinal cannabis for animals found through a legal pathway and the black market.
Firstly, from a veterinary perspective, obtaining medicinal cannabis or CBD products from the black market – or any other non-TGA approved outlet – can mean a risk to your license.
Secondly, with regards to the product itself, many Australian black market sellers are simply reselling imported Cannabis products and have little to no understanding of the true quality and contents of the product they are selling.
Legal pathway for cannabis quality assurance
When you obtain medicinal cannabis in the form of CBD products through legal pathways in Australia such as at CBD Vets Australia, you can be assured that the product’s quality, CBD ingredients are stated and the safety profile of the product is consistent, when appropriate dosages are given to your pet.
Legally obtained medicinal cannabis has a certificate of analysis for both the raw materials and the final product ensuring that all standards of safety, quality, and efficacy are met.
You need to be confident that the composition of the medicinal cannabis product you are giving your dog is as it says.
There needs to be sufficient CBD in the product to have therapeutic effect potential, when prescribed by a vet with knowledge of the right dosages and formulations for your dog’s size and condition.
When you obtain medical cannabis products from the black market or online without prescription, there are no guarantees that the same testing has been done and that the product will actually contain the amount of CBD that is needed for therapeutic effect.
There is also the risk of contaminants, such as pesticides or heavy metals. Your dog’s health and well-being is too precious to risk!
How can I access legal cannabis for my dog?
Talk to your local vet to find out if they are prescribing medicinal cannabis to other dogs in their care and if they thing it may benefit your dog.
If they haven’t prescribed CBD before, direct them to CBD Vets Australia to learn more.