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For millions of humans worldwide, medical cannabis is rapidly becoming a popular treatment method for patients suffering from various illnesses and seeking immediate and long-lasting relief. As researchers continue to back up claims with scientific studies, veterinarians and pet owners are also beginning to see that medical cannabis, also known as medical marijuana, provides significantly positive health benefits for pets as well. Whether the animal has a critical illness such as cancer, pain, auto-immune issues, or neurological impairments, medical cannabis can absolutely be beneficial for treating pets. Not only can cannabis quickly begin to work on relieving the symptoms of critical illness, it also treats any underlying pathology and does so in a method that is gentle, non-toxic, and effective. When considering whether or not to treat your pet with medical cannabis, the method of ingestion and dosing will play a key part in how efficient the treatment plan will be for your pet. It is therefore very important to speak with a qualified medical cannabis specialist before giving any cannabis medication to your animals.

The best way to treat an animal with an illness is with an high quality cannabis oil. Cannabis oil is the liquid extracted from the cannabis plant and is often combined with a carrier oil for ingestion. The flower (or bud) of the cannabis plant contains trichomes, which are glands that contain essential chemicals known as cannabinoids. The most famous of these cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). Generally, THC is known for pain relief while CBD is famous for its medicinal properties. These cannabinoids are much more powerful when used together due to a process known as the Entourage Effect. When looking to treat pets, it is important to use an organic cannabis oil made from the flower of the cannabis plant and not from hemp in order to maximize the benefit of the Entourage Effect. Oils derived from hemp contain too small a percentage of the cannabinoids to have any therapeutic value when treating pets or humans.

Medical cannabis oil can be used to treat quite a range of ailments in pets such as seizures, nausea, arthritis, pain, depression, anxiety, and many others. This is because if your pet is a mammal, like humans it will also have an active endocannabinoid system in its body. The endocannabinoid system is a series of receptor sites running throughout the body. When the cannabis molecules interact with these receptor sites, they help to regulate and adjust the body’s responses to things like stress, pain, and nausea. Studies have also shown that cannabinoids have many more benefits such directly fighting inflammation, regulating sleep cycles, and inducing cellular apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells. The general consensus is that if cannabis oil can be used to treat a specific illness in humans, it can also be used to treat that same illness in pets. Additionally, with the correct dosing, cannabis oil can provide immediate therapeutic relief for pets without any cognitive impairment. Another benefit of treating pets with a medical cannabis oil versus a pharmaceutical medication is the lack of unwanted negative side effects associated with traditional pet medications.

When the appropriate dosing is used, medical cannabis has no side effects that could be considered life-threatening. It doesn’t negatively affect a pet’s GI tract, kidney, or liver, and does not lead to the unwanted effect of being “high” or sedated. It cannot be stressed enough that the proper dosing is imperative as an overdose can lead to potential risks for your pets. One of these risks is THC toxicity which can last for hours and sometimes even days. The symptoms of THC toxicity include your pet’s inability to stand or eat. Fortunately these risks are quite rare and a pet is more likely to suffer from toxicity when eating something with raisins, coffee, or chocolate than from cannabis. If you suspect your pet is suffering from any form of toxicity, please contact a veterinarian right away.

When considering cannabis, it is important to take into account the form used to administer the medication to your pet. Smoking or inhalation of cannabis is not advised for any pets. While a topical ointment and sometimes suppositories are prescribed, the most common form of administration is oral. This method allows for safe and consistent dosing with the effects lasting longer and providing consistent benefits. When ingested orally, cannabis oil is safe to take in conjunction with other prescribed medications. As the effects of the cannabis will be in the body much longer when taken orally, it is again imperative that the correct dosing be used. If a pet is dosed properly, the pet owner does not need to worry about any potential negative side effects and the pet can begin to heal without feeling high or sedated. If you are considering treating a pet with medical cannabis it is advised that you speak to a qualified cannabis dosing specialist for the safest and most effective treatment plan for your treasured pets.