Marijuana, at least certain forms of it, is for pets too

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Sep 19, 2009
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Mariposa County CA
From The East Bay Times

Marijuana, at least certain forms of it, is for pets too

By Maryanne Dell PUBLISHED: August 19, 2018

Stitch was stressed. Not just a little, which is kind of typical for him, depending on the circumstance, but a lot.

My Pekingese boy is, like most dogs, a creature of habit. He likes – no, he adores – his routines. But in January, his routines took a big hit.

That’s when we brought the Aussie puppy home. JetBlue (yes, our second Aussie with that name. He doesn’t know any better, my roommate loves the name, and having known the first JetBlue, the name fits) was a typical young bruiser of a boy. Among his first acts was to run roughshod over the littles. It wasn’t a mean roughshod run, but it was kind of shocking because, at eight weeks, he already was as big as them.

Thus began major Stitch stress. I didn’t want my little guy skulking around from under one chair to another, from one corner of the backyard to another. What to do?

I’d been hearing a lot of good stories about the effects of hemp-based products on dogs with a myriad of issues, from seizures to anxiety to cancer to … you name it; somewhere someone had a story of how it had helped. So I decided to see what it would do for Stitch.

Hemp-based products, including oil, capsules and biscuits, come from Cannabis sativa, more commonly known as marijuana. But while giving them to your pet is tantamount to giving them pot, it also isn’t. Because the active ingredients in hemp and its relative, CBD, are not the ones that get you high. At least, they aren’t present in the same amounts.

He’s been taking a daily dose of hemp oil since late January, and it’s helped. Although still subjected to puppy-induced stress, he is no longer trying to figuratively climb walls. It’s a subtle change, but a change for the better. And since I try to keep my dogs off pharmaceuticals whenever possible, I’m happy.

I’m happy too, to learn that there’s a company selling hemp-based products specifically for dogs and cats that is also giving back to the community.

Canna-Pet has been selling hemp-based products for pets since 2013. One of my rescue dogs takes their capsules, and we’ve been able to wean Meena, a small spaniel mix who wound up with a fractured pelvis at a shelter, off pharmaceuticals with their use. Her foster parents report she’s doing great.

Starting in December 2016 with its 31 Days of Being Pet Conscious, the company began working with rescue organizations, offering a 20 percent-off coupon and a link to rescue groups with which it worked through PetConscious, its philanthropic arm. All the proceeds from that endeavor went to rescues, said Samantha Wormser, PetConscious’ rescue manager who coordinates Canna-Pet’s work with nonprofit groups.

Today, through the organization’s 365 Days of Being Pet Conscious, rescue partners get 50 percent off Canna-Pet products, Wormser said. So do people who foster pets for them. Wormser says she reaches out to rescues monthly, offering inclusion in the program. Rescues also can register on the website. And anyone can ominate a rescue to be included.

The company is also being a bit of a hemp guinea pig through university research. Colorado State University published a study in 2016 about dog and cat owners’ use of hemp products for their pets. Researchers asked Canna-Pet customers the reasons they used the products, which include capsules, liquid and biscuits. The majority of owners of both species indicated that they used them for an illness or other condition diagnosed by a veterinarian. A majority of owners said they believed they helped with various maladies.

The company is working with Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Wormser said, “which has been studying Canna-Pet for years. They are about to launch clinical trials.” Those should give us some scientific results of how these products help animals – or don’t.

The research is designed to find out the ways in which we can use cannabidiol, one of marijuana’s components, to help our pets. I’ve long been a proponent of using more natural products. Yes, cannabidiol is a chemical, just like pharmaceutical products, albeit a naturally occurring one. Does that make it safe? The jury’s still out, because chemicals are chemicals, and the ways in which they affect the body vary from chemical to chemical and body to body.

I’m just glad that Canna-Pet and similar products give us pet owners more options. And I’m thrilled the company is participating in research to bring more facts to the table in discussions about just how helpful those products can be.

Stitch would be happy too, if he knew.
Good point. Cannabis products in California now must be tested. Medicines need to be trusted..

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