Cannabis and veterinary medicine have been in the news recently for a couple of disparate reasons – and both highlight the need for more research into the effect of the herb on our animal companions, as well as on humans.
First, there’s the reported spike in incidents of pets consuming cannabis and requiring veterinary assistance as a result. The website answer.com reports that the questions it receives regarding marijuana and pets have increased by 65 percent in the last year.
“I have friends who will sometimes see five to 10 patients a day,” says Ken Pawlowski, past president of the California Veterinary Medical Association. “There’s a study out of Colorado that shows a four-fold increase in cannabis-related cases, and much of that is ascribed to pets getting into their owners’ stash.”
But wait, you say. Can’t CBDs be helpful for pets? That’s a very good question, and there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest they can. However, the federal government’s continued classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug makes research extremely difficult. Which leads us to the second recent mention of pets and cannabis in the news.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has just decided to advocate for the reclassification of cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II, allowing for a great increase in the opportunities to research cannabis use for animals, as well as for humans.
Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science is currently conducting two clinical trials examining the effects of cannabis in dogs (and they’re still recruiting animals – click here if you’re interested in finding out more). One study is exploring CBD’s effects on canine epilepsy, while the other is looking at CBD as a possible osteoarthritis treatment.
At The Green Solution, we fully support studies on the efficacy of cannabis in alleviating the pain of animals, as well as their human companions. However, as responsible animal lovers, we strongly caution against medicating your pets with cannabis, and urge you to make sure your cannabis is completely safe from playfully prying paws. Until substantially more research is conducted, let’s limit the consumption of cannabis to humans.