Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and in Washington, DC.
Legal for people, that is, not pets.
As far as the medicinal benefits of marijuana for pets go, the jury is still out. In fact, there hasn’t even been a trial.
California was the first state to legalize pot for medicinal use in 1996 and in January is slated to become one of the latest states to legalize the sale of pot for recreational use. Peyton said that between increasing use of medical cannabis nationwide and the upcoming launch of recreational use in the Sunshine state, interest in using marijuana medicinally for pets is growing.
According to UC Davis, very little is known about what role or use cannabis may play in the health and wellbeing of companion animals. Currently, no states allow veterinarians to prescribe or recommend cannabis products for pets. Some questions veterinarians want to know.
- Why does your pet need a cannabis product?
- What is the name of the hemp/cannabis product?
- Is the amount of Cannabidiol (CBD), Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or other cannabinoids in product listed?
CBDs and THCs are the major players in the composition of marijuana, and the main difference between the two is that THCs will get you high while CBDs won’t. CBDs also have significant medical benefits, which is why they’re of such interest to both researchers and pet owners.
In states that have legalized recreational marijuana, pet owners can buy biscuits and other products containing nonpsychoactive cannabinoid compounds (e.g., CBD), and anecdotal reports indicate that some find cannabis products helpful for pain, arthritis, seizures, or anxiety in both dogs and cats.
No wonder pet owners are interested. And wary.
According to a 2016 study on marijuana toxicity in pets conducted in Colorado, a state where both medicinal and recreational marijuana use is legal, two dogs that ate baked products made with medical grade marijuana died. But THC, not CBD, was the active cannabinoid in both cases.