BY KOURTNEY WEBB
Marijuana can now help animals with certain medical issues. Thanks to the hemp based product line of treats, biscuits and medicine, the same healing benefits of cannabis are now available for your animal companions.
Several veterinarians in the Washington D.C. area have been researching the benefits of altered marijuana on pets for several years. One company which started researching the benefits of marijuana for pets, Canna Companion, is a Washington D.C. based producer of medicines for animals. Although the products contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the active chemical in marijuana that alters mood and perception, they are not designed to get your pet stoned.
“The capsules combine strains of dried powdered hemp, researched to help animals, suffer from joint pain, immune support and end of life care,” said Doctor Sarah Brandon, a veterinarian and founder of Canna Companion. “Similar to medical marijuana but with hemp the levels of THC and CBD (cannabis) are going to be much lower. With our products the t-h-c is less than .3% because anything higher, you will run into that high feeling.”
Studies suggest CBD can be used to treat epilepsy, inflammation and pain relief. Hemp medications, taken in the proper dosage can help animals that suffer from some of those same ailments.
Latisa Hutchinson, 22, from Laurelton, Queens said she would not mind giving her English bulldog Minne hemp medication.
“I feel like if it could help them and sooth them, make them feel better, than I’m all for it,” she said.
Medications made for animals are made with the same standards were medicine made for people. Even in states that allow marijuana use veterinarians suggest you should still see your vet before giving your pets medicines. “For veterinary use, medicine should be prepared under the following guidelines of the current good manufacturing practices of the U.S Food and Drug Administration,” said York College chemistry professor Deb Chakravarti. “As long as it’s a licensed product, I have nothing against it ethically or morally.
Advocates of pot for pets say they have no problem giving cannabis products to their pet as long as it’s for health issues but it depends on the situation. “I would only give marijuana to my dog if it will help him with joint pain, other than that there is no reason to give my dog marijuana,” said Tyrone Gayle, 21, a Communications Technology major at York.
Although there are testimonials of hemp medications helping with aches and pains in animals, there is also backlash from people who say they would never give their pet such a thing.
“The cat or the dog is a mere fraction of a human beings weight and to subject a cat or a dog to some untested or unverified amount of THC or marijuana, I would actually summon the authorities regarding animal cruelty.” said Louie Peterson, 56, a Brooklyn Heights resident.
Medications are not the only hemp products on the market for pets. Pet treats containing all natural cannabis compounds are lining shelves. People can visit local pet store PS9 Pets, in Brooklyn for a bag of Treatibles.
PS9 Pets’ cashier Jamie Ciccone said, “If you take the time to research it, it’s an amazing product. We have a dog, our buddy cool, who a couple months ago couldn’t walk and he was on tons of different medications. Now he’s off meds. He’s just on Treatibles and he walks on his own.”
Treatibles are made with all natural ingredients safe for a animal to eat. Sold online for $22 per bag of 40 treats, Treatibles contain 1 milligram of CBD per treat. The company’s recommended dose is 1 milligram per 20-pound animal. The benefits that pet owners have reported are pretty substantial. “Customers report experiencing relief from anxiety, from musculoskeletal conditions and from seizures,” said Treatible’s Director, Marjorie Fisher.
Marijuana, now legal in varying degrees in 23 states, has been used to help people with different health issues but thanks to hemp products, animals will now get those benefits.
One dog that benefited from pot for pets is Jimmy. The English Spaniel had some issues getting around. His daily dose made him a bit sleepy, but he has pushed through. His owners are pleased to report he’s getting around, eating well, and a happier boy.
Sarah Brandon, the owner of Canna Companion, said this is for the well being of all pets with aches and pains, “We can help dogs and cats feel better but with a far less likelihood of any kind of at risk effects,” she said.