Research into the health benefits of cannabis in humans is still in its infancy and it’s even more nascent when it comes to research for pets. However, there is evidence that our furry companions can enjoy many of the same advantages as we do when it comes to this miraculous plant.
It is important, as with any medication, to follow proper dosing as not to inadvertently poison your pet. THC toxicity is not fatal but erring on the side of caution is recommended. A 5-lb dog and 50-lb dog will not receive the same dose.
Some dogs have genetic issues while others may be suffering due to disease, injury or old age. Cannabis oil, either whole plant or CBD-rich, can relieve many common ailments that beleaguer them. Here’s a short list of common problems and how cannabis may help:
Seizures: Science is backing what hundreds of parents already know, cannabis can help children with severe seizure disorders. The same is true of pets. Some dogs have seizures related to disease while others may suffer seizures for unknown reasons, but one thing is for sure, it can be a very scary experience for a loving pet owner. Regular dosing with cannabis can help reduce or eliminate frequent episodes.
Anxiety: Dogs can experience anxiety just like people do. Sometimes it’s separation anxiety when their human leaves home, other times it can be a generalized anxiety or fear of new people, animals and places. Perhaps your dog experienced a traumatic event. Regardless of the cause, cannabis in low doses can greatly alleviate symptoms of anxiety.
Trouble sleeping: There are many reasons why a dog may have trouble sleeping through the night. It’s often due to pain and discomfort. For dogs recovering from injury or suffering age-related pain, a low dose of cannabis can be enough to reduce discomfort for longer and more restful sleep.
Joint pain: Did you know cannabis is a natural anti-inflammatory? It has been shown effective in reducing joint and tissue inflammation and reducing associated pain. If your dog is stiff and seems to be suffering from joint pain, try a pet-safe product that contains THC for maximum relief.
Cancer symptoms: The research into cannabis and cancer is one of the most exciting areas being looked at today. Cannabis has long been used by people fighting cancer to help combat the effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea and lack of appetite, but it’s also been shown to reduce and prevent cancer cell growth in lab conditions. This is leading the way to cannabis-based cancer-fighting drugs. When dosed appropriately, your pet can see the same benefits of pain and nausea relief, plus cannabis may help stimulate their appetite to keep their strength up. It may even help inhibit tumor growth!
Lack of appetite: Cancer and cancer treatment aren’t the only reasons dogs and humans lose their appetite. Seniors often have a problem finding the appetite to eat enough to stay healthy. The same can be true of our senior pets. A change in diet to a softer food, mixing wet food with kibble or adding treats can entice a picky, unenthused pet to eat but if even that fails to work, a little cannabis could do the trick!
Gastrointestinal problems: Cannabis can help several symptoms arising from GI problems including nausea, cramping and diarrhea. It can reduce spasms and inflammation in the GI tract and reduce acid reflux. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a common ailment in humans with no known cause. Many people suffering from IBS use cannabis to alleviate symptoms and it can help dogs with similar problems. It’s important to rule out an undiscovered food or environmental allergy first that may be causing the symptoms, but if your pet is still suffering from gas, lack of appetite, diarrhea, constipation or other GI issues, cannabis could help them too.