Pet Owners use Cannabis to Relieve Animal Ailments
December 22, 2016
Pet owners are turning to cannabis-based products to to help their animals with ailments including anxiety, cancer, seizures, and arthritis. In 2013, Auntie Dolores, an Oakland Company that originally made cannabis edibles for human consumption, launched Treatibles, blueberry- and pumpkin-flavored hemp chews shaped like dog bones. Treatibles are sold in dispensaries, pet stores, and online. These pet-friendly edibles contain mostly CBD, a compound that offers relief from anxiety and pain, as well as a tiny fraction of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Julianna Carella, CEO of Auntie Dolores, got the idea when clients started asking her if it was safe to give their pets human edibles. Because the concentrated doses of THC in human products can be toxic to animals, Carella decided to make a product designed for pets.
Under federal law, both CBD and THC are illegal but because CBD can also be obtained from hemp, which can be legally imported and sold in the US, most pet cannabis products are manufactured from hemp. Although there is a dearth of research on the efficacy of such products due to the prohibitions against cannabis, anecdotal evidence is convincing many pet owners to give the treats a try. "In my vet community, we have online discussions that this is coming up," said Dr. Maureen Dorsey, a veterinarian at Oakland Veterinary Hospital, "but we have no information about the efficacy, the dosage, or the content of these products, and no one can do the research because the plant is still federally illegal." According to the California Veterinary Medical Board guidelines, prescribing or recommending any cannabis to animals is against the law and anyone who does so risks losing their license.