24 Feb How to Give Your Pet Cannabis Medicine
Whether it’s out of desperation on their own or with the guidance of a Veterinarian, more and more pet parents are turning to medicinal cannabis to provide symptom relief to their furry family members. Research is limited on the subject of marijuana, and there are even fewer studies examining how cannabis medicine affects pets like dogs and cats. Could the same plant that improves your health and wellbeing also be therapeutic for your pet or will your pet get “high?” Enlighten and learn how to properly and safely give your pet cannabis medicine.
Does Cannabis Affect Dogs and other Pets?
We will be covering the topic of your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in more depth coming up, so for now here are the basics.
Some quick science. You, Fido, Fluffy, and every other mammal is born with a biological system known as the endocannabinoid system or ECS for short. Your ECS is a complex network of molecules, receptors, and enzymes with activity throughout your brain and body. Responsible for maintaining your health, it regulates things like mood, appetite, pain, memory, and motor control.
Altogether, your ECS manages the health status of every system in your body. If something gets out of range, your ECS brings it back to homeostasis (balance) using its communication network.
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that attach to ECS receptor sites and trigger responses in your body. Endocannabinoids are made by the body while phytocannabinoids come from plants.
THC and CBD are just two of at least 100 cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant. When you’re medicating with cannabis, you’re supplementing your own ECS with chemicals that are nearly identical to the molecules your own body produces.
How Your Pet Can Benefit from Cannabis Medicine
While most Veterinarians aren’t comfortable discussing cannabis medicine with interested pet owners without more education and training, this isn’t stopping other pet owners (like you) from medicating their pets with success every day.
We recognize that cannabis is not a panacea for everything that ails you (or your pet), but it comes pretty close. Pet parents have been safely using medicinal marijuana to provide relief to their furry family members for a variety of reasons:
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Antiemetic (nausea, vomiting)
Skin irritations, conditions
Alternative to pharmaceuticals
Mood, depression (PTSD, trauma)
Risks and Considerations
Your four-legged friends can reap the same therapeutic benefits that we humans enjoy from medicinal cannabis, but with some important caveats.
On Your Own but Not Alone
Due to the Federal legal status of marijuana, there are some limitations when it comes to getting cannabis medicine for your pet. Official agencies and organizations do not approve of medicinal cannabis for pets and Veterinarians are only legally allowed to recommend (not prescribe) its use.
Nature is Unpredictable
As with any medication or supplement, there’s a chance your pet could have an unusual aversion or allergy. Furthermore, if your pet is on other prescriptions, consider the effects of cannabis in conjunction with their other medications. For example, if they are already on something to decrease blood sugar, supplementing with cannabis may lower it too much, too fast.
Before starting or stopping any medication, you should discuss all options and factors with your Veterinarian.
Your Pet’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
Although your beloved pet has an ECS of their own, it’s specific to their species biology. Meaning, the kind of cannabinoid receptors and where they are “expressed” (located) differ from humans to dogs, to cats, to horses, and so on.
Yes, your pet can get “high.”
Fido might be your best friend, but there are a couple of notable differences in how you both react to consuming cannabis. First off, dogs have more receptors in the brain that THC binds to, making them more sensitive its effects.
Additionally, canines metabolize cannabinoids differently and at a different rate than we do. These are not necessarily bad distinctions — just something to keep in mind when considering medicine for your pup.
CBD vs. THC vs. ???
CBD gets a lot of buzz, mostly because it doesn’t get you or your pet buzzed. But that doesn’t mean THC doesn’t have a place in medicating your pet. Small (microdose) amounts of THC, especially in conjunction with other cannabinoids like CBD, magnify the therapeutic benefits of cannabis while mitigating any undesired mind-altering effects. In essence, with the smallest amount of THC, the other medicinal molecules within cannabis work better together. Without getting your pet stoned.
Besides THC and CBD, there are over a hundred other cannabinoids within the cannabis plant that have medicinal qualities, and won’t get you or your pet high.
Although the psychoactive characteristics of THC are well reputed and documented, THC in its raw acid form doesn’t impose mind-altering effects. THCA (non-psychoactive) converts to THC (psychoactive) over time and or when heated.
How to Give Your Pet Cannabis
No, your pet isn’t going to have to learn how to load a vaporizer or light a joint. Also, it should also go without saying that edibles are for people only. Foods safe for human consumption are not necessarily safe for your pet. Ingredients like xylitol, chocolate, caffeine, and raisins are toxic to your pet.
Since the advent of cannabis extracts and concentrates, animal owners everywhere can properly administer medicine to their pet in multiple (pet-friendly) ways.
The simplest way to introduce cannabis medicine to your pet is through their skin. Transdermal absorption of cannabis medicine is as useful for pets as it is for people, and is the easiest to administer. Perfect for localized immediate relief, medicated creams, oils, and salves ease your pet of joint pain, inflammation, muscle aches, and superficial skin abrasions.
The availability of cannabis medicated pet products is limited for the time being. But medicated oil tinctures meant for oral ingestion can work well in place of commercially made topical products, plus they serve double-duty since most dogs will try to lick the affected area if they can reach it. This trick doesn’t go both ways as not all topical products are safe for ingestion.
Edibles are for people, and treatables are for animals. Another way to give your pet cannabis medicine is to add to their food or treats before giving it to them. Of course, you can just as easily squirt it in your pet’s mouth on its own. Either way, you control the ingredients and the potency.
Note: Alcohol tinctures are not safe for pets. Stick to oil-based tinctures.
Raw Cannabis Flower/Juice
If you have access to or can grow your own medicine, fresh cannabis juice can provide medicinal relief to your pet without worrying about intoxication. Raw fresh cannabis is loaded with THCA that hasn’t gone through the chemical transformation to THC yet. Meaning it doesn’t have the mind-altering effects, just medicinal benefits.
Note: Cannabis that has been dried and cured is not suitable for juicing — it has little ‘juice’ and contains higher amounts of THC.
Cannabis Dosing for Pets Takes Time
Like their human owners, getting the right dose of medicine for animals can be tricky and take a little time. The ECS varies from person to person, and the same is true for animals.
Find Your Pet’s Dose
Once you’ve given your pet their medicine, there’s no going back. Furthermore, there’s no explaining to your pet that you over-guessed their dose and the effects are temporary and won’t kill them.
Tips to Get Started
The bigger your pet, the larger of a dose they can tolerate.
Cannabinoid isolate tinctures (i.e.: CBD or THC only) let you titrate dosing until you find the right ratio.
Oral ingestion takes about 45 minutes to notice its effects
CBD Dosing: a good rule of thumb is .25 mg per pound of body weight. Start with half doses and work your way up after a week.
THC Dosing: start with .5 mg to 1 mg of THC per day and increase by .25 mg per day after a week.
Tinctures with ratios of 20:1 and 1:1 of CBD to THC are relatively common and are efficient to medicate your pet when you can’t get individual isolates. Focus on the THC milligrams when considering dosage and work up from there.
The quality of cannabis is the most significant factor in the efficacy and safety of giving medicine to your pet. Black market marijuana has too many variables that put your pet’s health at risk.
What’s in your medicine? Essential information you may not get from a dealer:
Cannabinoids (THC, CBD, etc.)
Toxic contaminants like residual solvents, pesticides, mold, etc.
Although pet intoxication and poisoning from marijuana is a serious matter, the amount of medicine you’ll be giving your pet is minuscule and controlled.
Discuss your pet’s health, physiology, and other medication concerns with your Veterinarian before starting or stopping any treatment option with your loved one. As time goes on, you might be surprised and find out your Vet prefers the natural way of bringing your pet back to health — by supplementing with medicinal cannabis.
The maximum effect starts within 30 minutes and thanks to Levitra Online I was up around 5 hours and cialico.com even then was able to continue.
Your goal is to find the smallest amount of medicine to provide the maximum benefit while avoiding adverse effects. In spite of most Veterinarian’s not wanting to discuss medicinal cannabis with patients, pet parents are successfully healing their beloved animals without toxic pharmaceuticals. Ensure you are always using good quality medicine to dose your pet, start low and increase slowly, and be patient. Just like with you, getting the dosage right can take a little time, but once you do, it’s like unlocking the key to the health of you and your pet.
Have you or anyone you know tried medicinal cannabis with your beloved pet? What were your results? Let us know below!
Next: Find out all there is to know about Marijuana Intoxication in your pet.
How it happens
Signs and symptoms of cannabis toxicity in pets
What to do if your pet accidentally eats marijuana or its concentrates
What your Veterinarian will do for your pet
How to prevent pet poisoning
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- Silver, Robert J. “Medical Cannabis for Veterinarians—Risks & Benefits.” Indiana Veterinary Medical Association, 2017. Retrieved from: https://invma.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2017/09/Silver_Medical-Cannabis-for-Veterinarians-Risks-Benefits.pdf
- Mercola, Joseph. “Dr. Becker Interviews Dr. Silver about Medical Marijuana.” YouTube, YouTube, 8 Feb. 2015. Retrieved from: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW-Nwo1uxps
- Spangler, Lynda. “Cannabis and Dogs.” Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation, 24 May 2016. Retrieved from: www.kerryblues.info/health-wellness/cannabis-and-dogs.
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- “Cannabinoids.” Colorado NORML. Retrieved from: www.coloradonorml.org/information/cannabinoids
- (2018) Cannabinoid treats as adjunctive therapy for pets: gaps in our knowledge, Toxicology Communications, 2:1, 10-14,
- Freundt-Revilla J, Kegler K, Baumgärtner W, Tipold A (2017) Spatial distribution of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) in normal canine central and peripheral nervous system. PLOS ONE 12(7): e0181064. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0181064
- Medical Marijuana Card | Easy Online Process, 2017. Retrieved from: www.hellomd.com/answers/59669a4b73495c0022603973/our-dog-has-lymphoma-does-anyone-know-a-good-cancer-treatment-for-dogs
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