(Note: Consult a veterinarian regarding any medical choices for your pet. Cannabis is not a prescribed medicine for pets but all vets should be informed of your choices and should be informed of the growing use of cannabinoids for treating pet ailments. If your vet is only aware of the harms of cannabis, then they are ill-informed.)
If you’ve ever come to me for a session then you’ve met my dog, Paloma. I bring my dog in my office when I see clients who are working with ailments for their pets. We should think and talk to our veterinarians about using medical cannabis for pets.
Pets are very emotional for us. When our pets are sick, it’s very hard for us.
I never want to defy doctors or veterinarians. It’s really important that they are onboard and understand how to use cannabis as medicine. My goal as a cannabis consultant is reduce symptoms, increase quality of life, and reduce medications that might be harmful.
Opiates are given to pets. Drugs can be quite harsh for pets, so my goal would be using cannabis as a more nontoxic first line of defense or for reduction of meds. If we understand what ailment our pet is going through and be connected to our pet’s healing, then it brings us closer to them. If we’re just relying on our veterinarian to solve all our pet’s problems, then that disconnects us from their healing.
Animals are the heroes of the cannabis world because they have experienced all the research testing. All doctors, scientists, and researchers who test cannabis first must do animal trials. Famously, Rhesus monkeys in Israel were tested with huge amounts of THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) to determine the amount that could go into an animal before causing a fatality. They wanted to find the toxic amount of cannabis.
I would never suggest that you deliver huge amounts of THC to a pet. If an animal is very uncomfortable and unable to drink water, they can get dangerously dehydrated. But these researchers were never actually able to kill the Rhesus monkeys. The key with THC and CBD is to deliver the right amount so that the pet has reduction of symptoms.
Being Both Conservative and Compassionate
If you’re a pet owner who wants to explore cannabis, the first step I recommend is to talk to your veterinarian. Often, veterinarians are tuned in to things like CBD use for pets. And CBD is the most conservative approach, right? You can deliver CBD to a pet and it isn’t going to have a psychoactive experience.
You can deliver enough that they can get quite sedated, but using CBD is really about starting with the smallest dose first. CBD often comes in an oil form, so you can put just one drop on the pet’s kibble. You can even take something like bacon grease that attracts the pet and mix it with CBD oil.
I don’t like edibles for humans or pets unless you really know what you’re doing. Humans and pets tend to overeat them and take too much THC. Keep cannabis in its natural oil form, then the pet is more likely to get the appropriate dose. That’s how I sell CBD.
Find People to Help You with Cannabis
If you’re in a state where you can go in a dispensary and get cannabis products, I also recommend going to a consultant and actually know who’s giving you the product. That’s what I do. I am somebody you can continually contact to learn about what your pet or human patient needs from cannabinoids. It’s also important to consult your vet and to keep him or her informed about your using cannabinoids as a supplement. They can not be prescribed but your vet is your primary source of medical advice for your pet. If they don’t know about your pet’s endo-cannabinoid system (ECS), well they should devote some homework time to getting up to speed about the ECS .
It’s very challenging to work with cannabinoids. You’re working with the consciousness of the person or pet. As a pet owner, you have to observe what your pet is experiencing. Paloma had surgery when she was a puppy and we went through all the proper protocols – we went to the veterinarian, they put her out, she had surgery, we brought her back home, and we were given a bottle of prescription opiates.
I went through the protocol. I’m very conservative.
I always believe that the practitioner, doctor, or veterinarian is doing the right thing. But I knew I wanted to reduce those opiates as much as possible.
At the end of surgery when I knew that she was recovering, I gave her a small dose of a THC tincture so that I could reduce the opiates she was taking. That was a conservative approach. I’ve also had clients who come in with dogs who have ailments such as arthritis. At the end of their life it’s very difficult to give very old pets tons of medication. The animal might not be active or responding to medication very well. CBD is something you can gradually introduce into the mix.
I suggest that they start with a single milligram of CBD and do it every day for five days. See if you can observe the results. Over time, this might be increased mobility, better sleeping habits, and reduced anxiety. The cannabinoids go into the pet’s endo-cannabinoid system just like they would with humans. Introducing CBD may actually reduce the intensity of the pet’s nervous system. Opiates and some of the harsher pharmaceutical medications for pets can cause unwanted side effects such as constipation, anxiety, and sleeplessness.
The goal is reducing symptoms, unwanted medication, and increasing quality of life by consulting with your veterinarian, using cannabinoids, connecting with your pet, and working with a cannabis practitioner who understands. That’s what we’re trying to do with our pets.