LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Could marijuana hold the key to helping our pets feel and look healthy?
A growing number of pet owners and veterinarians are turning to holistic healing, using cannabis oils and edibles.
But could they also be putting these animals at risk? CBS2’s Peter Daut takes a closer look at pot for pets.
The FDA has not approved medical marijuana for pets, and vets are not allowed to write prescriptions. But since recreational pot will be soon be legal in California, the hope is that more research will be funded to do larger studies on animals.
Comet is more than just a pet; he’s a comedian. His owner, Monique Madrid, uses him in her standup act.
“He’s my muse as I like to call him,” Monique Madrid says.
But Comet’s pain is no laughing matter. The 11-year-old dachshund suffers from disc disease and arthritis. Madrid says she used to spend a fortune on physical therapy and acupuncture for comet, until a friend recommended cannabis.
Cannabis oil is added to Comet’s food twice a day. Madrid says it stops his shaking and helps him move around more easily with no harmful side effects.
“It’s just made a big difference you can tell,” Madrid said. “It’s natural. I’d much rather do that than hop him up on pain pills, and it actually heals them.”
From treats to capsules to oils, a growing number of pot products are now specifically geared to pets. And not just dogs.
Cats, birds, lizards, ferrets, rats, all companion animals can benefit an expert says.
Kate Scott is a veterinary nurse and the COO of Vet CBD.
She says the products from the LA-based company are infused with a compound called CBD and only contain a trace amount of the psychoactive ingredient THC, not enough to get pets high.
“You don’t have to worry about your pet getting too much THC,” she says. “You don’t have to worry about playing with the dosage, because that’s all been worked out by our doctor.”
Studies show a growing number of dog and cat owners are using Vet CBD to treat their pets’ seizures, cancer, arthritis and behavior issues. And these products can help relieve pain, anxiety and sleeplessness.
Janice Hardoon owns Koreatown Collective and uses CBD every day to treat her dog Riggins’ anxiety.
Right now, the only people who can buy these products must have a medical marijuana card. You do not need a prescription from a veterinarian. But come January, when recreational marijuana will be legally sold in California, the products will be available to any pet owner 21 or older.
“I sell these products all day long,” Hardoon says. “It’s just a more natural path. And it just goes right through their system, and they’ll take another dose when it’s needed.”
But not everyone is high on the idea.
Karl Jandrey is a board-certified vet who specializes in emergency and clinical care at UC Davis.
He says it’s hard to argue with pet owners.
“The truth is there’s not enough knowledge to prove or disprove anybody’s claim,” Jandrey said. “We need to have good clean studies with objective data that allow us to prove they do have benefit.”
As for Comet, his love of cannabis has now become part of Madrid’s comedy routine.
“We sometimes call him our little addict. But I don’t think he actually is,” she kids.