The legalized use of marijuana has been a hot topic. Now that several states like Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana for recreational use, one veterinarian suggests that animals dealing with debilitating and chronically painful conditions should also benefit from the medicinal effects of cannabis.
The cannabis (marijuana) plant and synthetic forms of cannabinoids have been therapeutically used as a medicinal alleviator of pain and stress for hundreds of years. Cannabis is one of the 50 fundamental herbs of traditional Chinese medicine.
Medical marijuana has been prescribed to people suffering from severe anxiety and chronic pain related to conditions such as cancer, Lyme disease, and glaucoma. Cannabis’ effectiveness as an analgesic has been studied.
University of Oxford doctors used brain scans and found it reduced the neural response to pain, suggesting the drug may help patients better endure discomfort.
The reduced activity was observed in two centers of the brain where pain is registered, the mid-Anterior cingulate cortex and the right Amygdala.
Cannabis does not block the sensation of pain like Morphine-based or opioid pain killers, and not all people respond to cannabis the same way.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary compound responsible for the psychotropic effects of cannabis.
THC is believed to interact with parts of the brain normally controlled by the endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter, anandamide. Anandamide, which is casually referred to as the “bliss chemical” and is also found in cocoa, is believed to play a role in pain sensation, memory, and sleep. Any animal with cannabinoid receptors – including pigs, chickens, monkeys, cat and rats – would feel the effects of THC.
Dr. Doug Kramer, a veterinarian who admitted to dosing his own dog Nikita, asserts pet owners should be legally permitted to give them medical marijuana in lieu of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication. Nikita suffered from terminal cancer, and Kramer found the use of cannabis provided her with a better quality of life before she died.
Kramer suggested how to best administer marijuana to a pet, urging against literally blowing smoke in the animal’s face. In his interview with Vice Magazine, Kramer said, “A glycerin tincture is, to me, by far the optimal way to do it because it offers the greatest accuracy in dosing. It’s also sweet tasting.”
Terminal cancer (human) patients or those with Lyme disease are often afflicted with pain, sleeplessness, nausea, and a lack of appetite. Lacking sleep and proper nutrition can accelerate the perniciousness of a condition as well as contribute to a poor quality of life. Medical marijuana use helps with the aforementioned side effects of the disease and treatments – easing discomfort, quelling nausea, aiding sleep, and stimulating appetite.
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