Retailers are now offering pot for pets. Although many states have legalized medical marijuana for humans, it is unclear whether cannabis is safe for cats and dogs.
One thing is certain, direct ingestion of marijuana can be lethal for pets. As discussed by Pet Poison Helpline, THC has been show to alter neurotransmitter function in both cats and dogs.
As a result, pets may experience lethargy, respiratory depression, and seizures. If untreated, pets can fall into a coma and die.
— Lin Sue Cooney (@lcooney12news) April 15, 2015
Although THC is toxic for animals, veterinarians believe cannabidiol is safe and effective in treating common ailments.
Cannabidiol, also called CBD, is extracted from hemp. Both CDB and THC are cannabinoids. However, CDB is not psychoactive. Essentially, humans and animals who consume CDB do not experience the high associated with THC.
Although CDB can been used to treat inflammation, pain, and seizures, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved the product for pets.
Dr. Sarah Brandon and her husband, who are both licensed veterinarians, developed a CDB supplement for cats and dogs. Although Brandon insists pot for pets is safe and effective, the FDA disagrees.
In March, the FDA informed the couple that they violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. As reported by ABC News, the Brandons are accused of manufacturing and selling an “unapproved new animal drug.”
— EntirelyPets.com (@EntirelyPets) April 20, 2015
Dr. Sarah Brandon said she and her husband have “taken great steps to correct the issues” raised by the FDA. However, she contends the supplement has been proven to “improve the quality of life of dogs and cats.”
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Director Dr. Tina Wismer admits pot for pets “could be helpful ” in treating common ailments. However, she is concerned because the products’ efficiency has not been proven.
“… we don’t have enough information… Whether it’s THC or other cannabinoids, the problem is we have no therapeutic dose. We don’t know, ‘are you underdosing your animal or overdosing your animal?’ These are the things we need to determine.”
Although pot for pets has proven effective in some cases, the product’s safety and legality remain a point of controversy.
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