Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Is Cannabis Good for Your Pet?


Since the use of cannabis as a medical ingredient is currently legal in 23 US states, with California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada even allowing the use of recreational marijuana, cannabis is well on its way to being accepted in the whole of the United States of America. Medical cannabis can be used to treat a variety of pain syndromes like neuropathic pain, spasms induced by multiple sclerosis, epileptic seizures, nausea and much more. However, what most of us don’t know is that the benefits of cannabis are not limited to human beings only. Aged dogs in particular, can at times benefit from the use of hemp due to the terpene, phytocannabinoid and flavonoid content in the plant. In spite of that, since dogs are after all different from us, here are a few points which you should consider before introducing your pet to hemp supplements.

Hemp is Not Marijuana

Although both the ingredients come from the same cannabis plant, marijuana and hemp are definitely not one and the same. There are multiple differences between the two, but the main difference between hemp and marijuana is the fact that while the latter is known for its high content of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which induces psychoactive symptoms, the former is known for its CBD (cannabidiol) content which may actually work against the effects of THC.

The Benefits of Hemp

Hemp seeds are nutritious with high protein content and they raise blood arginine which helps in vasodilation, thereby reducing blood pressure and the chances of cardiac ailments. Hemp seed oil is rich in omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, both of which contribute to canine health by reducing arthritis inflammation, allergic dermatitis and chances of kidney disease. Cats affected with FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) or FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) can also benefit from the Omega 6 fatty acids. Moreover, sick pets suffering from severe pain owing to diseases such as cancer may find some relief through the use of medical cannabis. Regulated administering of hemp treats to dogs in general can lead to a stronger immune system, healthy skin and fur, faster growth and development, better fertility and a more active brain.

Lack of Research

In spite of the possibilities, there has not been enough documented official study done on the effects of using medical cannabis on cats and dogs to give us an established idea about what to expect in terms of both positive and negative effects. While the use of marijuana as a pain-relieving agent on suffering dogs is still illegal in the US, hemp supplements are perfectly legal. It is advised that if you do introduce your dog to the benefits of hemp supplements, do so in moderation to observe the effects it is having on your pet first.

The bottom line is that cannabis does have the potential to be good for your pets. However, we can only take advantage of the benefits of hemp at the moment as medical marijuana for dogs is not yet legal in the states. However, it is of the utmost importance to know the amount of THC and CBD content in each serving when buying a hemp treat. Dogs are significantly more sensitive to cannabis than human beings and therefore, a prominent guideline with detailed info on the ingredients and their composition in the final product is essential to avoid any chances of a THC overdose.

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