Veterinary Marijuana

When people think of marijuana, they either think “oh no, those pot smoking hippies” or if they’re more supportive, they think it should be legalized to help the economy or for the medicinal benefits in humans. However most people don’t think of medical marijuana for animals. Medical marijuana with animals is currently being researched by veterinarians and pet owners themselves. According to The New York Times, marijuana could help medicate pets just as much as humans for ailments such as cancer, tumors, arthritis, seizures, inflammation, anxiety and pain. Research findings on topics such as using marijuana instead of harmful pharmaceuticals demonstrate the benefits such as improved quality of life. These findings prove that medical marijuana for animals should be legalized nationwide.

For one thing, there is need to medicate animals who like humans suffer from cancer, tumors, arthritis, seizures, inflammation, anxiety and pain. According to research the benefits for marijuana outweigh the potential negative effects. For instance humans or animals can’t overdose on marijuana but the quality of life improves with marijuana use. Animals suffer with very few side effects from marijuana but man made medications have countless side effects including the opposite of what the medications intended use.

However, contrary to popular belief using marijuana for animals is not about getting pets intoxicated for personal amusement, but more about naturally medicating and improving quality of life for their final days. Death is inevitable but it doesn’t always have to be painful. Marijuana can sometimes even completely eradicate symptoms. For example, the story of Miles,a 12 year old labrador retriever who developed a splenic tumor that ended up spreading to his liver and lungs. He was given tramadol and two months to live. Denise, Miles’ owner, didn’t like how tramadol made him feel. She states that when Miles was on tramadol, he’d be in bed, wouldn’t enjoy or eat anything, and probably die. After she switched from tramadol to marijuana, within a single hour, his appetite returned and the vomiting had stopped. After a couple of weeks, he was back to his normal self. He loved to run on the beach and that’s exactly what he did. Denise even said, “People need to understand that this isn’t about getting my dog high. It’s about improving his quality of life.” It seems like Denise and Miles did in fact achieve their goal.

On the contrary, some may argue that marijuana is similar to heroin, LSD and ecstasy because are all schedule 1 drugs. This means these products are not accepted for medical use and they have a high risk for abuse. Marijuana legalization in general is a state by state law. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved it for any medical uses. Medical marijuana is only legalized in 29 states. In addition it’s not possible to overdose on marijuana but they sure can overdose on heroin, LSD & ecstasy. Over half of our country supports the cause.

Finally narcotics can be highly addictive. Marijuana is not, there is no research to prove any harmful effects. The main side effects of marijuana are drowsiness and minor increase of appetite. On the other hand manmade prescriptions may be harmful because it’s very easy to get addicted or overdose. Also people are aware of the fact that marijuana is a plant with no extra additives, where pharmaceuticals originate, the substances used and process is a mystery

However giving pets marijuana could go wrong if not done correctly. For example, if an animal does experience psychoactive effects then they have had too much. They must be given enough for it to be effective, but not too much to where they’re negatively affected. However, when it’s given to them properly, it’s unlikely for them to have negative effects. Even if someone were to give their pet too much, the worst case scenario the pet will feel drowsy. If that happens, simply decrease the amount given.

In conclusion, the medical marijuana that’s being used with animals contains little to no Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. This is the chemical that causes intoxication. It contains more of the medicinal chemical known as Cannabidiol (CBD). Medical marijuana usually contains a lot more CBD than THC. Dr. Gary Richter states in an interview with Project CBD that the THC to CBD ratio is very important. The CBD to THC ratio that Dr. Richter uses is 20:1. He confirms that at no point is it the goal for the pet to get ‘stoned.’ The goal is to naturally medicate in a therapeutic way without psychoactive effects or an abundance of side effects in general.

As a result of these findings, it appears that there are a lot more positive affects to medical marijuana with animals than negative ones when given correctly and with helpful rather than harmful intentions. In addition both veterinarians and owners agree that marijuana could be a better option when treating pets than man made narcotics because of fewer side effects and faster healing. National legalization of medical marijuana for animals could in fact be more beneficial than harmful.