For about 3 months now, a Canadian animal shelter has been treating sick animals with cannabis oil to great effect.
The Sainte-Béatrix, Quebec based animal shelter Nymous is currently nursing 36 animals back to health—most of them sustaining injuries after being hit by cars. Co-Founder Jacques Lessard says cannabis oil has become the medication of choice when treating animals like Lou the raccoon, who's been suffering from body spasms since developing to hypothermia. The cannabis oil "lowered the intensity of her spasms," Lessard said.
It has also proven effective for more severely injured animals. A skunk named Gaby had lost the use of her back legs, and parts of her brain have atrophied, but with the use of cannabis oil she has regained some of her mobility.
"The results were almost immediate for Gaby. She's stopped trembling. It seems to have helped her have better co-ordination, better balance, and hasn't stupefied her."
But while these results are promising, some veterinaries continue to stress that people should take caution.
"There are a few studies that have been conducted on the therapeutic properties of cannabis that contains both THC and CBD, but they haven't come to any firm conclusions and weren't carried out on all species," explained Caroline Kilsdonk, president of the Quebec Order of Veterinarians.
"The data is incomplete. We don't recommend that veterinarians resort [to cannabis] at this time."
Medical marijuana for pets has been a hot topic of late, and as research begins to ramp up in Canada and the various legal US states, it shouldn't be long before scientists gain a solid understanding of how cannabis effects animals.