Many people are aware of the many medical benefits consuming cannabis products can have for humans. But apparently it's not just creatures on two legs that can enjoy the benefits of medicinal marijuana. Many veterinarians are coming out in support of allowing pets to consume medicinal cannabis products.
There are many issues with giving pets medicinal cannabis products. An obvious problem is that marijuana is illegal at the federal level, and providing it to pets would also be illegal. But there's also a lack of research into the possible benefits of cannabis use for pets, so there isn't a great understanding on how these products can help pets.
Still, many vets support it. Based mostly on anecdotal evidence, they've found that cannabis products can act as an anti-inflammatory for many pets, and they can also help with anxiety problems.
Mara Tingley, a vet technician in Denver, treated her seven-year-old cat with medicinal cannabis after the pet lost several pounds. Tingley suspected the cause was inflammatory bowel disease, and felt that marijuana was a safer treatment than steroids, the usual treatment. The cat gained the weight back, and Tingley attributes that to cannabis.
The lack of research into marijuana effects on pets also makes it difficult to know which treatments will or will not work. Like with human beings, the same amount of marijuana will have different effects on different animals. Therefore vets can only talk about possible effects of marijuana instead of outright recommending it to patients.
With so many states embracing medicinal marijuana for humans, perhaps the next logical step would be to extend that to pets. But there needs to be more resources and research put into this field before it can be considered a mainstream treatment option.