As supporters of medical marijuana recognize the unofficial observance of all things cannabis today, April 20 (otherwise known as “420”), there are those who say the health benefits associated with the controversial plant may even do wonders for your furry friends, NBC News reports.
“We use it for pain, arthritis, anxiety, nausea and seizures, and they don’t get high from it,” Los Angeles-based veterinarian Dr. Tim Shu told NBC. “There’s some people that use it for horses, there’s some people that use it for small animals, like mice, guinea pigs, rabbits. Dosage is based on a pet’s weight.”
Shu — who founded VetCBD and started selling low-THC medicines for pets about a year ago — wouldn’t disclose how much he’s made, but says he has thousands of clients who pay $40 for a one-month supply sold at 70 medical marijuana dispensaries across California.
Debra Jantz is one of Shu’s clients who reportedly believes in pet cannabis.
“We’ve tried a lot of different things, and this really made a big difference,” she said of the VetCBD oil she gives to her 10-year-old chocolate Lab, Tyler, who has severe arthritis. “He started swimming again and running in the park again.”
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When Gi Gi Griffin’s 6-year-old Sheltie, Joy, was diagnosed with bladder cancer in January, the treatments suggested were costly. The widowed real estate broker from the upscale Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles instead reportedly took the advice of a neighbor, who used medical marijuana following surgery.
“Look at her,” Griffin told the news organization, “she eats well, she as a lot of energy, and I think she’s doing well.”
Griffin also only spends about $120 a month on various so-called cannabidiols — or CBDs — which she mixes into her pup’s food — a far cry from the $7,000 vet specialists estimated Joy’s treatments would cost.
“I just knew I wanted to try whatever would help with my dog,” Griffin said.
According to NBC News, neither PETA nor the ASPCA will endorse medical cannabis for animals, pointing to a lack of research, and veterinarians are unable to prescribe it. Instead, owners have to obtain it on their own. They also can buy cannabis-derived pet treats with the hope of managing the pain their senior or chronically ill pup experiences.
“I think that there needs to be more research done in a positive way, rather than research to prove a negative,” Griffin said during her interview, still sitting on the fence to whether or not cannabis will cure Joy. “I asked the cancer specialist in Los Angeles (about cannabis), and she said that if she could prescribe it, she would.”