The state of veterinary medicine has advanced significantly in recent years and thanks to the availability of more effective medicine, many pets are living longer than they would have years ago. With age however, comes the onset of problems such as arthritis and other forms of pain and inflammation. Conventional pharmaceuticals commonly used to treat pain sometimes have a negative impact on the immune system, GI tract, liver, and kidneys. Additionally, they don’t always work as well as we would like them to – for humans as well as our pets.1
Of all the uses of cannabis in human and veterinary medicine, pain relief is perhaps the most well documented. Research trials have shown profound pain-relieving effects from cannabis for a variety of medical conditions. Extracts of THC and CBD have been shown to provide relief in human patients with advanced cancer pain2 as well as in those with nerve related pain.3
Studies evaluating the efficacy of cannabis in treating arthritis in dogs have been completed as well. A recent study from Cornell University showed reduction in pain scores in dogs with arthritis – with no negative side effects – when treated with CBD vs. placebo.4 In a more practical sense, many veterinarians and pet owners have seen the positive effects of medical cannabis for the treatment of arthritis and other forms of pain in animals. The research merely confirms what many of us have seen first-hand.
Forms of Cannabis Medicine for Pets
Medical cannabis for pets usually comes as a liquid oil or as treats. Liquids are preferable because the dosing can be accurately controlled and because CBD may be better absorbed through the tissues of the mouth rather than through the digestive tract.
Vaporized or smoked cannabis should NEVER be used with pets. This can damage