Should I Give Marijuana Products To My Dog?

Whether it's for anxiety, health reasons or something else, some people are giving pets CBD, but is it safe?
Should I Give Marijuana Products To My Dog?
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When her dog had a stroke, Trey Reckling took the 14-year-old Sweet Georgia Brown to the veterinarian. She thought it was over for her dog, who, since the stroke had trouble controlling her bladder, couldn’t focus her eyes at times and often had a stiff back leg.

The vet suggested marijuana. He thought it might work better than any drug he could recommend. As it turned out, he was right.

RELATED: Marijuana Vape Sales Rebounding In Some Key Markets (For Now)

Sweet Georgia Brown Made A Miraculous Recovery

In an article for the Chicago Tribune, Reckling wrote that “Georgia’s brain was severely swollen, and if the swelling wasn’t reduced, it could have resulted in brain damage or... that really could have been it.”

After just 24 hours of using a cannabis extract, Georgia regained her vision and reestablished motor control. Reckling wrote that her husband helped the dog “re-learn some basic motor functions.” The bottom line: 18 months past the time she looked to be on death’s door, Georgia is doing well.

But is this the normal experience using CBD and cannabis products with pets? Experts say it depends on the dog and the condition.

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People Are Increasingly Turning To Cannabis And CBD For Their Pets

CBD is derived from hemp, which was made legal by the U.S. Congress in 2018. It’s important to understand that CBD contains only extremely low dosages of THC, the chemical ingredient in marijuana that causes the high. So a person using CBD products will not have the same feeling as if they were using marijuana products.

New Frontier Data, which specializes in tracking the marijuana market, projects that the CBD market for pets will reach $125 million by 2022. It was $13 million in 2017. 

Like human beings, CBD can be administered to dogs in a number of ways. Things like chewable treats, or oils that can be given in drops or added to food, and creams or lotions that can be rubbed directly onto the animal’s skin.

RELATED: What You Need To Know About CBD For Pets

Do CBD Products For Pets Actually Work?

A Colorado veterinarian’s research found that the oil seemed the most effective in helping the health of dogs. A 2018 study led by researchers from Cornell University found that CBD helped relieve pain and increased activity for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. A 2019 study found that CBD helped reduce seizures in dogs.

That said, it’s not smart to go on your own in giving dogs or other pets marijuana.

Experts acknowledge that it’s too early to tell the exact impact of CBD and cannabis products on pets. More research is expected. In the meantime, pet owners are warned not to give their pets any marijuana-related medication on their own. They should always consult a veterinarian. 

Reckling noted that, while her dog was helped by using cannabis products, not consulting a doctor beforehand could result in pets suffering. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has reported an increase in the number of dogs suffering from marijuana toxicity

In addition to seeking professional advice from a veterinarian, pet owners should also store CBD or any marijuana product safely in a place where a pet will not find it.

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