Science

Medical Marijuana For Pets: A Growing Trend In Toronto

By Christie Abagon , Dec 03, 2016 09:03 PM EST

The use of medical marijuana is the topic of many debates, especially in the United States.  There have been a lot claims on the benefits of cannabis to people in treatment of illnesses such as muscle spasms, nausea from cancer and poor appetite related to HIV.  However, recently, pets in Toronto are enjoying the benefits of medical marijuana as well. 

Pets Who Were Given Cannabis Based Products Did Not Get High

Cannabis-based products for pets are running out quickly. Ken Abell, operations manager of Pacifico medical marijuana dispensary, said: "We've had a lot of people asking for their pets," he said. "I've actually got a disappointed lady today because we're all sold out of the dog treats. They're very popular."  Abell's company sells tinctures and treats that contain cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound in marijuana. 

"We sell straight CBD tinctures with absolutely zero THC. There are no psychotropic effects, only the medicinal benefits of CBD," Abell said.

Canada Legalizes The Use Of Medical Marijuana

The legal access for medical marijuana in Canada was first provided in 1999.  For pets, the protocol is different since there is no clear policy or set of rules that are being implemented as of yet.  At the Pacifico dispensary, you can buy CBD products for your pets, as long as there is proper documentation of their pet's illness.  Owners are not able to purchase the products for personal consumption without a medical marijuana card. 

The Use Of Cannabis Based Products On Pets Needs More Research

PETA has agreed on the use of medical marijuana for pets.  In their website, the animal advocate group said: "Human caregivers have the right to speak for their animal companions and to explore alternative treatments to ease pain and suffering."

More research is required when it comes to using cannabis-based products for animals.  Shane Bateman, associate professor at the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College said: "At some point in time they may be useful, but I would only recommend them once they've been studied appropriately and we know for sure what the safety profile of these kinds of things are in pets."

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