Medical marijuana is not just helping people with pain relief; pets too, are receiving similar relief benefits of medical marijuana. This is according to a report published by New York Times. As medical reforms are increasingly being legislated, 29 states have now legalized the use of medical marijuana (with even recreation use of cannabis now allowed in Washington D.C. and four other states). Most people are now aware of cannabis treating pets and are using cannabis-based products to help relieve their dogs, horses, pigs, cats, and other domesticated animals of anxiety, pain, and inflammation, according to the report.
Just like humans, animals too have ECS (endocannabinoid systems). The ECS refers to a complex assortment of cannabinoid receptors found in organs, bones, brain, skin, and generally throughout the body. It is through these receptors that we have a system called cannabinoid signaling, which helps us to maintain homeostasis- balance amongst metabolic processes.
Like humans, animals too, produce cannabinoids and have cannabinoid signals as well. And like us, they too experience endocannabinoid deficiency and this is where cannabis comes in handy making cannabis treating pets a reality.
However, it is very easy to unintentionally overdose your pets with cannabis medicine as you can be tempted to administer human-sized doses. To avoid overdosing cannabis medicine on your pet, give the smallest dose possible, and progressively add small doses until you find the least ,yet effective dosage. Keep in mind that not all products you find in dispensaries have an actual concentration (milligrams per ml of CBD and THC) listed on the label. Therefore, you have to be extra careful as many cannabis products are highly potent and pets have a relatively smaller bodies.
Signs of Cannabis Overdose in Pets
Marijuana intoxication in pets can have several effects. Most of these effects are temporary and only last for several hours. However, in rare cases, pets can experience long-term health consequences, especially from the administration of synthetic drugs that mimic marijuana.
Common symptoms of cannabis overdose in pets include:
– Anxiety, agitation, and panting These commonly occur following intoxication with marijuana.
– Pets suffering from cannabis overdose often show impaired balance such as tumbling, staggering, and falling when attempting to walk.
– Diarrhea, vomiting, and drooling may occur. After exposure to excessive marijuana, most pets lose bladder and bowel control which results in house soiling.
– They become extremely responsive to movements, noise, and any form of sensory stimulation upon marijuana intoxication. These responses can manifest as jerking of the head or trembling. In severe scenarios, these responses may look similar to seizures.
Diagnosis of Marijuana Overdose
The signs and symptoms exhibited by the pet provide a big clue. However, other serious toxins can create similar signs. There is no simple, effective test for vets to diagnose an overdose of marijuana in pets.
The only way to help with this problem is to be honest with the vet about administering marijuana to your pet. Many people are too shy and embarrassed to admit to the marijuana, especially if they are non users themselves. However, if caretakers are honest with the vet about the source of the drug, it can help with treatment in a great deal.
Test kits designed to test marijuana presence in the urine of humans can be used to diagnose the level of marijuana intoxication in cats and dogs. This method of diagnosing marijuana intoxication has not been scientifically authenticated, but it appears accurate.
How Is It Treated Or Reversed?
Onset of symptoms after inhaling or ingesting marijuana is 30-60 minutes in most pets, but depending on the strength and dosage of the cannabis, symptoms can last from 18-36 hours. If you have an intoxicated pet, supportive care is all that is needed. There is no immediate antidote to reverse the effects of cannabis overdose.
However, there are various things you can do to reduce intoxication; you can administer anti-vomiting medication, controlling tremors and seizures, temperature regulations- all these are part of detox phase.
Also, give the intoxicated pet lots of fluids. Cannabis overdose can cause dehydration, and your pet may need to increase fluid intake. You can add honey to your pets water/ milk; this can also help lower the effects of a marijuana overdose.
The Various Delivery Method for Administering Marijuana to Your Pet
Deciding on the best delivery method for your pet can take some research. However, here the common delivery methods:
1. Capsules, tinctures,topicals- just like people, you can administer cannabis to your pet orally.
2. You can also use topical cannabis spray to clear up severe skin allergies in dogs. This can help them to stop scratching for 4-6 hours.
Medical Condition That Can Be Treated Through Cannabis Administration?
According to various researches, cannabis treating pets is a reality. The various medical conditions that can be treated using cannabis include:
– Arthritis and other causes of pain
– Cancer treatment and therapy
– Cancer pain
– Skin itching and allergies
– Appetite support
– Inflammatory Bowel Disease
– Hospice care/ quality of life
Determining the THC-CBD Ratios
Knowing the THC and CBD ratios is an important part of cannabis administration on your pet, especially because the amount CBD and THC can fluctuate wildly from one product to another. Most of the times, finding the best ratio for your pet requires experimenting, trial and error. Also, it is good to use products that are precisely and accurately labeled. You can also seek the advice of a veterinary professional when deciding which product to use and the dosage to administer to your pet.
The Bottom Line
It is clear that cannabis has medicinal properties that can treat various conditions affecting animals, but more research needs to be done on the subject. Anyone considering administering cannabis treatment on their pets should do so under the guidance of an experienced veterinarian who can make cautious recommendations that are both beneficial and safe for your pet.