Humans aren’t the only ones using medical marijuana to treat their chronic pain; as the medical marijuana industry in Nevada grows, so does its customer base. As more and more people use medical marijuana for treatment, some are now extending it to their dogs as well.
Dog owner Jaci Goodman uses medical marijuana to help treat chronic pain in her dog, Riley. Riley is a 16-year old Labrador Retriever suffering from arthritis.
Goodman was using several types of conventional medications to help manage Riley’s pain, but said that the dog began to lose more and more energy, and over time became basically bedridden. Seeing that Riley’s quality of life was degrading, Goodman decided to seek out alternative treatment.
Friends of Goodman’s suggested she try Cani Bits, which are dog treats made using cannabis. Goodman gave the treats to Riley and stopped administering the prescription medications. She gives Riley 6 biscuits per day (based on weight).
Goodman reports that Riley’s pain seemed to have subsided almost immediately. She went from having to be heavily assisted during walks, to now being able to run up the driveway when it’s time for breakfast.
Cani Bits do not contain any THC; rather, they are made with hemp-based CBD oil. CeCe Stanton, founder of Cannabis Network of Nevada reports that no high comes from CBD. It is because no THC is found in this product that pet owners are choosing the cannabis snacks to help treat their animals.
Other CBD products such as Treatibles and Therabis are on the market for use for conditions such as stress, pain, anxiety, inflammation, and pre-and-post-surgery. CBD oil is federally legal, permitting it does not contain more than a certain amount of THC.
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The benefit of CBD is that it doesn’t include the psychoactive effects of THC, or the risk of additions like opioids do. CBD has the same chemical makeup as THC, but because its atoms are arranged differently, it has a different effect on the body. CBD actually counters the psychoactive component of THC – this means it does not produce the “high” that THC does.
CBD avoids the negative side effects that THC has on the heart and brain. Due to this reason, CBD is more commonly used in medical marijuana treatments than THC.
CBD is currently commonly used for the treatment of schizophrenia, social anxiety disorder, depression, nausea, and pain management. So basically, you don’t have to worry that CBD dog treats will get your dog “high” or “stoned,” because CBD is the active ingredient, and that is what’s working against psychotic imbalances or altered states which may be brought on by medical conditions.
CBD has proven to be a life saver for pets. Jaci Goodman reports that six months ago, her family had to face the possibility of putting Riley down, due to the pain the dog was experiencing. Now with CBD, Riley has her mobility back, as well as her life.
Medical marijuana is an extremely progressive treatment option, and it will be tough for people to accept and to use, both on themselves and on their pets. However, countless human examples (along with the case of Riley) prove that it is sometimes more effective and less harmful than standard pharmaceutical treatment options.
If we are going to go out of our way to educate ourselves on better diets and nutritional needs for our pets, we should take that a step forward and apply it to what we use to treat their medical conditions as well. In recent years, dog and cat owners have received a lot of education in the pet nutrition department.
We’ve learned that ingredients such as corn, wheat and soy are often harmful to our pets’ health, and opt for foods made with meat as their primary ingredients instead. The raw diet was a difficult concept to accept at first, but with enough exposure and success over time, people have started to see the very real advantages of choosing that diet over kibble or canned food.
So, we must ask ourselves what effect the ingredients in our pets’ medication has on their health. Time and time again, we discover that pharmaceutical medications tend to produce negative side effects and even chronic conditions. While they do address the symptom at hand, we have to wonder if it’s really worth it to produce multiple adverse symptoms just to treat the one.
When my cat got diagnosed with cancer, I chose to treat him holistically (with Chinese medicine) instead of with chemotherapy. In my mind, I just knew that chemotherapy would be nothing but painful, and that my cat would not understand why I was inflicting such pain.
In my personal experience having been in animal medicine, I observed that chemotherapy did not have a success rate which I would deem worth the pain and misery it inflicts upon the animals. On an ethical level, I feel that chemotherapy is better suited for humans, who understand what it is and why it doesn’t feel good, and can make the choice to pursue it or not.
Humans are already making the choice to pursue alternative treatments such as medical marijuana, rather than ensure the negative side effects of standard Western medicine. In the case of Riley, her pain was being treated, but she had no energy left over to live her life with.
Using conventional medicine, her owners would have had to make the choice to see Riley live in pain, watch her live in her bed, or to end her life mercifully. But, thanks to the CBD in Cani Bits, Riley has no pain, has all her energy back, and gets to live out the rest of her days happy with her family.
CBD treats are safe, nontoxic, and can be used long-term. They are all-natural, so you get to avoid the questionable mystery substances found in many pharmaceutical medications. If your pet has a chronic condition that you think CBD treats may be able to alleviate, find a vet who is open to the idea and discuss your options.