Key Points in Understanding Cannabis Use in Pets*

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See article Marijuana: If It’s Legal, Should You Give It to Your Pet?

• Our scientific and medical understanding of the pharmacology and physiology of marijuana products is incomplete and evolving.   To date, there are no known scientifically proven therapeutic uses for cannabinoids in companion animals.

• Any animal being treated with a marijuana product should be closely monitored for signs of therapeutic effect and/or toxicity.

• Preclinical studies in rodent models suggest potential therapeutic benefits in other species, including humans and companion animals.

• The effects of marijuana products can be very different in people than in animals.

• Anecdotal evidence suggests that an increasing number of companion animal owners are asking veterinarians for their recommendations on marijuana use for treatment of a variety of conditions, including adjuncts in chronic pain management and cancer therapy.

• Anecdotally, veterinarians report that some owners are administering marijuana products to their companion animals due to frustration from results of more conventional therapy.

• The number of animals, especially dogs and cats, being seen by veterinarians for marijuana intoxication has dramatically increased over the last several years as marijuana has become more widely available and/or the willingness of companion animal owners to disclose marijuana ingestion has increased. Ingestion of edible marijuana products is of particular concern in animals due to the higher concentrations of THC.  Companion animal death from overdose has been reported.   

*from a Position Statement provided by the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association   

 

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