Scientific evidence backing the medicinal properties of cannabis is not very strong for humans, and it’s even weaker for animals. But that has not held back the market in cannabis products for pets. Yes, pets.
Products containing cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, are being manufactured for cats, dogs and even horses to treat ailments such as anxiety, arthritis and dry itchy skin.
There are CBD-laced treats, tinctures and capsules to help with pain control and anxiety relief. And there are topical creams and shampoos containing CBD used for pets with allergies.
And to be clear, the emphasis here is on CBD. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the active ingredient in cannabis that gets you high, is toxic to animals. If your dog or cat gets into someone’s stash, go directly to the vet because the result can be fatal.
Do the CBD pet products work? There are certainly enough true believers buying CBD-infused pet products. But the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association notes that the products are not legal and therefore veterinarians are not authorized to prescribe them. The association says there is insufficient research on the safe levels of CBD for pets and does not approve marijuana of any type for medicinal use in animals.