Hemp cannabidiol, or hemp CBD is a non-psychoactive oil which is extracted from cannabis plants. It has only trace elements of THC, insufficient to get humans high or stoned. CBD oil is proving to be particularly effective in the treatment of numerous human ailments.
Last week, as I was researching information for a blog topic, I discovered that hemp cannabidiol is also being used to treat various ailments in animals such as cats and dogs. I was rather taken aback by this discovery, if not indeed uncomfortable with it. I did some research and wrote up an article which I promised to return to. This is the first follow up of that article.
Getting pets goofed – or would that be woofed?
Before we go any further, I need to categorically state that I am a passionate animal rights activist. I abhor cruelty to animals. I am utterly disgusted in the use of animals for cosmetic testing and I do not in any way condone or support the idea of feeding pets marijuana or narcotics for recreational highs. If you want to smoke weed, that is entirely your decision. Please don’t rope your pet into your party.
Now that you know where I stand on the matter, you will be able to appreciate my initial reservations. I decided that it would be prudent to do more research and to keep an open mind. I am, after all, very interested in hemp cannabidiol and if it could be used to benefit humans, why not animals too?
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A Eureka Moment
The last couple of days have not been the easiest. I have been struggling with the ethics behind hemp cannabidiol being used on animals. I kept thinking to myself, how can you give your pet weed? As my thoughts raged to and fro, it suddenly dawned on me that I was being exactly the close minded, misinformed person I am usually so critical of! I have been thinking in terms of THC and marijuana, not in terms of CBD and hemp!!
Argh!! The cannabis confusion associated with hemp and marijuana – I had fallen into the very trap that irks me so often! Hemp oil does not contain sufficient levels of THC to affect us. You cannot possibly get high from hemp – so why was I being so darn silly? If hemp can help humans, it ought to help our animals too. I was ready to return to the subject with an open mind and a less critical eye.
Dr. Sarah Brandon and Dr. Greg Chopas run Canna Companion, a US based company which produces dog treats containing hemp cannabidiol. These two vets are quoted in the media as saying:
‘We are not interested in, nor are we advocating the administration of, the well-known psychotropic compound THC, in concentrations sufficient to produce the ‘high’ or psychotropic effects which are normally associated with marijuana.
‘We are not advocating the administration of marijuana, by any route, to animals in order to produce medical benefit or to produce any psychotropic effect.
‘Rather, we are advocating the administration and continued research into the non-psychotropic compounds for the purposes of therapy in animals.’
This pretty much echoes my own sentiments. Now that I was secure in the knowledge that hemp cannabidiol will not get your pets high, I was much more willing to accept the use of CBD oils in treating animal afflictions. However, I still had some lingering doubts and decided to consult the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) website.
What does PETA have to say?
PETA’s website boasts an article written by Dr. Amanda Reiman, the policy manager for California’s Drug Policy Alliance. Dr. Reiman had an elderly cat which was suffering from intestinal cancer. The cat had lost a lot of weight and was having trouble sleeping. The vet had informed Dr. Reiman that the tumor was inoperable.
Dr. Reiman added a few drops of hemp cannabidiol to the cat’s wet food. She was overwhelmed by the results. Although the cat did pass away a few months later, Dr Reiman was overjoyed to see her cat eating better, purring, playing and enjoying an overall better quality of life.
The article continues and mentions the treatment of horses suffering from debilitating effects of inflammation. A poultice containing CBD, called Lame Away, has been specifically developed for horses. According to the PETA article, the beneficial effects are astounding.
Hemp cannabidiol oil is being used effectively on animals in the treatment of pain as well as canine distemper, seizures, eczema and more. I do believe that as a responsible pet owner, the onus is on us to ensure the best health of our companion animals. I for one am certainly looking at the subject with renewed interest and will be looking into this as a blog post again.
Author: Andrea Durrheim