Ellie, a 15-year-old Staffy has bounce in her step since she takes a daily dose of hemp oil. But is hemp oil for dogs safe?
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on Ellie whose owner, Mr. Lawrence, survived cancer but couldn’t live with the pain or legal painkillers. He opted for medicinal cannabis instead. To him, the remedy for Ellie’s pain, bad appetite and restless sleep due to old age, was obvious.
Her daily dose of medicinal cannabis under her tongue is not advised by most vets but Mr Lawrence say there is a great improvement in Ellie, his faithful companion who suffered from arthritis and glaucoma, had lost her appetite and was having fits in her sleep.
His friends were skeptical, but after 12 months of cannabis oil treatment the results are clear, she is running around, eats well and sleeps well.
Mr. Lawrence explained the cannabis oil he uses doesn’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psycho-active compound in cannabis, but cannabidiol (CBD) which he believed has great therapeutic benefits.
Legal access to hemp oil is much needed
He says legal access to medicinal cannabis can’t come quickly enough. He was diagnosed with a rare spinal tumor in 2010 and had to have three vertebrae removed in a 43-hour operation. His spine was rebuilt with five of his ribs, a leg bone and 60 pieces titanium. Legal painkillers didn’t help for his pain and caused unbearable side effects.
Mr. Lawrence says what he does to treat his ongoing pain and his dog is illegal in Australia, but legal in several countries. He says we need action not clinical trials. It is not about smoking pot and getting stoned it is about ingesting the oil and getting relief from pain.
In Colorado, doggy treats containing cannabis compounds are produced and labeled as remedies to alleviate pain in elderly animals. These treats are infused with CBD oil and have a very good overall effect in treating anxiety in dogs. People use them on the 4th of July when fireworks cause animals to stress or in thunderstorms.
The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) does not recommend cannabis oil for dogs and says anyone who is worried about their elderly dog should discuss the best management plan with their local vet.
Paula Parker a member of the AVA specifically warns against products containing THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which she says is dangerous for pets because it causes a neurological depressant effect and owing to their small body size this could lead to depression of heart and lung function especially if the THC has been concentrated in butter or oil.
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Fist step for CBD in NSW
New South Wales Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Medical Research Pru Goward announced an Australian first this month. Measures are being taken to provide compassionate access to cannabis-based medicine made of pure CBD to children with severe treatment-resistant epilepsy. Mr. Lawrence is very happy for them saying, “It’s great medicinal cannabis is being made available for some kids with severe epilepsy but I don’t see much compassion when terminally ill patients and others in chronic pain are not allowed access”.