What you need to know about cannabis for pets!

January 18, 2019

When it comes to cannabis use in pets, there are some important things that pet parents need to be aware of. Dr. Sandler, CEO & Founder of Grey Wolf Animal Health breaks it down for you.

Cannabis is a plant that is made up of hundreds and hundreds of chemical compounds – the two main phytocannabinoids being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and cannabidiol (CBD). Exciting, scientific studies are emerging that support the safety of cannabis use in pets. In humans, we are just beginning to understand the many therapeutic applications in cannabis and we expect to see similar results in pets. Many pet parents have been using cannabis and cannabis-derived products for years with anecdotally positive results. While some products appear to have a wide-margin of safety, others carry a higher risk of significant side-effects and can result in accidental intoxication of your pet.

On October 17th, 2018, cannabis products became legally available to adult Canadians for non-medical use. However, for medical use, any cannabis products sold outside of the current medical cannabis regulations (which are for human access only), must be approved as a prescription drug and contain a drug identification number (DIN). This has caused significant confusion for many people who are seeking products to treat their animals. But here is what you need to know: none of the products legally available at this time have been approved for use in animals. Those products that are currently being marketed to consumers for animal use but do not have a drug identification number (DIN), or a notification numbers to indicate they are an approved product, are not regulated and as such, the safety and efficacy of them cannot be verified.

Even though your veterinarian cannot prescribe a specific product for your pet, we encourage you to discuss any questions you have about using cannabis for your pet with them. Your vet should be involved in all health-related decisions when it comes to your pet. It’s their role to provide advice and guidance to reduce the risk that your pet could suffer from a drug interaction or cannabis intoxication. Plus, your vet will have first access to new studies and information that support safety, dosing and potential therapeutic uses of cannabis in pets.