By Dr. Andrew Jones
Here in Canada our national government has announced this:
Liberals to announce marijuana will be legal by July 1, 2018
But what about our pets?
Most of you know that my last dog Lewis recently died of an aggressive mouth cancer that spread to the base of his eye.
It was a tumor that was unable to be fully removed with surgery, and not really amenable to radiation or chemotherapy.
When Lewis became very painful and difficult to eat, I tried a number of strong painkillers to help him eat/sleep.
A strong narcotic, Fentanyl, which helped little,
A strong NSAID ( anti-inflammatory drug), Meloxicam, which didn’t do anything.
Another narcotic called Tramadol, which didn’t help.
Out of desperation I was able to get a prescription for CBD oil- it was a product called Phoenix Tears which contained 90% CBD and 10% THC,
Lewis responded amazingly well to the CBD oil.
He started eating again, sleeping comfortable, and going on walks.
It gave him immediate pain relief, and allowed me and my family to have 4 more quality weeks with him.
Based on my personal experience with Lewis, I can’t recommend it enough.
Here is some of what you should know
MEDICAL MARIJUANA for DOGS and CATS
Medical marijuana is becoming more and more accepted as a useful treatment for people suffering pain, nausea related to chemotherapy, epileptic convulsions, cancer, IBD, anxiety disorders, autoimmune diseases.
Now, pet owners, vets and alternative veterinary carers are saying that that it’s helping pets manage pain and chronic illnesses.
CBD or Cannaabinoids
CBD is extracted and separated from specific varieties of cannabis, often known as hemp. Chemically, CBD is one of 85 chemical substances known as cannabinoids, which are all found in the cannabis plant. CBD is the second most abundant compound in hemp, typically representing up to 40% of its extracts.
CBD has an important role in the future of medicine. CBD is a primary component of the cannabis plant. It is non-psychoactive, which means that it doesn’t produce the “high” commonly associated with marijuana.
CBD is currently used by many patients (human and animal) who seek an alternative form of therapy without the unwanted side effects of typical drugs.
Medicinal Benefits for Pets
CBD has been shown to have potent anti-arthritic therapeutic action, resulting in both joint protection and clinical sign improvement. “Oral CBD has a beneficial action on two symptoms of established inflammation: [swelling and sensitivity to pain]”  Furthermore, studies indicate chronic use of CBD has not been shown to elicit negative side effects and does not induce tolerance.
Compelling research studies have shown CBD to be powerful and effective in preventing and suppressing nausea.  Further, research has shown that CBD suppresses nausea caused by a disease or medication and nausea that pets can feel in response to a conditioned event. Researchers found that “the expression of this conditioned retching reaction was completely suppressed by pretreatment with…cannabidiol (CBD).”  Furthermore, studies indicate chronic use of CBD has not been shown to elicit negative side effects and does not induce tolerance. 
Research has shown that CBD may inhibit both seizure activity and the severity of such activity  and . Study results have “point[ed] to CBD being of potential therapeutic use…in the treatment of epilepsies.” Studies also indicate that the use of CBD in conjunction with certain anti-seizure medications may enhance the anticonvulsant effects of those drugs. Furthermore, studies indicate chronic use of CBD has not been shown to elicit negative side effects and does not induce tolerance.
Current research “indicate[s] that CBD causes a selective anxiolytic effect”  and “CBD [was] associated with significantly decreased subjective anxiety.”  Furthermore, studies indicate chronic use of CBD has not been shown to elicit negative side effects and does not induce tolerance. 
Cannabinoids possess anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects and they are known to interfere with tumour neovascularization, cancer cell migration, adhesion, invasion and metastasization. The present review will focus on the efficacy of CBD in the modulation of different steps of tumourigenesis in several types of cancer and highlights the importance of exploring CBD/CBD analogues as alternative therapeutic agents. 
What to Use, and Where Can I get this.
The largest company is called Cannapet, and they are now selling CBD in capsules and treats through many veterinary clinics.
Another company called VetCBD is selling CBD as a liquid form
I personally see the benefits of CBD for pets, especially for pain, seizures, and cancer.
If you have a pet with difficult to manage pain, with epilepsy, or with cancer ( ie you want to them to have pain relief, and start to eat again), then you should consider CBD’s
A standard dose is considered to be .2mg/kg of CBD ( ie 1 mg/10lbs) once to twice daily. I started my dog Lewis on this dose.
I would initially start on a lower dose of 1mg/20lbs once daily, assess response after a few days, and then up it accordingly.
As Lewis’ pain progressed I increased his dose to 2mg/10lbs twice daily, giving him the best pain relief.
Here are some other suggested doses:
Effective therapeutic cannabis doses have not been worked out in pets. It is best to start with the lowest amount possible and to gradually increase the dose every 5 days or so until the desired effect is seen. If undesired side effects such as excessive sedation, disorientation, excitement, vomiting etc. are observed, the cannabis dose is too high and administration should stopped immediately. After the side effects have worn off, the animal can be restarted at a lower dose.
The upper oral dose limit for CBD products recommended by veterinarian Dr. Robert Silver is around 1 mg/kg/day orally, but one should start with a much smaller fraction of this dose such as 0.05 mg/kg/day
Calculating Commercial CBD oil Dose
Let’s say your dog weighs 55 lb = 25 kg (55÷2.2) and the hemp oil you bought lists 200 mg of CBD infused in 1 oz olive oil. Your dog’s starting dose of 0.05 mg/kg/day calculates as 1.25 mg/day (25 kg x 0.05 mg). One fluid ounce equals approximately 30 ml, so the hemp oil has a CBD content of 6.7 mg/ml (200÷30). Your dog’s starting dose of 1.25 mg equals a volume of approximately 0.2 ml of the hemp oil (1.25÷6.7). Since olive oil contains approximately 20 drops per ml, 0.2 ml equal about 4 drops (0.2×20). Your starting dose is 4 drops by mouth once daily for 5 days.
1.Malfait, A., Gallily, R., Sumariwalla, P., Malik, A., Andreakos, E., Mechoulam, R., & Feldmann, M. (2000). The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 9561-9566.
2. Costa, B., Colleoni, M., Conti, S., Parolaro, D., Franke, C., Trovato, A., & Giagnoni, G. (2004). Oral anti-inflammatory activity of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis, in acute carrageenan-induced inflammation in the rat paw. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology, 294-299.
3. Parker, L., Mechoulam, R., & Schlievert, C. (n.d.). Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis and its synthetic dimethylheptyl homolog suppress nausea in an experimental model with rats. NeuroReport, 567-570.
4. Parker, L., Kwiatkowska, M., & Mechoulam, R. (2006). Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, but not ondansetron, interfere with conditioned retching reactions elicited by a lithium-paired context in Suncus murinus: An animal model of anticipatory nausea and vomiting. Physiology & Behavior, 66-71.
5. Cannabis for Intractable Epilepsy. http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/Cannabis-for-Intractable-Epilepsy/
6. Mass, Solinas, Poalaro (2013). Cannabidiol as potential anticancer drug. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Feb;75(2):303-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04298.x.
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