Is Cannabis Safe to Give to Animals?

A survey of veterinary student attitudes concerning whether marijuana could have therapeutic value for animals

In Summary

A recent analysis has compiled the data provided by a questionnaire sent out to veterinarians, reporting an overall belief that animals may benefit from cannabis. Very little research has been conducted concerning cannabis use in animals but some veterinarians fear that cannabis may result in toxic effects in animals. Although there is wariness due to the lack of research, many are still hopeful that cannabis products would provide similar benefits in animals as has been shown in humans. Although they may not recommend cannabis for use veterinarians are urged to educate themselves on the effects of different strains and cannabinoids so they may act according when presented with an animal who has been given cannabis products. 

While some pet owners are purposefully administering cannabis products for their animal’s accidental consumption can be incredibly frightening for some pet owners. Accidental consumption by pets highlights two important happenings that need to occur: pet owners need to ensure they are appropriately storing their cannabis product to prevent accidental consumption by pet or child, and veterinarians need to have a reliable database of knowledge concerning the possible adverse effects of cannabis on animals. Future research may save a family an accidental tragedy by appropriately information vets of their options and how to soothe their animal post-consumption. Research is needed to maintain the responsibility of pet owners and caretakers. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDIs Cannabis Safe to Give to Animals?

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