All beings with a backbone have an endocannabinoid system. Is cannabis medicine a good option for the health of your dog or cat?
An interview with Gary Richter, DVM
BY PROJECT CBD ON APRIL 19, 2017 (UPDATED ON MARCH 25, 2019)
Any animal with a backbone (classified as a chordate) has an endocannabinoid system. The Kingdom of Chordata includes amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, and mammals, including house pets. Many animal-owners treat their beloved pets like family members. When a dog or a cat gets sick and conventional options don’t work, people seek alternatives. In the realm of natural healing, cannabis for animals seems like a logical botanical pathway to explore.
When it comes to CBD, or cannabis in general, little research has been done on cats and dogs. Are cannabis preparations safe for use in animals? Does marijuana affect pets the same way as humans? Many pet-owners are looking for something to support their animal’s health, but there is little quality control with respect to the numerous pet-focused CBD products that are available in the medical marijuana sector and the hemp CBD grey market. And there aren’t many trusted, educated individuals who can provide professional guidance on cannabinoid therapies for pets.
To help pet-owners become better informed about the use of cannabis for their four-legged companions, Sarah Russo of Project CBD spoke with Gary Richter, DVM, an integrative medicine veterinarian based in Oakland, California. Richter considers cannabis to be part of a holistic approach to animal medicine. Due to marijuana’s proscribed Schedule I status, veterinarians are not allowed to write letters of recommendation for their clients or tell them where to obtain cannabis medicine. But Richter is able to speak about the benefits of CBD and cannabis therapeutics for pets.
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