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Cannabis for Canines
by Beverly A Potter, PhD
Our beloved dogs can suffer aches, pains, anxiety attacks, and even depression, just as we do. Vets often prescribe powerful pharmaceuticals like opioids that can be addictive. CANNABIS FOR CANINES explores medicinal cannabis, the emerging alternative to such strong pharmaceuticals. Should your dog suffer from seizures, anxiety, eating upsets, cancer, lethargy, or other aliments, cannabis therapeutics may support your vet’s treatment.
While proponents of cannabis herald a long list of health benefits for our dogs, how cannabis interacts with canine biology is not fully understood. What is known is that cannabis supplementation promotes canine wellness, but owners must be cautious because cannabis can have a more pronounced impact on dogs than it does on humans.
The secret to the wonders of cannabis therapeutics is the endocannabinoid system (ECS) found throughout the body in humans as well as in dogs, including in the skin and muscles, nerve cells, immune system, and brain. Chemicals in cannabis, called cannabinoids, mimic naturally-generated bodily neurochemicals to bind to ECS receptor sites to ignite biological processes, like quieting spasms, soothing anxiety, or reducing inflammation.
Dosing is complicated and can be confusing. Because dogs are smaller than humans they weigh less, including big dogs, and need much lower doses than we humans do. Additionally canine bodies are more sensitive to smaller doses, so neither human cannabis products—marijuana—nor dosing schedules for humans should ever be used with your dog. CANNABIS FOR CANINES delves into dosing complexity, explains how to monitor your dog’s response to cannabis therapeutics, and how to use monitoring feedback to tailor and fine-tune the dose.
Packed with useful information, CANNABIS FOR CANINES is a must read to learn how to use medicinal cannabis to improve your beloved dog’s health and quality of life.