Medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states. And given all the niche pet products out there, we’re not all that surprised to find out that there is a growing cannabis industry for animals. According to Quartz, companies in California, Oregon, and Washington are making hemp treats for elderly and sick pets. Hemp is high in CBD which can help alleviate pain and stimulate appetite. It’s also low in THC so it won’t make your dog or cat high, although looking at some of these patient photos definitely has us wondering.
Vets aren’t legally allowed to prescribe cannabis to pets, reports Quartz, although Nevada is currently debating such a law. But even if they could, there are currently no guidelines or scientific research about marijuana’s use in dogs or cats. But that’s not stopping owners from medicating their pets anyway. Lots of them report positive results like reduced pain, depression, and anxiety—the same effects that medical marijuana has on humans.
However, pot for pets is still a legal grey area, and the FDA has started sending out warning letters to some companies. Seattle’s Canna Companion was warned against marketing an “unapproved new animal drug,” and Canna-Pet was reprimanded for making unsubstantiated claims about the benefit of its products (like many supplements do).
Photo: Canna Companion
Despite this, investors are hopping on the bandwagon, says Quartz. Auntie Dolores, which makes a line of edibles for pets called Treatibles, has received $800,000 in funding. Even though it’s a new area and the kinks are still being worked out, there is “massive market potential” where the billion-dollar industries of medical marijuana and pet products intersect, according to Emily Paxhia, a partner at an investment firm in the marijuana industry.
Obviously more research and regulation is needed, but the idea of medical marijuana for pets makes sense to us. After all, people already treat their pets with acupuncture, reiki, yoga, and psychology. Why not cannabis too?
Companion Cannabis is a marijuana medicinal tincture for dogs and cats by Holistic Therapeutics. (Photo: Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)