BY MARIE LODI
The conversation surrounding the health benefits of cannabis has skyrocketed in recent years, due to the legalization of marijuana in different parts of the country (as well as a growing desire for more natural wellness approaches, across the board). This rapidly growing interest in cannabis wellness not only pertains to humans, but our furry friends, too. As with humans, cannabis can help dogs and cats with various health issues. A 2018 study from Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital even showed a reduction in seizures for dogs with epilepsy.
So, can you ask your veterinarian for a CBD prescription for your pet? Not exactly. In September 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that will allow veterinarian's to discuss the use of medicinal cannabis for their clients (aka, peoples’ pets) without getting penalized; that bill came into effect in January 2019. However, veterinarians will be prohibited from actually prescribing, recommending, dispensing, or administering CBD for pet consumption. While the passing of the bill gives hope that more attention will be paid to the benefits of cannabis for animals, it could be some time before mainstream veterinary medicine fully embraces cannabis as a treatment option for animals. The good thing is, you can currently find CBD products for your pup or kitty at your local MedMen.
For example, My Best Bud makes cannabis products specifically designed for furry friends. “Since pets, like humans, have an endocannabinoid system, the benefits are similar to humans,” says the brand’s co-founder and CEO, Irena Raskin. Those benefits can include “relief from pain, anxiety, seizures, arthritis, loss of appetite, GI issues, and inflammation,” Raskin explains. “The difference is that animals have very different receptors, which is why we discourage using products formulated for human use for animals, and why we developed three different formulas made specifically for pets and their unique receptors.”
Pet owners have praised the benefits of My Best Bud products for helping their pets with ailments such as arthritis, pain from injuries, and IBS. Actress Rosa Blasi, who is not affiliated with the brand, detailed on her Instagram account how the product helped her 7-year-old rescue dog, who had been suffering from seizures. “This little guy was in the ER with seizures, one every four hours, and they prescribed him phenobarbital. I decided to try CBD oil,” she says in the video, while tossing the phenobarbital in the garbage. Blasi then goes on to describe how after giving her dog My Best Bud and CBD dog treats, his seizures stopped.
Considering a dose of My Best Bud for your canine or feline pal? Raskin says to begin with daily dosing. “It is best to administer the oral syringe directly into the pet’s mouth,” she says. “Often if an animal is not feeling well, they do not finish their food, so administering it directly provides you with the best chance of getting a precise dose.”