We love our pets. We always want the best care for them and it is no fun when they’re sick.

As cannabis continues to work its way back into the country’s pharmacopeia, people are finding that this plant can have substantial therapeutic value for animals as well as humans.

That’s right. Medical cannabis for your pet.

Some people may call the cannabis movement a trend or a craze, but this herb’s therapeutic properties are science-based fact.

According to Oakland-based veterinarian Dr. Gary Richter, cannabis can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions including:

  • Arthritis and other causes of pain
  • Seizures
  • Cancer treatment
  • Cancer pain
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Allergies/ itching
  • Anxiety
  • Glaucoma
  • Appetite support
  • Quality of life / Hospice care

And yet, as with many types of medicine, we still have a lot to learn.

If you’re considering medical cannabis for your pet, here are some important points you want to keep in mind.

And of course, be sure to consult with a trusted veterinarian before giving medical cannabis to your pet.

Pets have endocannabinoid systems, too.

Just like humans, animals also have endocannabinoid systems (ECS).

The ECS is this complex array of cannabinoid receptors found in the brain, organs, skin, bones, and generally throughout the entire body.

Through what we call cannabinoid signaling, this system is what helps us maintain homeostasis – that all-important balance amongst the body’s metabolic processes.

Like us, animals produce their own cannabinoids to interact with and signal the ECS. And like us, animals also run into endocannabinoid deficiencies. This is where whole-plant-based cannabis medicine comes into play.

But, according to Richter, one key difference with animals is that it’s very easy to inadvertently overdose your pets with cannabis.

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