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Cannabis and Veterinary Care

A few months have passed since legalization of cannabis in Canada and the buzz in veterinary clinics is rising. CBD, cannabinoid, THC, hemp…. The list goes on and on so let’s touch base on some common cannabis terminology.
Cannabis: The general term for any plant within the cannabis genus. Cannabis contains hundreds of active compounds that have a wide range of effects on the body. The two most recognised compounds are THC and CBD.
CBD (Cannabidiol): The chemical compound found in cannabis which does not have intoxicating effects like THC. Has been shown to have a range of medicinal effects within the human body.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol): The chemical compound most known for the intoxicating effects of cannabis use.
Although medicinal cannabis use is widely studied and applied in human medicine, there is currently no good evidence or studies supporting the use of cannabis in our pets. As veterinarians, we have no ability to prescribe medical cannabis.
Hopefully, medical guidelines will be available for our veterinary patients in a few years. For more information please visit the following websites:

Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine

Grey Wolf Animal Health

Our canine companions are much more sensitive to the effects of marijuana and THC. Side effects and signs of cannabis toxicity can range from drowsiness to vomiting, ataxia/wobbliness, loss of balance, muscle tremors, seizures, and loss of bladder control.  As a precaution we recommend to keep all cannabis products in a location not accessible to animals and be careful  to avoid second hand exposure.

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