May 2017 Magazine - Page 47

Petpourri Cannabis & Canines An Alternative for Natural Healing By Ashlee Verba E Q UESTION 2, IT SEEMED LIKE THE TABOO SURROUNDING cannabis was slowly disappearing. With its recreational legalization in four states, marijuana is now a billion dollar industry fueled by research and legalities that are new to, well, everyone. Pot has gone from an illicit ‘street drug’ to people’s preferred medicine, citing pain relief, stress reduction, and less anxiety. And guess what? Your pet can experience the same benefits. Yep, pot’s gone to the dogs. Well... hemp, to be exact. VEN BEFORE THE PASSING OF CBD vs. THC Before you conjure up visions of your pet stoned on the couch with a bag of Beggin’ Strips, it’s imperative to know a few things about cannabis. The plant itself produces chemicals called cannabinoids, the two main types being cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahy- drocannabinol (THC). CBDs are considered the therapeutic cannabinoids (think: stress/pain/anxiety relief) and THC is what gets you high (think: giggly, hungry, zoned out). Without getting way too technical and giving a lesson in botany: some cannabis plants produce THC and others don’t; those that don’t are essentially considered hemp. For reference, marijuana’s THC content is typically around 15% while hemp has 0.3% or less and has higher levels of CBD, which is what’s proving to be positive for our pets. Barkworthy Benefits of Cannabidiol Like humans, dogs and many other mammals have specific cannabinoid receptor sites in their brain, connective tissues, glands, immune cells, and central nervous system called the endocannabinoid system. This plays a major role in maintaining health and it’s what allows CBDs to be beneficial when absorbed. So far, the primary benefits cited both anecdotally and in clinical studies include: ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Relieve pain and inflammation Reduce anxiety and aggression Prevent seizures Fight cancer Promote appetite Can reduce and prevent the formation of tumors Relief to acute ailments like sprains, torn ligaments, or post-operative care May/June 2017 47