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Modern Dog - - HEALTH -

Res­cue dog Dory eats a CBDin­fused pump­kin-flavoured Treat­i­ble dog treat. on't be sur­prised if you no­tice a cer­tain calm set­tling over the dog park on your next vis­its.

Sud­denly, that holy ter­ror ter­rier is feel­ing much bet­ter about him­self. Fido has found his chill.

That could be be­cause cannabis-based prod­ucts are now flood­ing the ca­nine mar­ket.

Th­ese ca­nine prod­ucts fea­ture cannabid­iol or CBD, one of the two main in­gre­di­ents found in cannabis. The other main in­gre­di­ent in cannabis, THC, the sub­stance that makes hu­man users high, is not in­cluded in th­ese pet prod­ucts. CBD is ex­tracted from hemp rather than mar­i­juana plants and has some of the same ben­e­fits, such as pain re­lief, with­out the psy­chotropic el­e­ment.

Be­cause of its medic­i­nal value, Dr. Stephen Katz, a New York City vet­eri­nar­ian based in the Bronx, pre­dicts CBD will be­come the new Aspirin of the 21st cen­tury.

Roughly three years ago, he in­tro­duced it in a line of pet prod­ucts called Ther­abis.

Among its many ben­e­fits, Katz says CBD works as an ef­fec­tive anti-in­flam­ma­tory. It also seems to re­lax dogs. “I'm not talk­ing about knock­ing them out, but it does take away a cer­tain edge es­pe­cially when they are un­com­fort­able.”

Al­though there is anec­do­tal ev­i­dence that CBD helps to con­trol ail­ments like epilep­tic seizures, Katz said, “We are cur­rently at the em­bry­onic stage of look­ing at the medic­i­nal value of CBD.”

He de­cries the re­luc­tance of or­ga­ni­za­tions like the Amer­i­can An­i­mal Hos­pi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion to em­brace CBD, which he says has such clear ben­e­fits for man and beast.

The as­so­ci­a­tion re­fused to al­low him to set up a booth at its last na­tional con­ven­tion. “I was ap­palled,” he said.

Be­cause of its murky sta­tus, Katz said there have been vir­tu­ally no clin­i­cal tri­als to de­ter­mine stan­dard­ized doses for dif­fer­ent con­di­tions in dogs. He hopes that will change.

As Katz notes, this is largely be­cause CBD, like most medic­i­nal mar­i­juana prod­ucts, sits in a le­gal grey zone. “Don't think that I don't feel ev­ery day that I am danc­ing on the ra­zor's edge.” Yet he pre­dicts that once it be­comes fully le­gal, “the de­mand for it is not go­ing to be met by the sup­ply for five years.”

CBD comes in a va­ri­ety of forms. While Ther­abis comes in pow­der that is sprin­kled on food, a U.S.-based out­fit called The Green Pet Shop is sell­ing a CBD gel pen that al­lows for ab­sorp­tion through the skin for $40. Treat­i­bles CBD-in­fused dog treats de­liver the ben­e­fits of CBD in two treat va­ri­eties, pump­kin, and blue­berry. Pet Re­leaf, a Colorado-based com­pany, of­fers two po­ten­cies of in­gestible whole hemp plant oil re­tail­ing at $40–$80 as well as CBD dog treats.

Pet Re­leaf might never have been started ex­cept for a Col­lie mix named Mat­tie that won the hearts of Stephen Smith and his fam­ily.

As she aged, Mat­tie de­vel­oped some heart-break­ing prob­lems. She started limp­ing. She could only walk on soft grass.

The fam­ily vet said the only treat­ment avail­able was heavy opi­ates and steroid anti-in­flam­ma­to­ries, which only masked the symp­toms while de­stroy­ing Mat­tie's liver.

By Yvonne Zacharias

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