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