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With the use of cannabis for recreational purposes recently approved in Canada, a new frontier was forged. Cannabis products of all types and forms are quickly coming into the fold, all of which underscore the therapeutic validity and efficacy of cannabis treatment. More than ever, cannabinoids are being looked on as a potential panacea for a range of ailments facing a range of animals. 

In the summer of 2018, the country’s largest cannabis company, Canopy Growth Corporation, announced that it had received approval by the Veterinary Drug Directorate (VDD) of Health Canada to begin research into the effectiveness of CBD to treat anxiety in certain animals. The research will be completed using a proprietary CBD enriched formulation that was previously used in preclinical dosing and safety studies. 

“Our passion to create safe and effective products for animals is driven by the love we share for our pets,” Marc Wayne, managing director for Canopy Health Innovations, commented. “The use of natural-occurring cannabinoids as a therapy for companion animals is a logical new forefront of medical discovery and the research we are working on at CAH is world leading.”

A branch of Canopy Health Innovations, the research will be completed by Canopy Animal Health (CAH), a global leader in cannabinoid science for pets. Wayne said that the CAH trial will mark a milestone when it comes to making cannabis-based drugs an “accepted and recommended” veterinary treatment option. 

In addition to the research into CBD for the treatment of anxiety in animals, CAH is also working to establish the safe use of purified, pharmaceutical-grade cannabis extracts and formulations for medical conditions in horses, as well as dogs and cats. In tangent with the veterinary community, the company is looking to establish dosing regimens for specific diseases and conditions in companion animals. 

The move by Canopy Growth Corporation to enter this new category is certainly a signal of a changing of the times. While cannabis is starting to really find its footing as a respected treatment options for a myriad of illnesses and ailments in humans, its move into pet therapeutics could prove equally significant. 

Where animal owners and some veterinarians are concerned, reforms should soon be penned. Currently, there have been no concessions made in the Cannabis Act or the country’s medical cannabis regulations, the ACMPR, to allow pets to medicate using cannabis. But, with this Health Canada approval, Canopy Animal Health is definitely showing that fundamental changes may be just around the corner. 

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