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“Cannabis for pets will gain acceptance, without a doubt, and vets will use products that are administered orally or injected, and I’d also like for us to get to that point where we know which strains could help with which problems.”

“Cannabis is a hot topic among vets and vets conferences,” says Dr. Katherine Kramer, a leading expert on how cannabis affects animals. A veterinarian with 17 years of experience, Dr. Kramer is not only the chair of True Leaf Pets’ veterinary advisory board, but also the director of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine.

Someone with her pedigree was surely courted by other pet-cannabis startups, but Dr. Kramer reveals that True Leaf stood out to her almost immediately. “What impressed me is that, unlike their competitors, they’re not leaping 100% into CBD products. They have a hemp seed line and are staying within the legal framework. And they are a really dedicated team.”

True Leaf Pets offers pet food made from hemp seed, which claims to have a higher nutritional value than hemp-free food. Also, the company developed a line of hemp-based supplement oils and dental sticks for dogs designed to reduce joint pain, boost immunity and alleviate anxiety. In Europe, True Leaf also offers a line of hemp-based treats specially designed to address issues unique to cats, including hairballs and urinary tract support.

Dr. Kramer admits that, “right now, we have anecdotal evidence that cannabis works for what some pets deal with, but realize, like with humans, no one animal is the same, so what works on one dog might not work on another.”

She adds that many mammals have an endocannabinoid system that responds to cannabis, with around 60 percent of invertebrates born with that system. “Bugs, though, don’t have that, so I don’t know if cannabis will work on them,” she says.

Other companies have also expanded their product line-up beyond the usual domesticated cats and dogs. Julianna Carella, the CEO and founder of Treatibles, which makes CBD-filled treats for animals, says, “We’ve had pet owners use our products for their horses (and) domesticated skunks. Even a sea lion and a bear were given some of our products.”

As for where the law stands in Canada, veterinarians can’t prescribe cannabis to pets, but they are lobbying Ottawa to change the law to allow such prescriptions. A media report explains that because vets can’t legally prescribe cannabinoids for animals, some Canadians decide for themselves to administer cannabis to their pets. Sometimes, they use products sold for human consumption or unregulated illicit market products marketed for animal use.

As for what Dr. Kramer predicts to evolve five years from now: “Cannabis for pets will gain acceptance, without a doubt, and vets will use products that are administered orally or injected, and I’d also like for us to get to that point where we know which strains could help with which problems.”

References:
1. https://www.cannvas.me/en/Articles/Business/Pet-owners-see-therapeutic-value-in-cannabis-for-their-furry-friends
2. https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/canadian-vets-medical-cannabis-dogs-cats_ca_5cdc2ec7e4b0337da4abbe54

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