When you’re a pet owner, you want the very best for your animal, and when your pet is sick or in pain, you want to give it the best treatment you can. Now, pet owners in New York could be on the verge of having a new “green” option for medicating their sick pets. If a new bill passes, this state could be the first to legalize cannabis for pets.
Medical Marijuana for Pets
New York Assemblywoman Amy Paulin recently proposed a bill to state lawmakers. Her idea is to make it legal for pet owners and veterinarians to give medical marijuana to pets who are ill or suffering from severe pain.
The proposal comes in large part as a response to the ongoing opioid crisis. In particular, many places in New York have prohibited vets from prescribing certain types of painkillers to pets. As a result, pet owners are often forced to use medications that are less effective and more expensive.
“We are either using other medications that may not be effective and maybe more costly for the client and we may have to give them higher dosage and more frequently,” veterinarian Susan Wylegala told news source WKBW Buffalo.
Assemblywoman Paulin thinks medical marijuana could be the solution. If her bill passes, vets and pet owners would be allowed to use medical marijuana to treat animals rather than relying on other types of non-opioid medications.
So far, Paulin does not have a co-sponsor for the bill. Similarly, it’s unclear exactly how medical marijuana would be administered to animals.
“We don’t have a lot of information on what conditions to use it for, what dosages are effective, what dosages are safe,” Wylegala said.
Final Hit: This State Could Be The First To Legalize Cannabis For Pets
Although Paulin’s bill would make New York the first state to legalize cannabis for pets, the idea isn’t new. In fact, there is already anecdotal evidence that medical marijuana can be effective for animals. For example, a dog owner in Oklahoma City recently said that CBD oil helped a dog regain use of its hind legs.
Beyond individual anecdotes, researchers have also begun exploring how medical marijuana could benefit animals. For example, scientists at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine recently conducted a study to start learning how marijuana affects animals.
In the study, researchers surveyed pet owners who have used medical marijuana to treat pets that are sick or in pain. After analyzing the results of the survey, researchers found that pet owners report the most success when they give their animals no-psychoactive CBD oil. Additionally, researchers found that CBD is most effective at treating animals with anxiety, pain, or seizures.
While this is certainly promising, there are also some potential dangers. The most obvious has to do with THC. Although THC is not fatal to humans, it can be very toxic to other animals. In particular, animals like cats and dogs have a harder time processing THC than humans. As a result, if a cat or dog consumes THC it can experience intense highs for long periods of time. In some cases, a large dose of THC can be lethal. This is especially true for small dogs or cats.