DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado is one of 23 states where medical marijuana is legal. Some human patients swear by it, but is pot okay for your ailing pets?
There are some cannabis-containing products on the market that are making animal lovers believers.
“I’ve been a fan of dogs my whole life,” said Chiara Subhas of Denver.
Subhas and her husband have rescued more than a dozen dogs. They adopt senior dogs like 14-year-old Leo. But the little Pomeranian started having seizures. Subhas described them as, “Just violently shaking, his mouth is open, his eyes are rolling back, he’s drooling.”
Subhas tried changing his diet. Then she went to pot.
“We were suggested by our veterinarian in Boulder that we try a medical marijuana product for our dog,” said Subhas.
The product is called Canna Companion. Leo started on two capsules a day.
“Shortly after his seizures definitely decreased,” said Subhas.
On the company website, cannaforpets.com, Canna Companion is listed as hemp supplements for cats and dogs. It’s basically described as a unique blend of cannabis sativa strains with low THC, the ingredient that gets people high.
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There are more than a dozen testimonials. One reads: … cancer stricken Harley’s “happy purrsonality came back immediately!” And Subhas’ Boulder veterinarian writes that the capsules have helped Titus, her 13-year-old Great Dane, be “comfy and mobile.”
“It’s not going to cure cancer. It’s not going to stop seizures from happening. But it can help,” said veterinarian Dr. Sarah Brandon.
Brandon is cofounder of the supplement company out of Washington state. She stops short of making medical claims. In February, the Food and Drug Administration warned Canna Companion and similar companies to remove unproven health benefits from their marketing.
Brandon told CBS4, “It’s one more tool in our tool belt and we firmly believe that veterinarians and pet parents should have it available to them if they should choose to use it.”
But the FDA warned “consumers should beware purchasing and using any such products.”
“I personally am not a big fan of the FDA,” said Subhas. “I would not worry so much. I don’t worry about that at all.”
Veterinarian Dr. Debbie Van Pelt isn’t ready to recommend cannabis for cats or hemp for hounds.
“I just think that we don’t have the evidence right now to document what is safe and what is effective,” said Van Pelt.
Van Pelt believes there may be potential in medical pot for pets and she understands why owners try it.
“Because people love their animals and they are looking for ways to give them better quality of life,” said Van Pelt.
Subhas sees the change in Leo.
“He’s more alert overall. He seems just more comfortable,” she said.
She gladly spends $75 a month to keep her aging Pomeranian a happy pup.