LOS ANGELES (CIRCA) — With the growing legalization of cannabis, the plant’s medicinal uses are spreading farther and farther for humans, but animals aren’t getting totally left behind.
Veterinarian and founder of VETCBD Tim Shu has created CBD products to fix what’s ailing your furry friend.
“Being a veterinarian and being in practice and working with animal patients, what I noticed was a lot of the traditionally prescribed medications had negative side effects, and a lot of owners were hesitant to use those medications,” said Shu.
Throughout the years, cannabis enthusiasts have utilized the plant for both medicinal and recreational purposes. But now companies like VETCBD are exploring the use of CBD and THC as medicine for pets.
“Not as many people realize that cannabis can also be used safely and effectively for animals,” Shu said.
VETCBD products focus on reducing pain and treating conditions like arthritis, anxiety, nausea and seizures.
“What we’ve seen with a lot of owners is that the CBD in small amounts with THC that we put in our product has been able to really help with the pain and the inflammation in those joints and has really been able to improve the quality of life in a lot of these senior dogs and cats,” Shu said.
By law, veterinarians are not allowed to prescribe cannabis products for pets, or even recommend the use of cannabis products from companies like VETCBD. However, for Californians, that changed in January, when a new state law gave veterinarians the ability to discuss cannabis use with their clients.
CBD, the medicinal compound in cannabis, works with the cannabinoid receptors that animals, like humans, have throughout their bodies, producing a therapeutic response. Combining all compounds of the cannabis plant creates what the industry calls the “entourage effect.” What that means is when cannabinoids like THC and CBD work together, they amplify each other’s effects, making so-called full-spectrum products more effective in treatment.
VETCBD is among the products using full-spectrum cannabis in order to achieve that entourage effect.
While some pet owners are still skeptical, many have seen the benefits for their furry companions.
“I did talk to my vet about giving Haji the CBD in the very beginning, and they said they cannot recommend it, but they’re not saying no. So, it’s up to the owners to research,” said Janis, a pet owner who has given her dog VETCBD.
“After using the THC blend with the CBD from VETCBD, he’s pretty good now,” she said.
For veterinarians like Shu, the endgame goes far beyond merely being able to discuss cannabis with the owners of their patients.
“Ultimately what we want to do is to be able to integrate veterinary medicine and cannabis as medicine," he said. "So, the end goal is for veterinarians not to just be able to discuss it, but ultimately to be able to recommend it and [prescribe] it just like they would any other medication.”