Cannabis and CBD for pets will be a hot topic in 2018. If cannabis helps people, it would likely help dogs too. Should we begin to use these products to alleviate suffering today, though the research hasn’t yet caught up?
My 11th pet book of Christmas is “Cannabis and CBD Science for Dogs: Natural Supplements to Support Health Living and Graceful Aging,” by D. Caroline Coile, PhD.
Coile, who has written several dog books begins,
“The indisputable benefits of cannabis for the treatment of a variety of medical conditions brought about the wide-spread cultural acceptable of medical marijuana. Not only are people more open to cannabis as a natural therapy, they are also considering this option for their dogs.”
So, medical science now concedes that cannabinoids do benefit people with certain medical conditions To the degree we know, Coile explains why that is so. We do know how the receptors in our brains work, and dog receptors work the same way. So, the leap of faith is that dogs derive the same benefits. But is this leap of faith too far a leap?
An extensive review in 2011 looked for CBD harmful effects in dogs and determined that it’s non-toxic, with few, if any, side effects. Coile notes that, for example, CBD could however theoretically inhibit metabolism of drugs that rely on the liver to metabolize them. Her appraisal is honest, not taking sides, and it is thorough.
At the end of the day, she points out that we really don’t understand the full potential of CBD’s for people. In one rodent study, cannabinoids may have protective effects against the development of certain types of tumors. Having said that, rodent models aren’t the best for many reasons. For one thing, rodent lifespan is so different than ours and cancers (and tumors) are generally induced in rodent models. Dogs, however, are more like us, and unfortunately develop the same cancers we have. Coile doesn’t come out and say it – but I am saying, dogs should be used as models for these studies, not necessarily rodents.
In any case, the potential is clearly there – and far more needs to be understood.