Pet lovers are increasingly turning to cannabis as a way to comfort their animals during the aging process or to treat specific diseases, but there’s still no legal framework in place that allows for veterinarians to recommend cannabis as a therapeutic option, and there’s little scientific research to guide owners when seeking information on ideal dosages.
It’s important to know that cannabis has a variety of chemical constituents called cannabinoids, and of these many cannabinoids, only THC cause feelings of euphoria, which can be incredibly disorientating and dangerous for animals. Dogs and cats have more cannabinoid receptors than people, so this makes pets extra-sensitive to THC. When treating pets, be sure to look for products containing only cannabidiol, known as CBD, which is an effective cannabinoid that doesn’t cause euphoria.
While we’ve already laid out the basics for treating dogs with cannabis, cats can be a little bit trickier. Notoriously difficult to treat, cats are more discriminating with their food, so simply hiding tincture or CBD treats in their food doesn’t always work. If you’re seeking to treat a cat who has arthritis, cancer, or separation anxiety, and your cat won’t eat the medicine, then there’s another option—topical application.
Some cats have ears with little to no fur covering the sensitive membranes, so you can rub tinctures directly into their skin by gently applying it to their ears. Try this technique with finicky cats for an indirect way to introduce cannabinoids into their bodies.
Also, it’s very important to be aware that many essential oils are poisonous to cats, so make sure that the cannabis products you are using for your cat are designed specifically for pets and that they don’t contain any additional essential oils that could prove harmful, such as cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang ylang.
If you’re seeking to treat your cat, try Vet CBD, designed by a veterinarian specifically for dogs and cats. Read testimonials from other pet owners about their experience treating cats with cancer, anxiety and inflammation, and check out their helpful educational resources.