While looking for new reports of rabid bats last week, I found an interesting new posting on Los Angeles County Veterinary Public Health’s website dated Oct. 16, 2018. Titled “Cannabis and Pets,” it is reported in its entirety at publichealth.lacounty.gov/vet/CannabisAndPets.htm
The most important point is that pets have been known to have toxic reactions when ingesting cannabis. Toxic symptoms are most often seen following ingestion of cannabis or cannabis products, but secondhand smoke inhalation can also be harmful.
Here are some highlights of the report:
Cannabis is still illegal for use in veterinary medicine in California, just as it is under federal law.
Hemp is specifically not approved by the FDA for use as an ingredient in animal food, products or pharmaceuticals.
Pet products may be labeled as made from “hemp,” since it is a cannabis species plant, as is marijuana.
Very little research exists on the safety, appropriate doses and effectiveness of cannabis given to pets.
While cannabis products may claim to have health benefits for pets, this has not been tested or confirmed by the Food and Drug Administration.
Therefore we have no guarantee of the purity or amount of the ingredients in products containing cannabis products.
Pets may be more sensitive to cannabis than humans.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinols) can decrease effectiveness of liver function in pets.
This report also states:
“The term ‘cannabis’ includes marijuana and hemp products. “Marijuana” refers to all parts of the cannabis plant, including the flowering portion, leaves, seeds, extracted resin, and any products derived from these parts. Marijuana often contains high levels of compounds called cannabinoids. The two main cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinols and cannabidiols. THC is a psychoactive compound that affects brain function and is what gives you the “high”. Recreational marijuana often contains high levels of THC. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound and is found in higher levels in medical marijuana. Cannabis products come in a variety of forms, including edible products (e.g. candy, cookies), plant products (e.g. leaves, cigarettes), and oil/butter.
“The most common signs of cannabis toxicosis include: lack of balance and coordination, disorientation, slow heart rate, dilated pupils, sensitivity to light and sound, and dribbling urine. Other signs of cannabis toxicity may include: excessive drooling, seizures, vomiting, and lethargy.
“If your pet ingested cannabis or cannabis products, or if your pet is showing signs of cannabis toxicosis, contact your veterinarian right away. In situations of cannabis toxicity, it is important to take your pet to a veterinary hospital immediately. Be honest with your veterinarian about what cannabis products your pet has been exposed to or has ingested. Failure to do so can make it difficult to correctly diagnose your pet and will delay appropriate treatment.”
Pet owners may now make anonymous reports of instances of cannabis toxicity in pets to the Los Angeles County Veterinary Pubic Health program via a survey posted at www.surveymonkey.com/r/VRSMYX3
The surveys will be used to help clarify the safety of giving Cannabis products to pets, and to develop the most effective treatments in case cannabis toxicity occurs.
Give help to animals evacuated in wildfires
Due to the large number and scattered locations of both large and small animals evacuated during the current wildfires, giving money is the best way to help. This allows the involved agencies to arrange delivery directly to the animal shelter locations that are in need.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Valerie Zera on Antelope Valley Press
Published: November 23, 2018
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News