For decades, the research and experimentation of medical marijuana has been a huge debate all around the world, and the people with prescriptions for anxiety, arthritis, glaucoma, migraines and a myriad of other ailments, have begun using their own elixirs for the similar issues their pets may be struggling with as well.
With medical marijuana being a popular substitute for anti inflammatories, serotonin inhibitors, and painkillers, the question of “If it can help me, can it help my pet?” arises as well. People with horses, cats, dogs, pigs, lizards or any other pet with a problem that typical medications don’t help, have found that giving their four legged friend a small amount of this ‘Schedule 1’ drug can bring a moribund animal back to its lively, healthy self. As the first question becomes an experiment, more related questions come to the surface following close behind; “What are the side effects?” “Will my pet act different while it’s high?” Many individuals are misinformed about the scientific applications of cannabis. This is where it all gets interesting.Marijuana is known to get people high, so why are people using it for good? Tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol are both natural derivatives found in cannabis.
The chemical compositions of the two are the same, THC, which is short for tetrahydrocannabinol is psychoactive, which causes the “stoned” feeling, while CBD, or cannabidiol is not, and counteracts with the THC to balance out the effects. How can these brother elements cause such different effects, one of which is mind altering, and one that is far from? The answer is that when marijuana is smoked, the THC in the smoke goes into the lungs, then passes to the heart which pumps the chemicals into your bloodstream, which then is taken directly to the brain in only a few short minutes. With the THC now in the brain, it activates the CB1 receptors as well as alters the physical and chemical balances in the brain, and gives off that euphoric and loopy feeling that most call the ‘high’.
A tetrahydrocannabinol molecule will fit perfectly with CB1 receptors, while cannabidiol – as Martin Lee, the founder of Project CBD states – “…opposes the action of THC at the CB1 receptor, thereby muting the psychoactive effects of THC.” (Lee) Unlike THC, CBD does not aim for these CB1 receptors, but instead directs itself towards other receptors in the body, such as pain, concentration, anxiety and inflammation, thus being used as a medicine instead of an intoxicant. Medical marijuana users can use their medication and still go about their day without being high, they use CBD without, or with low levels of THC.Knowing this information, people have began to experiment with using the medical grade high CBD strains to help their pets with their joint pains, anxiety and cancers when ordinary prescriptions just don’t cut it.
While it may be found physically difficult for a dog to ‘smoke a bowl’, businesses have begun to catch onto the hype of using cannabidiol for animals and have been creating edibles made just for these struggling pets. Companies like Equi-Pharm, Canna-Pet and Pet Releaf have put copious amounts of research into specialized treats infused with CBD created to help certain ailments. The products differ by the desired ratio of CBD:THC, and whatever problem will be treated with the product. Although the pros may weigh out the cons, there are some negative side effects that occur in both humans, and animals. Some patients that have used medical CBD, in smoke, pill, or extract oil form have found that over a longer period of time although the drug helps their ailment, more and more of the drug is needed to keep the same desired effects because the body gets used to the medicine. Also, if a patient were to discontinue the use of the elixir, the body would revert back to its original state as if the drug was never taken, making the user need it more; not because of “addiction” (marijuana has no addictive properties), but because the body becomes dependent on the drug to feel better. Marijuana was made illegal in the United States in 1937, and in the 1970s the THC in the plant was classified by the DEA as a Schedule I drug which includes heroin, LSD and ecstasy and are prohibited from being prescribed by medical professionals.
. But before it became illegal, it was used openly as medicine. Cannabis wasn’t banned until people began to vilify it after Mexican immigrants began to bring it into the U.S in high quantities. The media then , with a deceitful ambition to control the Mexican immigrants flowing into the U.S. began sharing that the use of the drug was the supposed cause of Mexican immigrants allegedly acting disruptively, and being physically abusive towards white women, which passed through congress and eventually became fully illegal.