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marijuana for pain in dogs

To avoid a ticket to the emergency room, Richter said, start by choosing the right product for your animal’s needs and then start slowly. As you increase the dose, be careful to observe any side effects and back off treatment if it seems to be adversely affecting your animal.

Leafly spoke with both vets at the Green Flower Media Cannabis Health Summit in Los Angeles to find out what pet owners should know before they start a treatment regimen.

2. Don’t Calculate Dosage as if Your Pets Were Just Small Humans

Signs of overconsumption can include vomiting, diarrhea, trouble with equilibrium, or seeming zoned-out or spacey.

Vets risk facing disciplinary action if they have any “involvement in the treatment of an animal with marijuana or hemp,” the petition notes. And according to California’s Veterinary Medical Board, in the event of a complaint related to a vet’s treatment of a pet with hemp or cannabis, the board “would be obligated to conduct an investigation and take appropriate disciplinary action if the findings so warranted.”

Silver added that because many veterinarians risk their licenses and criminal prosecution for prescribing cannabis to pets, they have to be very careful in how they talk about the plant. “As far as our First Amendment freedom of speech to speak directly about this,” he said, “if we’re not giving medical advice—if we’re giving educational information—it’s a much easier situation.”

Medical cannabis can be of great benefit to animals in pain. Ultimately, however, safe and effective use of cannabis requires an understanding of the milligram amounts of THC and CBD (or other cannabinoids), the ratio of cannabinoids, and availability of a medicine in a concentration appropriate for dosing a veterinary patient.

THC Dosing

When using cannabis as medicine for pets, the first thing to remember is that any significant side effects are unacceptable. Getting your dog or cat stoned is never OK , even with medical cannabis. The goal with cannabis therapy in pets is to relieve the symptom being treated with no other side effects. Their normal patterns of behavior should be unaltered after receiving the therapy.

Dosage Guide for Pets in Pain

Following are guidelines for dosing THC and CBD in cats and dogs. Always consult with your veterinarian before beginning cannabis therapy for your pet.

Ratios of THC to CBD frequently range from as high as 20:1, to even ratios (1:1), to 1:20. The decision of which product or ratio to use for a pet with pain/inflammation often depends on the severity of the pain and its origin. The following is a guide to choosing ratios for treating pain and inflammation in animals.

Even Ratio

Gary Richter, a Project CBD contributing writer, is an Oakland-based veterinarian. His forthcoming articles for will contain practical information on using cannabis to treat medical conditions in pets.