Many people disagree with testing drugs on animals before giving them to humans, but what about testing drugs on humans before giving them to animals? That’s exactly what is happening with cannabis products for animals.
There are several companies that have developed hemp-based products for animals, mostly intended for dogs. The edible products are suggested for a variety of ailments but the majority seem to focus on joint conditions for older dogs, neurological health and calmness.
Most of the companies cite anecdotal evidence of their supplements’ efficacy or a vet’s endorsement, but there don’t seem to be any studies supporting the use of these products for animals. The studies that most of the products use for validation are studies on humans, not animals. A grand irony for all the years animals have been used as test subjects for human drugs.
SEE ALSO: IS MEDICAL MARIJUANA SAFE FOR PETS?
Using cannabis on animals isn’t without precedent. When cannabis was a legal medicine at the turn of the century, it was listed for use on animals. In a Parker-David pharmaceutical catalogue from 1912, medical cannabis was extensively used in the veternary field, but it was mostly intended for human use and the difference was only in the dosage. Here’s an excerpt from the catalogue:
FLUID EXTRACT – CANNABIS AMERICANA (No. 596 – per 8th U.S.P.) – pg. 14: – Tested physiologically Dose, 2 to 6 drs., narcotic, analgesic, sedative. May be often used in place of opium with the best results, especially in spasmodic disorders and in genito-urinary irritation: also in persistent cough and in hysteria, as well as in such painful affections as flatulent and spasmodic colic, pruritus and neuralgia, and to relieve spasms of chorea: also to quiet refractory animals for standing operations. This fluid extract, prepared from the home-grown cannabis, is in every respect equal to that produced from the expensive East Indian drug.
The American Veterinary Medical Association hasn’t taken an official stance and for the most part veterinarians aren’t allowed to prescribe cannabis to animals even in states where marijuana is legal. However, Nevada is considering legislation that would allow it. The Association didn’t respond to a request for a comment.
Colleen O’Brien, a senior director at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said, “If the proper administration of marijuana can truly relieve dogs’ pain, then they should be given the same consideration that humans in pain are given, with regular doses to help reduce their misery. But it’s an entirely different matter to amuse oneself by getting the cat drunk or the dog high. In fact, it sounds like something that only a total pothead or moron would do.”
Read the rest of this article at Forbes