CBD and animals. The veterinary use of cannabis

CBD and animals. The veterinary use of cannabis

The scientific publications regarding cannabis are over 30 000 and investigate the potentials and effects of the hemp plant in an enormous number of areas. One of these is the veterinary field.

Strengthened by the results obtained on human beings, in fact, the hemp plant is also used as a therapy for animals, to alleviate the symptoms of many disorders. In Italy we are still at the beginning of a process which will lead hemp to become of common use, but there are individuals already engaged for years now in the research and the applications of cannabis in the veterinary field.

One of them is doctor Elena Battaglia, veterinary doctor in the Savona province, who often used cannabis products in her job.  

When - throughout the world and in Italy - did the argument regarding the use of cannabis in veterinary start?

It occurred in two different moments. In fact in the USA (in the States in which Cannabis is legal) veterinarians prescribe treatments and dosages for animals for several years already.

At the moment, legislation on Cannabis in the USA is evolving continuously. With regard to the market of hemp derived CBD, however, in the USA CBD products coming from hemp and used on animals have been already sold for years now.

They are freely sold in pet stores next to other dietary supplements. In Italy, until I started using CBD (I brought the first one back from the USA for my dog) I hadn’t heard of none of my colleagues using it. I cannot exclude, however, that someone used it, maybe occasionally.  

Dogs, cats, other domestic animals. Why are CBD containing products used on these animals? To treat the symptoms of which health conditions?

CBD products proved to be a valid support in various pathologies, first of which arthrosis. CBD allows a decrease in the use of anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID and cortisone) which, in the long run, create problems in the animal.

Often the animals are able to stop using these types of medical drugs. Other pathologies in which excellent results have been observed, are behavioural disorders, certain types of cancer, anxiety and epilepsy, some neurological conditions; to be honest, day by day new possibilities in the use of CBD are discovered, by itself or as adjunct therapy to a primary treatment already in administration. 

Are there any differences between cats and dogs regarding their response to veterinary products with cannabidiol?

Basically, no. I noticed however, that cats often obtain excellent results by using products containing only CBD, while for dogs it is essential to be able to use a full spectrum product.

Personally, however, I always advise full spectrum products because it allows us to benefit from all the parts of the plants, from cannabinoids to terpenes.

What is the present state in cannabis research for veterinary use?

There is still a long way to go, however, many universities already started or are starting to take part in this field, while up to now the main part of the material comes from the job of single veterinarians (in the regions in which it is possible to use it on animals), who understood the importance of this plant and decided to use it also on animals, like is done in the field of human medicine. 

When did you start to use CBD products for the treatment and the health of animals?

I started almost three years ago, when my female Husky, aged 17, started to have serious problems regarding arthrosis. I did a bit of research and I discovered that in the USA full spectrum CBD products already existed for quite some time and I decided to try them out.

The result was a success and my “girl” lived the time she had left without pain and without having to use cortisone and NSAID. From that moment I decided that it wasn’t right that this treatment remained “in the drawer” and that it was necessary to do whatever possible to help to get better, without delay, as many animals as possible.

Do you remember a case in which a CBD product showed particularly effective for an animal? Which disorder affected it and why was it decided to treat it with a CBD product?

Difficult to choose. There have been some cases of cats with forms of very advanced arthrosis having truly very much difficulty walking, if not by using protracted doses of anti-inflammatory drugs, which in a few days, thanks to CBD, returned to their normal lives without the need of any other treatments.

Obviously I opted for using CBD as it wasn’t reasonable to continue with the treatments they were receiving for long periods of time, because they could have caused significant side effects. Very beautiful as well, the case of a dog taken from a kennel with a severe anxiety state, that couldn’t be left at home alone because this would bring him to despair.

CBD was able to have effect where other medical drugs did not work and now the dog is living a normal life and does not get stressed anymore when his owner leaves the house.  


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