Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill in late 2020 which allows veterinarians to speak openly to pet owners about Cannabis treatment options for their pet. Until this point, Veterinarians have been withheld from providing information about cannabis, as it was a legal grey area. This new bill comes as information and research about cannabis continues to show possible health benefits for animals.
Cannabis, and specifically the bio-active compounds CBD and THC, have been a topic of discussion and a growing trend in pet care, but veterinarians had been silent on the issue for fear of legal repercussions. Now that vets can speak openly to pet owners about cannabis, they are able to provide important information which help clients make safe and effective decisions for their pets.
The push for this new law has come from Michigan State Rep. Greg Markkanen, who said “There’s more and more research on the uses of CBD oil and marijuana products for patient care and pain control – in humans as well as pets. We must make sure our veterinarians are able to have open and honest conversations about the products, so Michigan pet owners can make well-informed decisions about what is best for their animals.”
Ongoing research about the efficacy of cannabis in pets, especially dogs, is leading to conversations about CBD as a medicine for ailments such as:
- Anxiety (such as separation anxiety)
- Myocardial and cerebral ischemia
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- Chronic pain
Before proceeding with a Cannabis treatment option for your pet, be sure to speak with a professional as animals can be especially sensitive to cannabis. Of specific note, many dogs are very sensitive to THC, the psychoactive component of Cannabis. Even though many CBD products claim to contain zero THC, up to 40% of off the shelf CBD products actually do contain some THC, even if the label doesn’t say so. It is important to get a vet’s recommendation, as they will know which brands are pet safe.
Other states and countries have similar laws preventing Veterinarians from speaking about cannabis – a trend which is gradually reversing. As cannabis becomes more understood and accepted, vets throughout the United States and worldwide will have more options and information for helping your pet through cannabis treatment.