Weeding out the Facts
Many people have questions regarding the use of Cannabis and Cannabis oil on their pets. The new Cannabis Act raises concerns within the pet health field. This act creates a new environment for Canadians which will increase their pet’s exposure to marijuana.
Currently, there are no approved cannabis or cannabidiol (CBD) prescription drugs for animals, which is the safest pathway for veterinarians to prescribe cannabis to animals. There are veterinary health products (VHP) with hemp that are approved for sale in Canada; these are low risk substances used to maintain or promote the health and welfare of animals and do not make health claims. VHPs can contain ingredients such as hemp seed derivatives containing no more than 10 ppm THC, which will be exempt from the Cannabis Act. These products can be identified by a notification number on the label. Pet owners should be aware of unapproved products being marketed to consumers. If a cannabis product does not have a drug identification number (DIN) or a notification number (VHP) then its safety and efficacy cannot be verified. Anyone can visit Health Canada’s VHP web App and search the notification number or brand name.
Marijuana toxicosis can occur when pets ingest the substance or if smoke is blown into their nose or face. Signs can include: lethargy, disorientation, wobbliness, vomiting, increased salivation, and urinary incontinence. Marijuana toxicosis can be life threatening so please do not be afraid to let your veterinarian know your pet could have been exposed.