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Marijuana has been around for centuries, showing up in old medical texts like Ayurveda, a 5,000-year old healing science derived from ayur, meaning “life,” and veda, meaning “knowledge,” but marijuana, or cannabis, also appears in countless rituals all around the world.  Used for its “high,” some ancient cultures also used cannabis to communicate with the gods, and learn the vast unknown secrets of the world.  Legal in some places for its medical benefits, marijuana is illegal in others, and when improperly used, can impair people and be fatal to pets.


Casual Cannabis Use

Many people use Marijuana for relaxation, but it has been known to provide relief from pain, anxiety and depression.  Cannabis has also been used to treat respiratory illness, and the good news is that these positive benefits can be achieved without the hallucinogenic effects caused by THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), making it safe for our animal friends.  Cannabidiol  or CBD, which comes from the Cannabis Sativa species of plant, is more abundant in the tall, bamboo-like hemp plant as opposed to the shorter marijuana bush.  Marijuana contains up to 30% THC while the CBD extract, deemed safe for pets, contains no more than .03%. making it non-psychoactive.  Research is showing promising results with dogs as studies are showing the extract from cannabidiol oil can aid suffering from seizures as well as arthritis pain.  Research continues to determine its effects on cancer in canines.  


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Animal CBD – Different From Marijuana? You Betcha!

It is important to note that CBD oil differs from cannabis.  As mentioned above, marijuana contains high quantities of  THC, which is the psychedelic portion of cannabis.  THC should NEVER be given to pets as it can prove fatal!   Like any toxin, the smaller the pet, the less that is needed to have dangerous results!  Read more about it cannabis and CBD as it relates to dogs here:

So the message is that CBD can help our pets and the people who love them, but take great care in making sure that products used on animals do not contain THC greater than .03%, whether in oil form, treats or other applications.  Most CBD products on the market do contain traces of THC, so speak to your veterinarian to learn which products, in what amounts and concentration can best help your canine companion live his best life!    

For more information, read “The ABCs of CBD.”