Vets Look To Cannabis Drugs

The new frontier for the growing cannabis-based pharmaceutical industry might be man's best friend.

The Washington Post reports that several veterinarians have already begun to offer animal drugs based on cannabis to their patients. In particular, CBD compounds are being prescribed for a long list of reasons, including pain, appetite, inflammation, and epilepsy. These drugs are as of yet not supported by robust research or clinical trials, and have not been approved by the FDA. As such, they are illegal and the effects of them are currently unknown. In many cases, this is due to research being extremely difficult, if not impossible, to carry out. The restrictions on medical research for CBD products has led even conservative senators like Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to call for a loosening of regulations.

Seeing the potential positive effects has led the American Veterinary Medical Association to urge the federal government to begin allowing research on drugs for animals. Successful research could lead to a score of benefits -- notably, cannabis products are relatively inexpensive and can provide a pain solution for older animals, like dogs, that owners can actually afford. This is actually a cause for concern to the AVMA, who fear that the benefits will lead owners to begin self-medicating their pets in the absence of approved and researched drugs. The lack of oversight by a medical professional might lead to this treatment causing more harm than good.