Advocacy, FDA

They Said It On Marijuana, Quotable Saturday, Part LXIX

Today’s quote is actually a collection of four quotes that prove a point. The quotes are from four veterinarians (from this Newsmax article) on the efficacy of using medical cannabis for pets.  

1.  “The veterinary community needs to address the issue, but we don’t want to talk about it, even though it’s clear our clients are giving marijuana to their pets, with good and bad effects,” said Dr. Doug Kramer, a Los Angeles veterinarian who fed small amounts of medical marijuana successfully to his aging dog, Nikita, in an interview with the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. “I don’t want to come across as being overly in favor of giving marijuana to pets. My position is the same as the (American Medical Association’s). We need to investigate marijuana further to determine whether the case reports I’m hearing are true or whether there’s a placebo effect at work.”

Marijuana Research and Animals2. “My gut reaction is they do probably provide some therapeutic effect benefit… I’m never going to say there’s enough benefit that marijuana should be given to pets. I’m saying there’s enough justification that we need to study it.” – Dr. Dawn Boothe, director of the Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, told the AVMA journal she thinks vets will one day use cannabinoid derivatives that have received FDA approval.

3. “These products show potential, but there’s not a lot of research at this point. No one is even sure what the correct therapeutic dosage is. –Tina Wismer, medical director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, in an interview with Health magazine.

4. “If you get it right, it works, but the flip side is you can overdose them on it,” says Seattle veterinarian Sarah Brandon. “It’s not lethal, but most animals don’t like to feel the high of the THC. They get paranoia, they have respiratory discomfort, just all of the things that would go along with, if you will, a human having a freak out.” – Seattle vet Sarah Brandon in an interview with MyNorthwest.com.

To a large extent, these four veterinarians are all saying the same thing: we think cannabis can work, but we need more testing on what it works for and the best doses. More research.

What these vets say about cannabis for pets holds true for cannabis for humans as well. Now before anyone leaves a comment saying that “man has been using cannabis for thousands of years and we know it helps and we know it’s harmless,” please hear us out here. We know cannabis helps certain conditions and yet we are all the time learning of other conditions for which it has proven helpful. Just last week, for instance, a report came out indicating that it can help speed up the healing of broken bones. There may be hundreds of conditions for which cannabis could help, but for which most are just not yet aware. And even for those conditions for which it helps, do we know the best dosages? Do we know the best strains? Clearly research on these things would be helpful for both humans and for pets.

More to the point, scientific analysis of the medical benefits of cannabis is necessary and it would surprise us if most physicians and veterinarians did not agree with us on this point. The big problem is that our federal government makes cannabis research difficult, bordering on the impossible. This has to change, for the good of the people and our pets.

What are your thoughts?