There has been much talk about the legalization of marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, but what about pets? Yes, pets, and specifically cats, can greatly benefit from medical marijuana as well. However, the public is largely still in the dark about the beneficial properties of cannabis. Here is an introduction to the benefits of cannabis for cats.
How Does It Work?
Before we can address the benefits of cannabis for pets, we have to address how it affects the body. Cannabis is mainly composed of two active compounds, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the compound that is responsible for most of the psychoactive effects of the drug and the “high” that’s associated with it. CBD, on the other hand, has no psychoactive effects on the body and works to relieve anxiety, inflammation, seizures and more.
Nearly every tissue in our brain and bodies is composed of cannabinoid receptors. These receptors function as part of our mammalian endocannabinoid system, which comprises of our peripheral and central nervous system as well as our brain. These receptors react to the various components in cannabis, working independently but holistically to affect multiple functions in our body. Because of this, cannabis can have a positive effect on a variety of conditions.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Cannabis for Cats?
The benefits of cannabis for cats are many. For one, they can work on inflammation and control the pain associated with arthritis. They also work to relieve pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and urinary tract disease.
In addition, cannabis has been shown to reduce the intensity and frequency of seizures due to its neuroprotective capabilities. Cannabis stimulates appetite in pets and also reduces nausea, decreases the chance of developing dementia and reduces the symptoms in pets that are already affected. It can also reduce symptoms associated with cancer.
Cannabis has also been shown to lower anxiety, which is often at the root of many behavioral issues, to reduce bronchial spasms in cats suffering from bronchitis, and can help support their immune system with food allergies and immune-mediated disorders.
What Kind of Cannabis Products are Available
Cannabis for pets comes in many forms. Most of these products are formulated to provide all the benefits of the plant without causing a high. Products mainly come in the form of tinctures and capsules, but you can find drops as well. However, not all products are created equal, and some may have more stimulating effects while others might work more as a sedative, so it’s essential that you consult your vet before your start supplementing your cat.
When used properly, cannabis supplements have little to no side effects on your pet. The main side effect is lethargy, which usually subsides after a few days. In some rare cases, your cat may deal with softer, more frequent stools, itchiness or vomiting.
As you can see, the benefits of cannabis for cats are aplenty. If you think your cat could benefit from cannabis products, we suggest you consult your vet immediately so he can recommend the best supplement for your cat.