Pot for pets?

While more and more people are turning to cannabis products to treat their pets, little is really known about how exactly it helps, and now UC Davis has started a research project to better study its effects.

Dr. Jamie Peyton, a veterinarian at the UC Davis Veterinarian Teaching Hospital and lead researcher, is asking pet owners currently using cannabis products to take an anonymous survey online.

“[We’re] really trying to get some information about what kind of benefits they’re seeing and what kind of side effects,” Peyton said, “Because we’re trying to get the ball rolling and get more funding so we have more information.”

Peyton explained that there’s currently a “gray area” when it comes to medicinal marijuana for animals. Although there are cannabis products for pets on the market, veterinarians are not allowed to recommend or prescribe cannabis to their patients.

“We’re a little bit ahead of the game in terms of the commercial value versus the research, because we don’t know the right doses…and we don’t know how effective, as well as long term effects,” she explained.

Peyton said she’s heard of all types of animals – even cows, lizards, pigs – using marijuana for medicinal reasons such as seizures, anxiety and pain.

“I do think it will be helpful for these animals,” she said. “But we need more information.”

You can participate in her online survey here.