cbd hemp oil for cats with cancer

Cannabis for Cats With Cancer – Can Cannabis Help?

When anyone in your family is diagnosed with cancer, the first question that comes to mind is often about what can be done. The same is true when the family member is your beloved cat. With veterinary care that’s better than ever, more owners are choosing to treat their cat’s cancer. Even better, more and more cats are surviving with their cancer diagnosis.

That’s where cannabis comes in. Cannabis can help ease many of the symptoms of cancer in humans as well as cats.

How Can Cannabis Help Cancer Patients?

At this time, there’s no scientific research on cannabis as a treatment for cancer or its symptoms in cats. However, according to the American Cancer Society, different compounds in marijuana can help soothe different symptoms for human patients. There are also mounting anecdotal claims about cannabis soothing the symptoms of cancer for cats. Cannabis and its different compounds can help treat the symptoms of cancer for humans in many ways:

  • THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) helps relieve pain and nausea. It also reduces inflammation.
  • CBD (Cannabidiol) helps treat seizures, reduce anxiety, and reduce paranoia.
    • CBD can also reduce pain and inflammation.

    CBD does not cause a high – only THC does that. In fact, products made with less than 0.3% THC are legal in all 50 states. These products can still be helpful for cats with cancer.

    In fact, most vets recommend avoiding products with larger amounts of THC for pets. As anyone who’s visited Colorado or California could tell you, being high isn’t always comfortable. This is especially true for a cat that doesn’t know what’s going on. Getting your cat high is not the point of using cannabis for their cancer symptoms.

    Barriers to Cannabis as a Cancer Treatment for Cats

    Drug regulations make it extremely difficult to conduct clinical trials with cannabis-based drugs for humans or cats. Much of what we know about how cannabis can help cats with cancer is either anecdotal or extrapolated from research done on other animals.

    The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning it has no recognized medical purpose. Research on Schedule I drugs is incredibly restricted. This is at odds with the 30+ U.S. states that have legalized marijuana for various medical purposes. More research on the benefits of marijuana for cancer patients, including cats, is almost certainly to come.

    This lack of research means that it’s hard to say exactly what cannabis can do to help your cat with cancer. The American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA), simply says that there needs to be more research on marijuana for helping pets.

    Some vets still only see marijuana as a toxic plant. Its use as a pain-easing, nausea-reducing drug is still seen as fringe. A 2012 study from two emergency clinics in Colorado found that marijuana toxicosis cases quadrupled after the state legalized marijuana. In short, it’s no surprise that many vets are still leery of using marijuana to help cats with cancer.

    How Can I Find a Cannabis Product that’s Right for My Cat?

    As with any medical question, your best bet is to start with your vet. Explore your options and see what your vet is comfortable with. If your vet is familiar with cannabis, great! If not, try to respectfully ask about cannabis for treating your cat.

    If your vet is resistant to the idea of cannabis, try to figure out why the vet doesn’t think cannabis is right for your cat – your vet is the expert, after all. If you still disagree, you’ll probably be able to find a vet nearby to guide you through the process of finding the right cannabis product for your cat’s cancer.

    When looking at cannabis products for your cat, there’s a lot to consider:

    • Avoid products that have a high THC content, as this can give your cat a scary and unwanted “high.”
    • Check for other ingredients, especially if you’re using a cannabis product that’s not made specifically for cats. Fewer ingredients generally means there’s a lower chance of your cat reacting to the drug.
    • See if there’s a “guaranteed analysis.” This will let you know that the company tests its products to ensure they actually contain what they say they contain.
    • Look at the growing practices for the marijuana. Was it grown with lots of pesticides?
    • Find out if the extraction method used might leave other chemicals in the final product.

    The bottom line is that we don’t know for sure if cannabis really helps for cats with cancer. There are a lot of anecdotes pointing towards cannabis helping cats with cancer, but there is no research yet. Research on humans has shown cannabis can help alleviate pain and nausea, but we can’t say for sure that the same is true for your cat. If you chose to try cannabis for your cat, be sure to carefully find a product and dose that makes your cat comfortable without overdoing it.

    Can Cannabis Help Your Cat Cope with Cancer?

    We know that medical marijuana has helped many people cope with cancer. But about cats? Can cannabis be used to treat cancer in felines? Find out if pot can have a positive effect on your cat’s cancer symptoms.

    In the last few years, we have seen that the use of medical marijuana can effectively treat symptoms of cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, glaucoma, epilepsy, and other maladies, in humans. The typical marijuana plant is classified as cannabis sativa, and contains CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) compounds. THC is the compound in cannabis that induces the chemical “high.” Products that are made with less than 0.3 percent THC are considered to be legal for purchase in all 50 states.

    Using marijuana to treat certain medical maladies is not a new phenomenon. It’s been used as an ingredient in medicines for centuries. In fact, records indicate that pot was used by the Chinese as a curative herb, beginning about 10,000 years ago. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks used cannabis to treat tissue inflammation.

    By the 1970s, many Vietnam War veterans used marijuana to reduce muscle spasms from injuries sustained in battle. A few years later, a synthetic version of THC was introduced, and was used to great success to offset the violent nausea associated with chemotherapy. Cannabis therapy was used in the treatment of chronic pain as well.

    But at this point, you might be asking: “What does this have to do with CATS?”

    Well, since cats are warm-blooded mammals, just like you and I, they’re just as capable of getting cancer. According to the Pet Health Network, the most common forms of cancer in cats are: lymphoma, leukemia, breast cancer, and skin cancer.

    How does medical marijuana actually help cats cope with cancer?

    The CBD in cannabis has anti-inflammatory properties, which also lessens some of the adverse side effects of THC in pot. In higher concentrations, THC can be toxic to felines. However, if the THC is used at levels below 0.3 percent, this CBD/THC treatment can be quite beneficial.

    One of the products that uses this cannabis combo is Canna Companion. Created by Dr. Sarah Brandon and Dr. Greg Copas, this hemp-based supplement also contains Omega 3, fatty acids, Vitamin B6 as well. Hemp has no known negative drug interactions.

    According to the manufacturers of this CBD/THC product, Canna Companion can:

    • Control chronic pain and inflammation
    • Reduce seizures
    • Decrease nausea
    • Reduces dementia
    • Relieve bronchial spasms
    • Lower anxiety

    “The future of cannabis in the cat world is quite positive,” says Dr. Brandon, in a recent article in The Conscious Cat. “I believe with 2-3 years it will be a commonly offered options in veterinary hospitals for pain and inflammation reduction, neurological condition, and mild behavioral concerns.”

    But isn’t marijuana still an illegal drug?

    Yes. At least when it comes to recreational use. Marijuana is still considered to be a Schedule 1 controlled substance, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). However, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 29 states (plus the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico) allow for the medical use of marijuana. And since Canna Companion is a supplement, and its THC content is less than 0.3 percent, the product is currently exempt from the DEA’s purview.

    What are the side effects of this medical marijuana treatment?

    The most common side effect of this CBD/THC product is mild lethargy, typically in the first few days of treatment. Some treated cats experience soft stools and more frequent bowel movements. Hemp itself tends to have a high fiber content, which some cats might be sensitive to. Lowering the dosage can relieve that particular issue.

    “Cannabis is not a cure-all and we certainly don’t advocate discontinuation of prescribed medications without consulting your cat’s veterinarian,” says Dr. Brandon. “None the less, it does have its place in the feline world and we’ll see more of it as time goes on.”