Pubdate: Wed, 07 Dec 2016
Source: Metro (Toronto, CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 Metro Canada
Author: Genna Buck
Page: 17


Thanks to easy access at the dispensaries popping up on every street
corner, city-dwellers across Canada are turning to marijuana to soothe
their creaky old bones.

And if it works for you, why not for an elderly or ailing

Tamara Hirsh, owner of Pacifico, stocks Apawthecary brand
marijuana-infused dog treats and tinctures at her dispensaries in
Toronto and Hamilton, Ont.

She claims there are no side effects.

"You can really take any dose," she said. "We recommend you start low
and go slow."

"It works a lot like it does in people," for seizures, pain and
arthritis, Hirsh said. "It's instant relief. We can barely keep it on
the shelf."

Half a dropper of the tincture contains 120 mg of cannabidiol, or CBD,
one of the major active compounds in marijuana. That's roughly the
same dose a human using the drug for insomnia or epilepsy would take.

The doggie products don't have THC, the chemical responsible for
marijuana's high. CBD is not mind-altering, and some studies have
shown it helps ease anxiety, seizures and nausea. CBD also has fewer
side effects than THC, but they're poorly understood. And like most
medications, it's toxic in high doses. Animal studies suggest the
danger zone is anything above 30 mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight.

But we don't know - and that's the problem, explained Dr. Kathleen
Alcock, a veterinarian at the Downtown Animal Hospital in Toronto.

Alcock has a longstanding interest in pain medicine and is looking
into how she could be able to dispense medical marijuana to pets.
However, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario does not currently
allow it.

She was also firm about feeding Fido products from a dispensary: Don't
do it.

"This is not a do-no-harm thing," she said. "It certainly shouldn't be
sold over the counter."

Alcock said she sees about one case of marijuana poisoning per month.
Cats and dogs are "exquisitely sensitive" to cannabis, and she said
they get twitchy and "sedated to the point of respiratory failure"
after getting into their human's stash. Even one cookie or one joint
can cause serious problems.

It's not clear what chemical - CBD, THC, or something else - is
causing these effects, Alcock added: "The answer is, we don't know.
The studies haven't been done."

- ---------------------------------------------



If you're going on anecdotes and Internet testimonials, marijuana is
great for pooches' pain and other complaints. But experts don't
recommend it.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt