Americans spend a lot of money on their pets. The American Pet Products Association says pet owners spend upwards of $60 billion on food and other pet care needs, a number that has only gone up since the data was first compiled in 1994 — pet owners spent just $17 billion that year. A large portion of that money spent (roughly $15.5 billion) went towards veterinary care, which — like human medicine — is not cheap.
So many pet owners responding to the same issues that inspired them to embrace cannabis medicine for their own care — cost and efficacy — are now trying to use cannabis to treat the ailments of their animals. But while much is known about the impacts of cannabis medicine on human beings, the realm of veterinary cannabis medicine is largely uncharted territory.
From the UC Davis survey:
Despite the growing interest in medical cannabis for humans, there is very little known about the usage and role of cannabis in pets. This anonymous survey is a research project to gather information on this topic… The data will then be used to educate the public on the growing role of these products in the pet population and potentially help further funding for future research.
The survey is collecting data about the types of animals being treated, what specific products are being used to treat what conditions, what dose is being used and what benefits are being observed.
Dr. Jamie Peyton — chief of Integrative Medicine Service for UC Davis — is leading the survey. She said that 400 people have responded to the survey so far, and that the conditions being treated mirror some of the same conditions human beings use cannabis for.
Peyton, from Capital Public Radio:
“I think there are a lot of owners that are really interested in looking into these products for their animals for pain, anxiety, seizures – the same issues we see in people… There are so many products out there on the market, and when veterinarians are afraid to give advice about it because we don’t know, we don’t have enough research, it opens up a whole area of possible problems”
An anonymous online survey may not seem like very advanced research, but it’s at the bleeding edge of a widespread phenomenon we know very little about. Once upon a time, human doctors were in very much the same situation veterinarians currently find themselves in; they have an idea of the very real benefits cannabis medicine can offer, but they don’t have the data they need to offer informed, professional advice on the best care plan.
A survey like this could be the start of changing all that. There will need to be clinical research to learn more about the unique ways cannabis medicine impacts domesticated animals, but the more researchers know about the current methods of treatment being used by pet owners, the more useful they can make those clinical trials that will ultimately be needed.
You can be a part of this cutting edge research by filling out the totally anonymous survey HERE. The information you share today could be the seed that sprouts the veterinary cannabis medicine of tomorrow.
TELL US, do you use cannabis medicine for your pets?