The Veterinary Cannabis Society (VCS) has launched a website and educational portal for veterinarians, pet owners and cannabis product companies.
The use of cannabis as part of pet care is exploding in popularity. But there’s a lot of confusion and misinformation out there. Like anything, the cannabis pet care sector has its share of dodgy characters and claims. At best, some products are a waste of money. At worst, they can have a negative impact on pets – and in some cases have caused death.
While the use of cannabidiol in pets is showing significant promise, dogs in particular are sensitive to cannabis products that contain the intoxicating cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Recent research by LeafReport found 56% of the products it tested had inaccurate label claims – and as with medicines for humans, quality control is crucial in those for pets.
Another challenge for veterinarians in relation to medical cannabis is the legal aspect – in some US states, they aren’t even permitted to discuss the topic with pet owners.
“Veterinarians today struggle to discuss cannabis with pet parents, as they either lack the knowledge or want to avoid potential legal implications,” said VCS President & Co-Founder, Dr. Trina Hazzah. “No veterinarian should have to risk their license or livelihood simply because they are trying to do what is right for their patient.”
According to VCS, 68% of vets will not advise pet owners on cannabis due to a lack of knowledge. The Veterinary Cannabis Society was founded last year in response to the gap in education concerning the safe and appropriate use of medical cannabis for treating animals.
As well as providing general information, VCS members will be able to take advantage educational resources such as critically reviewed articles, a research library, podcasts, videos and presentations.
“What we are a striving for is an educated and empowered global veterinary medical cannabis community,” said Dr. Hazzah, who developed an interest in cannabis medicine when searching for effective integrative approaches for veterinary cancer patients.
Among its other activities, VCS is currently working in several states and with interested parties and organizations to promote sensible legislation for the use of medical cannabis in the veterinary profession. The organisation is also committed to creating a system of product quality standards.
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