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SEATTLE - Medical marijuana is not just for people anymore. A pair of Seattle veterinarians is pioneering the use of pot to treat your pet.
Dr. Sarah Brandon, co-founder of Canna-Pet, says medical cannabis can relieve a number of animal ills.
"Cannibanoids control inflammation to reduce pain from arthritis," she says. "They can help reduce anxiety."
Brandon, a feline veterinarian, started Canna-Pet with colleague Dr. Greg Copas two months ago because they found traditional pet medicines can have undesirable side effects.
"Anti-inflammatories can cause vomiting," she says. "Opioids can cause decreased appetite."
These are also common arguments in favor of medical pot for humans. The difference, she says, is Canna-Pet capsules will not intoxicate your pet.
"We focus on the non-THC portions of the plant that seem to really have the best benefit without giving animals the high that recreational users seek," she says.
That's a good thing, Brandon says, because while some humans like to get high, your pets definitely do not.
"It certainly isn't pleasant for them," she says. "They don't understand why they feel different. They don't have any ability to calm down from it."
"Canna-Pet doesn't have enough THC in it to cause that high," she says.
That's why pet owners are unlikely to swipe the medicine for their own recreational use.
In fact, Brandon says, unlike medical pot, Canna-Pet is 100 percent legal, because it is made from hemp, not marijuana. It's considered a supplement, and is available without a presecription.
Brandon knows she and Copas invited extra scrutiny by naming their product after the cannabis plant. She says they deliberately chose to do so.
"We want people to understand that cannabis isn't some evil thing," she says. "It has its place in human medicine. It has its place in veterinary medicine. It is something that can be used conscientiously, and it can help a lot of critters."
Brandon says Canna-Pet will cost pet owners about a dollar a day.