Three Myths of Medical Cannabis | Don’t Get Fooled Again
#1 Weight, Wait, What?
We’ve been formulating custom right:ratio for dogs for two years and have treated over 20 breeds, +240 dogs and made over 450 unique formulae. While weight is a factor in developing proper ratios, potency and recommended usage, many other factors are equally important, not to mention ratios of key cannabinoids to each other, as in the human realm. Specifically, our data and experience have revealed that often, breed and age are as — if not more — important than weight in determining how to ensure the most efficacious deployment of medical cannabis for cancer, arthritis or seizures/severe anxiety.
For example, we’ve seen Chihuahuas require +>4 mg/ml of THCd-9 for adequate therapeutic dosing without manifesting any signs of psychoactivity. Conversely, more than one Akita over 75 pounds has an established therapeutic dose of right:ratio with THCd-9 below 1.75 mg/ml. Factor in age — where younger dogs tend to benefit from higher potencies of medical cannabis — and often, a two year old small dog may be getting three or four times more cannabinoids, including THCd-9, than certain older, larger breeds.
This is not surprising to us because it has been noted in very recent human data that cannabis dosing requires careful, precise dosing, not predicated on more is better:
- “In a study of 263 opioid-treated cancer patients with poorly controlled pain, the group receiving 21 mg of combined THC and CBD each day experienced significant improvements in pain levels, more so than the group that received 52 mg daily.”
Finally, we always ask our owner what the desired benefits of right:ratio they’re seeking for their pet. Often, owners want to address “Cancer / pain / anxiety” which is a tall order in one medicine. In such cases, we often seek clarification of the primary medical issues and then formulate not just on weight, but taking into account a variety of factors including breed, age, comorbidity and goals for treatment.
#2 Safe for Humans Means Safe for Dogs
At right:ratio, we pour over third-party laboratory results called Certificates of Analysis (“COAs”) for fun, and spend a lot of time doing it. We’re not masochists but have found data that justifies our magnifying glass approach to each test of cannabis that might be used for our clients’ dogs. The reason is that even though a particular COA may show that the cannabis concerned meets available limits for pesticides and would be deemed safe for humans, certain pesticides are more toxic for dogs. As a result, even miniscule amounts, less than 1.5 parts per million, will cause us to reject a product that all 29 states with medical or recreational cannabis laws would allow humans to consume.
This is complicated by the fact that there is no federal register of what pesticides might be safe on cannabis. In fact, California’s own Department of Pesticide Regulation “does not publish a list of products for use on cannabis.” We’re not the only ones concerned either.
The myth that human safety equates to canine safety couldn’t be more dangerous when it comes to human edibles made for either medical or recreational consumption in California. In our experience, there is no human edible product like snacks or sweets that should ever be given to a dog, regardless of its designation as a medical cannabis product for a human. The perils of this are great, from cannabis toxicity, including sedation/lethargy, dilated pupils or glassed over eyes, dazed expression, difficulty walking and vomiting.
Our Advisory Board (one veterinarian specialist and one cancer specialist) diligently reviews a wide array of publications and data to ensure that any products used in cannabis production or extraction are safe for pets, regardless of their status for humans.
#3 All Dogs Can Tolerate Medical Cannabis
While many in the cannabis community believe that the plant may cure a huge variety of ailments, we at right:ratio focus on cancer, arthritis and severe anxiety/seizures as the diseases and conditions we believe for which medical cannabis has genuine efficacy. While we’ve had requests to formulate right:ratio for cats that miss the litter box to dogs with sunburn, we stick to what we know and are careful to ensure that each dog can benefit from medical cannabis.
It is not always true, however, that every dog can safely use medical cannabis. The most prevalent example is that herding breeds are known to possess a genetic mutation — called the MDR1 gene — that can mean that cannabis should not be indicated as a treatment modality. Fortunately, the State of Washington Veterinarian School offers low cost saliva tests that many of our customers pets undergo before ordering right:ratio.