With many states allowing medicinal marijuana use in humans and some allowing recreational use as well, the AVMA believes it is important for members to understand both the legal status of marijuana and the risks that the drug can pose to animals.
A new document for AVMA members provides comprehensive background information that will help veterinarians understand the legal aspects of cannabis use in animals, field questions from and advise clients who are interested in marijuana treatments for pets, and identify pets exposed to toxic amounts of marijuana.
"Cannabis: What Veterinarians Need to Know" addresses a broad range of topics, including the following:
- The legal status of medicinal marijuana in veterinary medicine.
- How cannabinoids function.
- Marijuana risks to pets.
- Clinical signs and treatment of acute marijuana toxicosis.
- Effects of chronic marijuana exposure.
Available on the "Cannabis Use and Pets" page of the AVMA website at http://jav.ma/cannabispets, the document is the first in a series of cannabis-related materials that the AVMA is developing as a resource for members. Future tools will include information on medicinal marijuana in pets and educational materials that veterinarians can share directly with clients.
Related JAVMA content:
Marijuana treatments, drug monitoring programs discussed (Sept. 15, 2017)
Veterinary marijuana? (June 15, 2013)