(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) September 1, 2020—With the publication of "Cannabis in Veterinary Medicine" by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), veterinarians now have a comprehensive new resource guide to the latest scientific and regulatory information about cannabis-related products for animals.
"Veterinarians face a wide variety of challenges and questions when it comes to cannabis and pets," notes Dr. Douglas Kratt, President of the AVMA. "A clinician may need to treat a dog that has ingested marijuana intended for its owner's recreational use, or answer questions from clients about the legality, safety and effectiveness of cannabis-derived products marketed for use in companion animals.
"This resource guide, compiled by experts from within veterinary medicine and outside of it, will help clinicians get the answers they need," Dr. Kratt said, adding that with the research and regulatory landscape evolving rapidly, the report will be updated regularly.
The resource guide includes:
- An introduction to the endogenous endocannabinoid system
- A synopsis of manufacturing quality
- A review of animal clinical studies exploring efficacy and safety
- Information about potential adverse effects (including data around exposures and toxicoses from poison control centers)
- A description of the current regulatory landscape
The potential for cannabis as a veterinary therapeutic also was a focus of the recently concluded 2020 AVMA annual convention, with presentations from a diverse slate of experts—including researchers, practitioners, and toxicologists, as well as representatives from regulatory organizations. Topics included cannabis toxicosis in companion animals, the importance of quality control in cannabis-derived products, and research into clinical applications of cannabis-derived products.
"The use of CBD-rich hemp and other cannabinoids is exploding with little evidence for efficacy or even whether your dog or cat absorbs these interesting molecules," said one of the presenters, Dr. Joe Wakshlag, a professor of clinical nutrition and sports medicine and rehabilitation at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
More than 4,000 members of the veterinary profession registered for the Convention, which was moved online for the first time in AVMA history because of the pandemic.
The cannabis resource guide is available to AVMA members at https://www.avma.org/system/files/2020-08/Cannabis-in-veterinary-medicine-AVMA.pdf.