Anecdotally we have seen the medicinal effects of marijuana. But the most of the science behind marijuana’s relationship to the human body remains a mystery, thanks to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s classifying cannabis as a Schedule I Drug. That means the DEA thinks cannabis, as well as CBD products like oils and extracts, hold no therapeutic benefits and are actively harmful, holding a high potential for abuse.
Doctors and medical professionals alike have urged the DEA to remove the Schedule I label on marijuana so that they may study the drug properly and report hard evidence on what cannabis does and doesn’t do to our bodies as a medicine.
But a recent Cannabiz Daily report reveals that now a different kind of doctor is joining the conversation—veterinarians. Though the research is more limited on how marijuana or CBD affect pets’ health, many pet owners have in fact be turning to the drug as a form of treatment. However, the US Food and Drug Administration handed down a verdict recently that companies selling cannabis products are in violation of the law. The USDA has also threatened legal action if these companies continue selling their products.
This new USDA policy caused the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine to halt a study on how CBD affects dogs ailed by pruritis and osteoarthritis. In addition, Auburn vet Dawn Booth is waiting for federal approval to conduct a study on marijuana’s effects on dogs with epilepsy. Boothe claims everything is prepared for her to begin early next year but can’t thanks to bureaucratic roadblocks.
This inability to study cannabis and its effects have caused veterinarians to fight back.
The policy-making body of the American Veterinary Medical Association stated that it wants marijuana declassified in order to facilitate opportunities for research on the substance’s human and veterinary medical uses. It also asked the organization’s board to explore coordinating with other stakeholders toward meeting this goal. The board is just waiting for a recommendation from two group councils.
According to the board’s chairman, Michael Whitehair, their main concern is about pet owners extrapolating dosages on their own and medicating their pets without proper guidance from a medical professional. This, he said, is an important reason why research should be continued.
With ambiguous federal laws and fear of prosecution, veterinarians will remain hog-tied without major change. In other words, they’re just in the dark as other scientific researchers who want to study marijuana and its medicinal effects.