Essence Blog

What You Need to Know About Cannabis For Pets

Meet Kona.

She’s a 13-year-old Dutch shepherd mix suffering from red, itchy skin due to seasonal allergies.

Kona’s discomfort was keeping her up at night, and she in turn was keeping her owner Bea Adams up at night too.

Bea took Kona to their veterinarian, who recommended Therabis, a CBD-based medical cannabis product made specifically for dogs.

After three days on Therabis, Kona’s itching stopped completely and her skin cleared up, according to her owner.

Cannabis For Pets? Seriously?

If you think of yourself as a responsible pet owner, feeding cannabis to your dog or cat might seem…irresponsible at best.

But let’s just put aside the stigma that is often attached to cannabis for one moment and focus on this simple fact: cannabis is a medicinal plant. It’s been used to treat illnesses for thousands of years.

Animals get sick just like people do. In fact, here’s a short list of illnesses that affect animals and humans alike:

  • Cancer
  • Seizures
  • Arthritis
  • Anxiety
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Chronic pain

And because animals get sick, they sometimes need medicine to help them get better…just like people do.

Why You Might Consider CBD For Your Pet

After consulting with a doctor, some people opt to treat their illnesses with medical cannabis instead of standard prescription drugs because they want to avoid the negative side effects that come with those drugs.

People are giving medical cannabis to their sick pets for the same reason.

Take Miles, for example. He was a 12-year-old Labrador Retriever mix diagnosed with terminal cancer. He was given two months to live and a prescription for the painkiller tramadol.

While he was taking the tramadol, Miles’s activity level plummeted. Zero energy. He’d go to sleep right after taking the medicine.

So his owner Denise started giving him medical cannabis designed for dogs.

Miles’s energy and appetite returned. His vomiting stop. Denise could actually take him to the beach, where he had no problem running around and playing.

Denise says that CBD helped Miles go back to being his old self again.

That phrase comes up a lot in these anecdotal stories where the owner switches from prescription drugs to medical cannabis: “My pet was back to his/her old self again.”

Isn’t that what medicine is supposed to do?

How Cannabis for Pets is Different From Cannabis for People

Cannabis contains the two most well-known cannabinoids (chemical compounds in the marijuana plant that are responsible for its medical benefits). Those cannabinoids are

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • Cannabidiol (CBD)

THC is what makes us feel “high.” CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive but still has plenty of health benefits such as pain relief, anti-inflammation, anti-seizure, and more.

Medical cannabis products that are made for pets are based solely on CBD. They usually contain either zero or trace amounts of THC, so you don’t have to worry about your pet getting intoxicated.

Can Veterinarians Prescribe Cannabis for Pets?

Unfortunately, no. Because cannabis is still illegal under federal law, any veterinarian who prescribes or recommends it could risk losing their license.

However, a veterinarian may be able to provide you with basic information on the effectiveness of cannabis for pets. They can also alert you to any possible risks your pet may face.

That’s why it’s important to notify your veterinarian if you’re planning on treating your pet’s illness with medical marijuana. You want your vet to be able to monitor your pet’s progress!

Can You Give Regular Cannabis Products to Your Pet?

Absolutely not! Regular cannabis products are toxic to animals, especially products with high concentrations of THC.

There are already too many sad tales of pets winding up in the hospital because they discovered their owners’ weed stash and ate it all. Don’t let that happen to your pet.

If you want to treat your pet with medical cannabis, buy CBD products that are specifically made for animals.

And remember: some products are made for animals of different sizes, so be sure to check the packaging before making your purchase. It should tell you what the animal’s weight requirement is.

Where Can You Purchase CBD For Pets?

Essence Cannabis Dispensary offers CBD products for pets! Here’s a little bit of info on some of the brands we carry:


Developed by veterinarian Stephen Katz, Therabis features several hemp-derived CBD products for dogs that come in the form of sachets (single-serve packets) and daily supplement treats.


We’ve talked a lot about dogs in this post, but felines can also benefit from CBD as well! CannaPaws currently offers Hemp CBD tinctures that can be used to treat both dogs and cats. The amount of drops you’ll use will depend on the size of your pet.


The bulk of Cannabella’s products are made for humans, but they’re also giving love to all the dogs out there in the form of their Canna Canine Premium CBD Treats. In addition to CBD, the treat also contains peanut butter, whole wheat flour, oats, chicken broth, and olive oil.

National Love Your Pet Day!

February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day! (We know you didn’t forget; we’re just reminding all the other people out there…)

So what do you get the pet who has everything?

Well, if they’re suffering from ill health or allergies, medical cannabis might be a good place to start.

Talk with your veterinarian and our dispensary consultants for more information. See if CBD can do for your pet what it did for Kona and Miles – help them go back to being their old self again.

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