Over the past several years there has been an uptick in holistic treatments as people continue to try and avoid prescription medication.
The same can now be said for animals and pet owners are starting to catch on.
A new trend has now emerged, using cannabinoids, or CBD’s, from hemp oil.
CBD’S are one of the many compounds that come from the cannabis species, and this compound is making strides in the world of animal care.
“We just brought it in a month ago, we've been doing really well with it. Word has been getting around,” Nicoll Vincent, of for K-9s & Felines in Westfield, said.
CBD's can be found in both marijuana and hemp, but unlike the compound THC, which is the ingredient that causes a high in marijuana, CBD’S are anti-psychotics, which don't have the same effect.
“it's not weed for dogs,” Vincent said. “There's no psychoactive effect whatsoever.”
Vincent’s store is one of the few places in western Mass that distributes the holistic treatment.
She told Western Mass News that the all-natural hemp product is giving her clients tremendous results and this includes her 14-year-old dog that suffers from dementia.
“He started howling at night, he gets lost, he roams at night, he gets stuck in corners,” Vincent explained. “We actually started this about three weeks ago. About a week after we got it, he started to play. Twice, he picked up toys to play and he hasn't done that since he was like 10.”
Dementia isn't the only reason to give CBD’s a chance either.
“You could use it for pain,” Vincent said, adding, “anxiety is huge, a lot of pets have separation anxiety. Awesome for the seniors, anxiety, cancer, GI Tract, epilepsy.”
The product Vincent sells is called “Pet Releaf” and there are various strengths that you can try. And differing strains of hemp aren't the only variety in CBD products, there's different ways your pet can take them. Whether it's in bite form, creams, capsules and there's even oils.
“The problem is, is they are not regulated,” Ellie Shelburne, a vet at the Northampton Veterinary Clinic, cautioned. “So if you buy it online, you could potentially have contaminants including THC.”
Shelburne said she has seen the rise in alternative medicines over the years and is well versed in naturopathy, which is a form of treatment through natural herbs.
While she can't recommend a product like CBD’s, she does say that some of the benefits are supported by science and her clients are starting to ask about it.
“More and more,” Shelburne said, “we just talked about it twice today.”
Shelburne wants to make sure that people know that while CBD's are beneficial, you have to make sure that THC isn't a part of your treatment.
“People, they can handle that really well,” Shelburne said. “Dogs and cats do not metabolize THC very well at all. It's one of our most common toxins that we see.”
Something Vincent makes sure are in none of the products she's selling.
“It's all natural. Actually, this is just hemp oil and coconut oil. That's all that's in it,” Vincent said, as she picked up the Pet Releaf product. “Because it is new and there's a lot of companies opening up, you have to be very careful. It's not regulated.”
So if you've exhausted all of your options, know there might be another option out there. Just be sure to talk with your vet and check that label for THC.
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