Exploring the Benefits of Cannabis for Dogs

With an increasingly larger number of states advocating the use of medical marijuana and even a few totally legalizing the plant for recreational usage, many have thought of other ways the medical marijuana might help. There is currently a movement for the usage of marijuana in pets and many applications of medical marijuana have been found in a variety of animals, such as dogs per instance. In this article, we’re going to explore some of the medical benefits of marijuana for dogs.

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Scientific Evidence

Did you know that the first research on medical marijuana for dogs dates back to more than a hundred years ago? As a matter of fact, the first article on the effects of medical marijuana on dogs was released in 1899 in the British Medical Journal. The article was written by a man by the name of Walter E Dixon and included some of his observations on the effects of the plant on a variety of illnesses dogs are usually afflicted with.

Understanding the Endocannabinoid System

However, it took some time for researchers to understand where these responses originated: the endocannabinoid system. Researchers say that the endocannabinoid system has been evolving for the last 600 million years and is responsible for regulating some of our most vital functions and maintaining the balance between sleep, relaxation, eating and protection.

Chemicals in marijuana stimulate some of the endocannabinoid receptors throughout the nervous system to induce a variety of reactions. The chemicals produce a variety of effects that can be described as pharmacological and can have great effects on the immune system.

According to veterinarian Robert Silver, endocannabinoid receptors work like locks and the chemicals found in the marijuana work like keys. These receptors are made specifically for these chemicals, and once they are locked together, they create specific changes in the membrane of the cells which prompts a series of biological reactions.

What are the Benefits for Dogs?

To date, many benefits of marijuana have been noted in dogs, and marijuana can help treat a variety of chronic illnesses. One of the most common usages for medical marijuana in dogs is arthritis. In addition to arthritis, marijuana has been used to treat overactive and aggressive dogs, dogs with autoimmune disorders and digestive issues.

Further research is also being done to test the effects of marijuana on cancer and diabetes. In addition, many researchers have noticed the beneficial effects of CBD oil on acute conditions such as sprains, strains, torn ligaments and more. CBD oil might be used in the future in addition to anesthesia to treat dogs with severe conditions.


The usage of cannabis for dogs is still in its infancy, but many dog owners already swear by it. Some supplements made especially for pets can already be found online and some are completely safe. If you’re looking for a completely natural alternative to dog medicine, then you should definitely considered the many virtues of medical marijuana for pets.

About Dr. Winnie 986 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone