Canadian Medical marijuana dispensary chain Pacifico Life is selling hemp-derived products for pets, but it doesn't mean you can get lifted with your dog anytime soon.
Operating out of both Hamilton and Toronto, Pacifico Life specializes in hemp-derived items, including Cannabidiol (CBD) infused products for pets. They've partnered with Apawthecary Labs a Vancouver-based wholesaler that works with veterinarians to research and develop the treats, including biscuits and tinctures in delicious bacon and seafood flavours for your spoiled fur-baby. To purchase the pet products, Pacifico Life owner Tamara Hirsh told VICE, one must be a registered member with a medical marijuana license, or sign the "caregiver form," and present medical documentation pertaining to their pet's illness. The products each come labeled with instructions for administration and dosage specific to the dog. "They're all CBD, so there's no THC in it," Hirsh explained. "[They're] quite popular. Just like on a daily basis for dogs with anxiety or mobility issues like arthritis, especially aging dogs. It helps with a wide gamut of things, much like it does in people." While hemp-derived stuff for people and pets alike has been experiencing a surge of popularity, others are skeptical about its effectiveness. "When there is more research done it, probably ya," said senior dog owner Allison Wagner. "If he got severe arthritis or something and that'd help him feel better, than sure." Recent studies on human-Cannabidiol interaction has been pretty inconsistent at best. A 2011 study indicated that CBD can reduce subjective anxiety, while a 2006 study showed that CBD increases anxiety to resemble "ketamine-induced psychotic symptoms." Studies from this year found CBD to be an effective anti-inflammatory, but another imparted that way more research needs to be done before the effects of CBD can be fully understood. "Research is just now beginning on the use of marijuana in animals. There is considerable interest, but it will be some time before answers will be available," a representative for the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association said in an email to VICE. "I think it would be very interesting to explore," said Toronto vet Dr. Jonathan Mitelman. "But first thing's first: we have to find if it's—through our veterinary college, our government regulatory body—if it's legal." Regulations on hemp-derived, cannabis items, and CBD in Canada remain in a legal grey area, with legislation set to kick in sometime next year. CBD oil is currently considered a controlled substance and available only with a prescription. "There needs to be some kind of divide when regulations come in for products like the pet products, or say the creams or topicals or bath bombs or soaps or the lipbalm," said Hirsh. "Those really shouldn't fall under the same strict regulations… I believe that THC products should be heavily regulated, but not CBD products."
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