Marijuana and Other Cannabis Products


Adapted from “Pets and Pot: Highlights on therapeutic marijuana and cannabinoids” Katie James.  DVM360 magazine, December 27, 2107

Marijuana has over 450 unique chemicals in it.  The most well-known of these are the cannabinoids, of which there are over seventy types. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) being the one responsible for the psychotropic effects (“getting high”) of marijuana.  Another cannabinoid is Cannabidiol (CBD).  It is the CBD that is reported to have many of the therapeutic benefits without the psychotropic effects.

Numerous states are decriminalizing marijuana and even more states are allowing physicians to prescribe marijuana or CBD products for the treatment of several illnesses.  In some states veterinarians are also allowed to prescribe these products.  We are, therefore, receiving numerous questions concerning the benefits and availability of cannabinoids.  There is some clinical experience in other states which suggest that pets may benefit from some of the effects of CBD.  Currently, though, no reliable data exists regarding the efficacy of any portion of the marijuana plant as an analgesic or for other therapeutic indications in companion animals.  At the time of the writing of this summery (May 17, 2019) it is illegal for Virginia Beach veterinary clinic veterinarians to prescribe any of the cannabinoid products.

At this time most of the cases we see concerning pets and cannabinoids are due to toxic exposure of pets to marijuana.  The majority of these cases are due to accidental exposure due to the pet eating a food item containing marijuana.  Intentional exposure cases are also seen, but gladly rarely.  Signs of toxicity can vary from case to case and may include a very fast or very slow heartbeat, an increased blood pressure, depression, staggering, vomiting, altered behavior, drooling, weakness, low body temperature, and seizures.  Pets that have been exposed to these products should be evaluated by an animal hospital Virginia Beach veterinarian and may require hospitalization.

Studies that are being done now are to analyze the benefits, if any, of cannabinoids in humans.  As those studies become documented and if pharmaceutical companies start to produce more products for human treatments, you can be sure that soon after that companion animal products will become much more widely available and used.


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Feedback from our clients

  • "Words can not begin to express our gratitude for the care you had given Hunter over the years. When his time came, he watched for you to come through the door and his tail showed his affection towards you. That was most comforting having you there. Thank you.""
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Maggie over the years. Y'all are the best and Dr. Johnson, you are the best vet in the world! God bless you all.""
    ~ J.D.
  • ""Your care for my beloved Mattie these last 10n years made her life, and mine much better….God bless each of you for all you did for us and I'm sure for all your other two and four legged patients.""
  • ""Thank you for saving my life." ~T.C."
  • ""I can not express how grateful I am for you and your staff… I appreciate everything you did in Beckham's treatment. He was so lucky to have such a wonderful doctor on his side. Thank you for all you do for the benefit of all our beloved pets.""
  • ""Dr. Johnson - There are no words that can truly capture your kindness.""
  • ""Thank you for the great care you took of Taco and the rest of our family. He is doing great now! He is enjoying running and playing with all four legs again.""
  • ""People who avail themselves of your services at the clinic certainly are blessed to have such a caring staff....bless you and your devoted staff.""
  • ""A sincere thank you for taking such good care of Dulce. We are so thrilled that she is back to her normal self. You gave her the support and care she needed in her darkest hours and kept us confident in her recovery.""
  • ""Just to say how much we appreciate all of you. You all are wonderful people. We feel blessed to have our beloved furry children in your care when they need it. Your professional knowledge and your acts of kindness have a beautiful act all it's own. You are a great vet, compassionate and everything good all in one. You are in our daily prayers.""
  • ""Thank you and all of your staff for the excellent care you gave to my wonderful Abbey, who was so much a part of the family. Thank you for all the advice and support you gave to me these last few months. I don't know how I would have gotten through this without your constant support. I will, and I have highly recommended you to family and friends, as I feel you are the best!""
  • ""Thank you for taking care of my kitty, Slingshot. He is feeling better and better. My Paw-Paw said that you took extra special care of him and I really appreciate it. So, thank you again for taking care of my cat.""
    ~T.B. (age 6)
  • ""Dr. Johnson, I don't know why you decided to move here from your home in New Jersey, but I absolutely believe it was so you could help me and Mickey. I know coming to someone's home is not what a typical veterinarian would do, but you are obviously an extraordinary man in a world filled with ordinary men….On top of that, your sensitive and wonderful handwritten note arrived and touched my heart…You are one of those quiet, unheralded champions who make life easier for everyone you touch.""
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Lola when she had her reaction, and your office was already closed. I know you took time away from yourself and your family and I really appreciate it.""
  • ""Thank you for giving me more time with my best friend. We are all so grateful.""
  • ""Thank you for all of your support for Maxine during her illness. All was very much appreciated and will always be remembered. I have related to all my friends of what a great doctor and staff at Birdneck Animal Hospital.""
  • ""Thank you for taking such good care of me over the last 4 years. I am doing well and both legs and feet feel great. You sis an awesome job on me Dr. Johnson, and I'm gonna have a great year this year and I hope to see you only for my check up. You guys are the best!""
  • "We can't thank you enough for the wonderful and loving care you gave to"Budkus" while he was in your care. He was so little and so sick and we were so scared for him. Each and every one of the staff members made us feel like we had the only dog in the world. Like nothing else mattered except getting "Budkus" well again. Our deepest gratitude to all of you for the excellent care and attention we received, for your encouragement, comfort, and understanding, and most importantly for saving his life! Thank you so much.""
    ~ J.,B.,C.