Malta may soon be researching and producing medicinal cannabis products for pets, Economy Minister Chris Cardona has said, as around 1,600 of delegates head to Malta as the annual Malta Medical Cannabis Forum kicks off today.
“We are discussing [medicinals for pets] as a kind of byproduct from the original legislation together with Malta Enterprise, the Medicines Authority, Prof. Serracino Inglott and Parliamentary Secretary Deo Debattistia,” Dr Cardona told Lovin Malta.
Malta legalised medicinal cannabis for Maltese citizens last year – and now, some pets suffering from certain conditions may soon be able to access CBD-based medicine as well.
“We are looking closely at amendments to the original legislation in order to have our facilities in Malta and the accreditation institutions like the Medicines Authority involved in research and development for medicines for animals, for our pets, and for the possible manufacturing and production of those medicines in Malta,” he continued.
Vets and pet-owners in US states where cannabis oil, an extract from the cannabis plant, has been legalised are increasingly reporting the benefits of using it to treat conditions like seizures, nausea, stress, anxiety, arthritis, back pain, symptoms of cancer, and gastrointestinal issues, among other health conditions in dogs.
CBD, the active ingredients in cannabis oil – which is not psychoactive and will not get your dog ‘high’ – works by interacting with the cannabinoid system found within both human and animal bodies. A series of receptors within the body respond to the cannabinoids found in the oil to modulate things like pain, nausea, and anxiety.
While more and more evidence is coming out in regards to the benefits of medicinal cannabis on pets, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has issued a statement clarifying that while pets may respond well to CBD, they do not to THC, the psychoactive compound usually removed from medicinals.
“While marijuana use can be a pleasurable experience for people, it can be dangerous for dogs. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive substance in marijuana that produces a high for humans, is toxic to dogs, and can cause vomiting, incoordination, depression, sleepiness or excitation, low blood pressure, low body temperature and seizures.”