Cannabis oil for you and your pets

Finally … Cannabis Oil!

Something has come to my attention recently – cannabis oil. So here’s the question: Is cannabis oil a miracle cure for a myriad of immune-mediated diseases? It is said to be another powerful immune modulator.

Here are some examples that might give you pause for thought:

A bowel cancer patient was given 18 months to live and now claims that he has been cured by cannabis oil. David Hibbitt was diagnosed with the disease in July 2012 and underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery to remove his large bowel.

Doctors told him the cancer was terminal so he decided to try cannabis oil as a last resort and bought it from a local dealer for £50 a gram. Now the father-of-one says he has been cancer-free since his last scan in January – and puts the class-B drug down to his miracle recovery. Search the internet for ‘cannabis oil cancer cure’, and you’ll find many similar examples.

In November 2007, researchers at California Pacific Medical Center released a study on the effects of cannabis oil (specifically a constituent of cannabis called CBD) on cancer. The study concluded that CBD shows promise for controlling the spread of malignant breast tumours and stalling metastasis (the process of cancerous cells spreading into different parts of the body) by “turning off” the activity of a gene responsible for tumour metastasis.

Since then, numerous studies have verified that cannabidiol shows inhibitory effects on several types of cancer including breast cancer, colon cancer, certain types of brain tumours, leukaemia and others. Parallel to these studies, cannabis oil has also been shown to inhibit benign tumour growth.

Cannabis oil induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cells by coordinating the cross-talk between two of the body’s defence mechanisms against cancer: apoptosis and autophagy. Apoptosis is the process of programmed cell death, while autophagy is the breakdown of individual cell components.

Combined, these two processes weaken and destroy cancer cells.
Here’s another example, this time for autism: At 10 months of age, Kalel Santiago of Puerto Rico was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called neuroblastoma. He survived chemotherapy, radiation treatments and surgery. Then he was diagnosed with severe autism that disabled him from speaking.
Eventually, his family stumbled upon cannabis oil. Kalel was given oral doses twice a day. Within just two days, he was able to speak.

Cannabis oil has also been studied in relation to epilepsy. In one study, in Pharmacology in 1980, four of the eight subjects remained almost free of convulsive crises throughout the experiment and three other patients demonstrated partial improvement in their clinical condition. Cannabis oil was ineffective in one patient.

Another study in Epilepsia in 2014, says: “CBD has neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects, and it appears to be well tolerated in humans, but small and methodologically limited studies of CBD in human epilepsy have been inconclusive. CBD bears investigation in epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders, including anxiety, schizophrenia, addiction, and neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. However, we lack data from well-powered double-blind randomized, controlled studies on the efficacy of pure CBD for any disorder.”

Another paper, this time in Epilepsy Behaviour in 2013, stated: “This survey explored the use of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis in children with treatment-resistant epilepsy. The survey was presented to parents belonging to a Facebook group dedicated to sharing information about the use of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis to treat their child’s seizures. Sixteen (84%) of the 19 parents reported a reduction in their child’s seizure frequency while taking cannabidiol-enriched cannabis. Of these, two (11%) reported complete seizure freedom, eight (42%) reported a greater than 80% reduction in seizure frequency, and six (32%) reported a 25-60% seizure reduction. Other beneficial effects included increased alertness, better mood, and improved sleep. Side effects included drowsiness and fatigue.”

There are also studies showing that cannabis can help with obesity. The American Journal of Medicine reported in 2013 that: “Epidemiologic studies have found lower rates of obesity and diabetes mellitus in marijuana users compared with people who have never used marijuana, suggesting a relationship between cannabinoids and peripheral metabolic processes.”
Another paper in Orv Hetil, 2012, stated, “Cannabidiol has an immune-modulating effect …” and may be helpful in the treatment of metabolic syndrome (metabolic syndrome involves abdominal fat, glucose intolerance, and a high risk of heart attack).

Meanwhile, Rheumatology, 2006, found that cannabis oil produced statistically significant improvements in pain on movement, pain at rest, and quality of sleep.

The European Journal of Neuroscience, 2014, concluded: “The ubiquitous distribution of cannabinoid receptors, together with the physiological role of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of pain, inflammation and even joint function further support the therapeutic interest of cannabinoids for osteoarthritis.” (Translation: cannabis reduces inflammation and pain for osteoarthritis sufferers.)

In fact, there are many conditions which CBD oil is claimed to help, including; chronic pain, cancer, anxiety, diabetes, epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, PTSD, sleep disorders, alcoholism, MS, cardiovascular disease, antibiotic-resistant infections, and various neurological ailments.

Veterinary marijuana?

From JAVMA News, 2013

Miles, a 12-year-old black Labrador Retriever had developed a splenic tumor that eventually metastasized to the liver and lungs. Miles was given two months to live and tramadol for the pain.
But Miles’ owner didn’t like the way tramadol affected her pet. “Every time we gave it to him, he would just sleep; he wouldn’t even move. He’d just lay there like he was dead,” said Denise, who asked that her real name not be used.

Sitting outside a West Hollywood, café with Miles at her feet, Denise recalls how a friend suggested she try a glycerine tincture of marijuana that is sold as a pet medicine in dozens of licensed medical marijuana dispensaries throughout Los Angeles. Within an hour of giving Miles the tincture, the dog’s appetite returned, and he was no longer vomiting.

“It couldn’t have been a coincidence,” Denise said. “The other great thing is that in the last couple of weeks, Miles has been going to the beach, he’s been running, he’s being himself. If Miles was on the tramadol, he’d be in bed, and he wouldn’t be enjoying anything or eating anything, and he’d probably be dead. I’m just really grateful we found this.”

Though initially hesitant about giving her pet an unapproved drug, Denise figured where’s the harm? Miles has terminal cancer and would die soon. Besides, people can’t overdose on marijuana, she reasoned. “I wasn’t that worried. I was actually pretty excited, because it has been used with human cancer patients for pain and nausea,” Denise said.

If the tramadol had worked, Denise says she wouldn’t have considered giving her dog marijuana. Now a “true believer” in marijuana’s therapeutic effects for at least some animal ailments, Denise says she will recommend the drug to other pet owners.

“People need to understand that this isn’t about getting my dog high,” she said. “It’s about improving his quality of life.”

Denise is probably not typical of the millions of US pet owners. She is part of what is likely a small community who use marijuana for their pets because they see it as a safe, natural, and effective alternative to “man-made” drugs. Should legal and social prohibitions associated with marijuana use continue easing, more and more pet owners might come around to this line of thinking, and Denise’s views could one day be less unorthodox than they are now.

Ernest Misko had never experimented with marijuana until his doctor recommended the 77-year-old try it for his chronic back pain. Misko was so amazed with how good his back felt afterward that when his aged pet cat, Borzo, had difficulty walking, Misko started feeding the cat the same marijuana tincture Denise used. Within a few days, Borzo appeared to be pain-free and was moving much better, according to Misko.
“I don’t get high, but the pain goes away. So I tried it on my cat, my 24-year-old cat, who’s feeling better,” Misko said.

Becky Flowers came to believe in marijuana’s healing powers for animals in a similar fashion. The Southern Californian’s pet horse, a 20-year-old named Phoenix, had had degenerative ligament disease for several years. But nearly a year ago the condition worsened. Phenylbutazone, glucosamine, Cavallo boots, cold and warm wraps—whatever Flowers tried, it didn’t help the horse for long. Eventually, Phoenix lay on her side and stopped eating and drinking.

Before resorting to euthanizing Phoenix, Flowers fed the horse marijuana. After all, Flowers herself had found marijuana to be a more effective analgesic than the medication she had been prescribed for pain associated with spinal spurs, arthritis, and several recent wrist surgeries. “Cannabis offers more relief to me than Norco, so why wouldn’t it also help Phoenix?” she reasoned.
Within an hour of ingesting a small amount of marijuana, Phoenix was walking, eating, and drinking, according to Flowers. She boils the marijuana plant, then makes the abstract into a butter that she feeds the horse once a day.

“With cannabis, I don’t worry about potential liver damage as with Bute. I also don’t worry about her overdosing, as I only give her a small amount. She never appears panicky or disoriented. She’s just her normal, happy Phoenix,” she said, adding that her Chinese Crested dog Tripper no longer chews on his feet since Flowers started mixing a small amount of marijuana into the dog’s food once a day.

Dogs, Vaccine Damage, Epilepsy, and Cannabis

Silke Le Messurier is another pet owner who is using cannabis to help her dog. She recently wrote to me: “My almost three year old Husky/German Shepherd Mix Loki received the Nobivac Lyme vaccine manufactured by Merck. As we left the Pet Hospital, on the way out my husband and I asked if we needed to observe him for any reactions or side effects. The answer was, “No, your dog will be fine.”

Three days later, on June 4th, Loki suffered a grand mal seizure, that lasted about 50 seconds.

“By the time we arrived at the veterinary emergency clinic that evening, his heart rate was back to normal and Loki had no fever. I immediately made a connection to the vaccine he had received three days earlier. The next morning we took Loki to our regular vet for an exam and to do further blood tests.

“I was told that the animal health technician had spoken to a veterinarian at Merck earlier that morning and he said ( I am paraphrasing, since I didn’t get to speak to him) that it was highly unlikely that the vaccine had caused the seizure. He did, however, offer to cover some of the veterinary bill for that day. While I was grateful that some of the cost was going to be recovered by Merck, I also found it a bit strange that the company that told me their vaccine did not cause Loki’s seizure offered to send a cheque.”

After extensive research, Silke discovered that, of course, vaccines frequently cause epilepsy. Loki subsequently had more seizures.

Silke is now using cannabis oil for Loki.

“The hemp oil seems to help,” she reports. “He had one short seizure on September 24th and nothing since, and it was a short one — I am tracking everything.

“He has a lot more energy now. I think it takes six weeks for the cannabis oil to be fully in his system, then we are hoping to reduce the phenobarbital. So far so good.”

I asked Silke whether Loki’s oil is hemp or marijuana based, since there’s a lot of conflicting advice regarding which is best. Silke replied:

“I am confused, too. Apparently the oil we are giving Loki comes from the hemp plant, not the marijuana plant.

“But this is still illegal stuff here in Canada. My husband did more research on this. We ordered it from the USA and it arrived , no problem. It was just two small bottles for a lot of money and it says food supplement on the label. It also says that it is hemp oil.
“I guess we were out of options and we chose to go ahead. So far definitely no negative side effects for Loki. We give him 8 drops 2 times daily on his food.

“He has more energy and is playful again. Not so lethargic, like he was on his meds.”

Canine Health Concern has sourced quality CBD oil and has added it to the CHC store. See