CSIRO working on medicinal cannabis for pets

Stock image.
Stock image.

CROOK cats and poorly pooches could be the newest customer base for the growing medical marijuana industry.

Homegrown researchers from the CSIRO are working on a joint venture with pet pharmaceutical company Cannpal to give our furry companions a higher quality of life.

With arthritis affecting 61per cent of cats over the age of six and half of older dogs affected by cancer, Aussie pet owners are forking out more than $12 billion a year on taking care of their beloved companions.

But Dr Ben Muir said many current medications had unwanted side effects including nausea, loss of appetite, depression and internal bleeding.

“There’s increasing resistance among companion animals to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other pharmaceutical therapies,” he said.

“Cannpal is working on new and improved pain relief for dogs, cats and horses and the CSIRO is helping them improve the production process for their medicinal cannabis.

“Like humans, animals such as dogs, cats and horses have a biological and neurological system designed to receive and process cannabinoids – one of the main classes of chemical compounds in cannabis.

“The endocannabinoid system is involved in physiological processes such as appetite, pain-sensation, nausea, mood and memory.”

“This makes it a potentially good choice for combating symptoms in pets resulting from diseases such as arthritis and cancer as well as other joint, skin, and digestive disorders.”