Cannabinoid Medicine

Cannabis-based therapy is a relatively new tool in the veterinary toolkit, but it has the potential to help pets with a number of health-related issues ranging from pain and inflammation all the way to things like nausea or anxiety, and much more.

Evidence-Based Use of Cannabis Products in Pets

Cannabis-based therapy is still an emerging field in veterinary medicine, and new research is being published constantly. There is still a lot we don’t know about how these compounds affect pets, and how they could interact with other treatments.

Our treatment recommendations are always based on the latest peer-reviewed findings and our own clinical experience to ensure safety and efficacy. We rely on experts like the Canadian Veterinary Association of Cannabinoid Medicine to help guide us in regard to these important decisions. Our treatment recommendations also come at no additional charge.

Conditions Cannabis Products Can Help Treat

Cannabis and its derivatives have been documented to be helpful in treating a wide range of conditions in human patients, and we anticipate veterinary patients will respond in a similar manner.

The strongest scientific support for cannabis use includes conditions like chronic pain and neuropathic pain, anxiety, poor sleep quality, specific types of seizures, and nausea (especially the type associated with chemotherapy).

Headshot of veterinarian Mike, smiling with short grey hair and grey t-shirt

Meet Dr. Mike Mossop


Dr. Mossop, the founder of Treatwell Pet Care, has over 14 years of clinical experience and is a member of the Canadian Veterinary Association of Cannabinoid Medicine. He is passionate about helping pets spend more quality time with their pet parents. Dr. Mossop consults the latest peer-reviewed articles and studies when making recommendations to patients and is happy to answer any questions you may have.

Cannabinoid Medicine FAQ

Can a Veterinarian Legally Prescribe Cannabis Products to My Pet?

No. Under current Canadian law, a veterinarian cannot prescribe a cannabis product, since there are no licensed veterinary cannabis products on the market. That being said, a veterinarian can advise a client on the use of legally available recreational cannabis products for their pets. A veterinarian is accountable for this advice, and it must be given in the context of a valid veterinary-patient-client relationship as defined by the College of Veterinarians of Ontario.

Is it Safe to Give My Pet CBD or Other Cannabis Products?

All drugs come with some risk of side effects, but the early evidence available on the use of CBD products in pets indicates it is relatively low risk. The most common side effects include lethargy, agitation or itchiness. which most animals will push through after a few days. These symptoms will resolve within a few days once the supplement is stopped.

Isn’t the THC in Cannabis Products Toxic to Pets?

Yes, THC can be toxic to pets when given at a high dose, and this often happens by accident when a pet gets into an owner’s stash. As with many medications, “the poison is in the dose”. When used under supervision, your veterinarian will recommend a CBD product that has either a very low concentration of THC or none at all. That being said, there are new studies investigating the potential therapeutic benefits of using THC in animals, and low levels of THC may be beneficial in some cases.

What are the Signs of THC Over-Consumption/Intoxication?

THC toxicity in pets is commonly associated with lethargy and ataxia (looking wobbly or “drunk”). Other signs can include agitation, disorientation, dilated pupils, and urinary incontinence. Less frequently, more serious signs like tremors, seizures, vomiting or unconsciousness can be seen. If you think your pet may be suffering from THC intoxication please contact your local emergency clinic or the Smart.Vet telehealth line.

What is the Safest and Best Way for Me to Obtain CBD Products for my Pet?

We recommend that you consult your veterinarian before giving any CBD or other cannabis products to your pet. Once you have done that, products (typically a CBD oil or tincture) should be obtained through a provincially licensed cannabis retailer like Please note, the products sold by these licensed retailers are intended for recreational use by people, and they are not approved for use in animals. That being said, they are the most reliable products legally available, and we can use our knowledge to help determine the best and safest dose for your pet.

How Can One Plant Help Treat so Many, Seemingly Unrelated Conditions?

Cannabis affects our bodies, and those of dogs and cats, through numerous pathways, including those found within the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is now thought to be the largest receptor system in the mammalian body and its receptors have been found in the central and peripheral nervous systems, the endocrine system, the gastrointestinal system, the cardiovascular system, ocular structures, the skin and more!

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Have more questions about Cannabinoid Medicine? Contact us and we’d be happy to help you make an informed decision for you and your pet.