Pot for pets? Dispensary sells cannabis dog treats to relieve pain, anxiety
A marijuana dispensary in Sooke has expanded its clientele to include the canine world.
Castle Naturals has been selling biscuits containing cannabis for the last year and says ever since they went on sale, dogs and their owners can’t get enough.
“They’re one of our top sellers. They work, so people come back,” said dispensary owner Lori Rittaler. “About an hour after they take the dog bones, they’re up walking with you again. It gives them years back of their life.”
Rittaler says the treats have proven popular with owners of hyperactive, arthritic and anxious dogs who want to relieve their pets’ pain and induce a sense of calm.
“I think people are trying to get away from opiates, they’re trying to get away from traditional medicines that are synthetic,” she said.
The creator of the treats, Michelle Laroque, says she’s been making the cookies for years for her dog Ace and has named the product "Ace's Stash."
“I’ve had it lab-tested, so I know how high the TCH and the CBDs are in it,” she said. “It’s so minimal an amount that your dogs don’t get stoned like a lot of people are led to believe with small amounts of THC.”
Laroque says Ace’s aches and pains from injuries over the years, including a crooked tail, are relieved with the cookies – as is his hyperactivity.
“The cookies help calm him down until he’s a dull roar, and he’s calm in the house. He can still fetch, he can still swim and he can still bark,” she said.
She says she’s sold thousands of the treats to customers she says are just as satisfied as Ace.
But experts warn not enough research has been done on the risks associated with pot-laced dog treats.
The regulating body for B.C. Veterinarians says researchers have yet to assess the true effect of marijuana edibles on animals.
“What needs to be done is much better work, more peer-reviewed studies on it, in terms of the benefits versus side-effects,” said Dr. Brendan Matthews, president of the B.C. College of Veterinarians. “How are the different products excreted? Is the CBD truly a benefit, and how is it a benefit?”
The college says it can’t prove pets are being harmed by the drug, but it still says no to the use of cannabis for animals.
With a report from CTV Vancouver Island's Yvonne Raymond