PHOENIX - You've heard of people using medical marijuana, but what about animals? Some say a new pot-infused product could help treat pets with different ailments, but of course, this new method comes with controversy.
The debate over using marijuana for pain just took a twist. Pet owners are now using the plant to treat their pets! Some veterinarians are recommending CBD -- a molecule that comes from pot, but doesn't cause a high like THC. CDB advocates says the substance is a miracle drug.
"I definitely think it's anti-inflammatory, it helps with convulsions, appetite, reduced nausea and vomiting, reduced side effects of cancer pain, reduced pain from arthritis conditions as well," said Dr. Betsy Hershey, a veterinary oncologist.
Hershey says veterinarians can't legally prescribe medical marijuana, so she recommends CBD oil instead. Marlon Buccholtz gave his 14 year old pug CBD for chronic arthritis.
"We started on the CBD oil and she jumps around like she's three or four years younger," he said.
Cave Creek based company CBD Unlimited makes a soft dog chew with CBD called Phyto-Bites. CEO Todd Davis says the product is flying off shelves.
"We've been able to clearly reduce anxiety in dogs, clearly calm them down.. their pain and their inflammation conditions go away, as you see their mobility start to come back," he said.
Research on CBD use in dogs is limited, but both Davis and Dr. Hershey say the anecdotal evidence is strong -- enough to convince at least some pet owners to give it a try.
"I think CBD for a dog would be great.. so many of the shepherds have hip dysplasia ..labradors.. I mean that would help a lot," said Karl Ford, a dog owner.
Bree Stamper added, "I'm not opposed to anybody using it, I just don't think we would use it ourselves and we don't use marijuana ourselves, so we wouldn't give it to our dogs."
Dr. Hershey says CBD can be used for other pets. Cats are more finicky about the taste, so sometimes pet owners have to apply it to their paws so they'll lick it off to get the medicine that way. That CBD chewable Phyto-Bites for dogs will be available in over 80 stores nationwide in 2017.