A Medicinal Pot Patch For Pets Coming Soon
A Seattle company has developed a marijuana pain patch for use on dogs, cats and horses suffering from arthritis, cancer, and other chronic pain. The company, Medical Marijuana Delivery Systems (MMDS), acquired a patent for the patch which was developed in 2000 by Walter Cristobal of the Santa Ana Pueblo Tribe of New Mexico. According to Culture Magazine, Mr. Cristobal created a marijuana skin patch to ease his mother's arthritis discomfort and was ultimately awarded a patent.
This patch allows the trans-cutaneous (through the skin) delivery of the marijuana instead of the traditional smoking, inhaling or eating of the drug and as an alternative to traditional pain medication. The patch will be sold under the trademark Tertacan, and should be available in the United States by the end of this year. Jim Alekson, a spokesperson for MMDS, called the pot patch a "mellow alternative to traditional pharmaceutical painkillers, which have proven harmful, sometimes fatal in animals". The patch will also be available for humans.
Many state laws will have to be amended to allow the purchase of medical marijuana, to allow veterinarians to legally prescribe it, and to allow people who are legally allowed to have medical marijuana to give it to their pets.
Clearly, proper prescribing and dosing are critical, as is the case with any pain patch issued for humans and animals, and abuse can be quite serious. Pets have had serious reactions to pot accidentally ingested or deliberately given to them as a prank. Reactions can include listlessness, uncoordinated physical movements, disorientation, incontinence and other symptoms consistent with the toxicity of an overdose. Most state laws consider illegally providing, or negligently allowing a pet access to pot a crime.
Don't try this at home yet.