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Vt. company cooks up cannabis for canines - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. company cooks up cannabis for canines

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Faith Jennings saved Karma from a kill shelter almost five years ago. She's a sweet pooch, but Jennings hasn't been able to heal all of the pit bull's emotional wounds.

"She struggles with anxiety, she doesn't like being left alone," Jennings said. "It's not something we've had a fun time experiencing."

Jennings says a little treat from Reilly's HempVet is the best treatment they've found so far. It's a supplement designed to calm dogs. One of the key ingredients comes from cannabis. Karma doesn't need a medical marijuana card, though, as the product is made using hemp.

"The reason the hemp is in there, the reason we chose hemp is for general health and wellness. It's something that acts immediately," said Bill Reilly of Reilly's HempVet.

The supplement also contains more common ingredients with formulations for everything from anxiety to joint pain. In Karma's case, her human reports a more relaxed, though no less energetic dog within about half-an-hour after her snack.

"She's been great with it," Jennings said. "If I give it to her before I leave, I feel like when I come home, she's just a normal dog."

There's barely a trace of THC, the chemical responsible for marijuana's high, in hemp. It has plenty of CBD, though. That's the compound advocates of medical marijuana credit for human health benefits, like the strain Charlotte's Web, which can curb seizures.

"My experience is that vets are very supportive of supplements in general and when you get into the cannabis, there's still a lot of questions about it out there," Reilly said.

Veterinarians we chatted with say there is anecdotal evidence products like these can help, but they would want to see more research before recommending it for their patients.

Reilly also says the supplements can be given to cats. They require half the dose and he says they're a little pickier about the taste.

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