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Americans are now using more medical marijuana — for their pets

Veterinarian Sarah Brandon, who co-founded Canna Companion, said the company manufactures a pill for pets that helps with a wide array of pet problems. (Image source: WCCO-TV screen cap)

As the debate over medical marijuana rages on across the country, another side of the conversation is emerging: medical marijuana products for pets.

Canna Companion, a company based out of Washington state, manufactures a pill for pets that contains hemp extracts that produce some of the medical benefits of marijuana without the high. Veterinarian Sarah Brandon co-founded the company and said the product helps with a wide array of pet problems.

"Anxiety, it helps a lot there. Joint discomfort, neurological conditions, things like that," Brandon told WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. The company's website also boasts benefits like improving gastrointestinal tract health and boosting immune systems.

The product is classified as an animal health product and is legal to possess and sell in all 50 states. The company's sales have skyrocketed in the past few years, jumping from $100,000 in 2014 up to $1.1 million in 2016.

Some pet owners swear by the product for their pets, including New Jersey resident Laura Cruz who calls it a "miracle capsule." Cruz uses Canna Companion for her 14-year-old dog Tacey, who used to suffer from severe anxiety.

"If your pet is so uncomfortable in their own skin that they can't live a restful life, you need help," Cruz said.

But not all veterinarians are on board with the new trend. Dr. Mark Helfat from the American Veterinary Medical Association told WCCO that more studies were necessary before he'd recommend the product for any of his patients.

"At this point in time, I really would not promote these products, nor would I recommend them," Helfat said.

[graphiq id="1Jmmaq6Tvbn" title="Legal Status of Recreational & Medical Marijuana Use" width="600" height="614" url="https://w.graphiq.com/w/1Jmmaq6Tvbn" ]

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