True Leaf Turns a New Leaf on Pet Wellness

Cannabis is taking the pet care world by storm, and True Leaf aims to position itself at the helm.

This plant-forward brand has long led the way in pushing cannabinoid medicine to the forefront of the wellness industry. True Leaf’s two main operating divisions, True Leaf Medicine Inc. and True Leaf Pet Inc., now offer in-house integrative care and cannabis cultivation to serve hemp-based products to both animal and human patients around the world. The latest advocate to join their professional ranks is renowned veterinarian and Medical Director at the VCA-Canada Vancouver Animal Wellness Hospital, Dr. Katherine Kramer. 

Dr. Kramer is also a longstanding pioneer for the cannabis for pets movement. She has been a vocal advocate for the research and therapeutic use of cannabis for animals since early on in her career, first inspired by the many success stories she witnessed to blend herbs and acupuncture with Western veterinary medicine as a more integrated and natural approach to care.Dr. Katherine Kramer with dog for True Leaf Medicine Inc.

Dr. Kramer joins True Leaf to lead the development of the company’s new medicinal cannabis product line for pets, lending her expert knowledge and experience on the safe use, dosage, and efficacy of administering medicinal cannabis to animals. This line of cannabidiol (CBD) products is anticipated to be launched to the veterinary market in 2019 alongside educational programs -designed for both veterinarians and pet owners- on administering cannabis products to pets. Dr. Kramer’s work with the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine (CAVCM) also aims to amend Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) to permit the future classification of CBD as a Veterinary Health Product, which would open the door for True Leaf to bring legal, safe, and quality-controlled CBD products to market for Canadian pets.

AKC Canine Health Foundation Announces Funding for Clinical Trial to Study Cannabidiol to Treat Epilepsy in Dogs

Epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder of dogs, and will affect dogs of pure- and mixed breeds. The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) with the support of its many donors has funded more than $2 million for epilepsy research. In 2017, CHF launched an epilepsy initiative to further advance this area of research for canine health. Improved treatments are desperately needed especially for dogs with drug-resistant epilepsy or where side effects of currently available drugs are not tolerated. Additional understanding of genetics and the influence of diet are also current targets of CHF-funded research.

CHF announces a major clinical trial to study the use of cannabidiol to treat drug resistant epilepsy in dogs. Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a board-certified veterinary neurologist at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, will lead this CHF-funded study entitled, "Efficacy of Cannabidiol (CBD) for the Treatment of Canine Epilepsy". According to Dr. McGrath, up to 30% of dogs receiving standard anti-epileptic therapy remain uncontrolled for their seizures, and the side effects of the antiepileptic drugs are often unacceptable. CBD is a non-psychotropic component of the Cannabis sativa plant, which has been shown to have anti-convulsant properties. This randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover clinical trial study will be utilized to prove its effectiveness. "The timeliness and importance of research into the role of Cannabis in veterinary medicine cannot be emphasized enough," stated Dr. McGrath. "With the changing public perception of Cannabis, it is time that we put science behind the stories and claims. We need to know if this drug is safe and if it works. If CBD is effective for treating epilepsy, it has the potential to save the lives of dogs around the world."

Dr. Mary Smith, a member of the CHF Board of Directors and the Chairman of CHF’s Scientific Review Committee, states, "This study has the potential to provide a much-needed new tool for veterinarians to treat dogs with epilepsy. A study of this scope is required to prove the efficacy of this plant-based therapy for dogs, and CHF is proud to take the lead on this research effort."

In other ongoing CHF-funded epilepsy research, several important research outcomes and publications this year by Dr. Hannes Lohi's team have identified genes that play a role in canine, and potentially, human epilepsy, and also resulted in a genetic test for canine myoclonic epilepsy (Myoclonic epilepsy: Generalized myoclonic epilepsy with photosensitivity in juvenile dogs caused by a defective DIRAS family GTPase 1 (2017), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences); ADAM23: ADAM23 is a common risk gene for canine idiopathic epilepsy (2017), BMC genetics).

During 2017, the American Kennel Club is generously matching all donations up to $250,000 through the CHF Epilepsy Initiative. Visit the CHF Epilepsy Initiative donation page to make a contribution to this important work for all dogs.

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