As medical marijuana becomes more accepted within American society, some people are starting to experiment with using the drug to medicate their sick pets—and they're seeing surprising results, reports the New York Times in a look at the trend. Although the FDA says there's no proof marijuana does much for pets, owners from all walks of life tell the Times that the drug has, in many cases, helped chronically ill pets return to their normal, happy selves. "When I've given it to her, she's never acted high: falling face-first into her food bowl, chowing down," says one woman of her ailing cat. "She comes out and socializes, wants to be in your lap, wants to be petted. It's a very noticeable difference."
But you can't exactly roll Fido a joint, because THC, the cannabinoid that makes you feel high, is toxic to animals. But cannabidiol, another cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant and known as CBD, gives animals what the Times calls "the benefits without the buzz." Veterinarians are prohibited from prescribing medical marijuana for animals, so most pet owners must get their own medical cards. "I went to the weed doctor and said, 'I need a card so I can get it for my dog who had cancer,'" a California dog trainer tells the Times. "He said, 'I don't have a solution for that.' So I told him I had insomnia." Pet owners who live in states where medical marijuana is not yet legal must order non-psychoactive, CBD-based products online, reports the Guardian. Still, for many pet owners, the hassle of the legal hurdles is worth it for restoring quality of life to their best friends. (Want lower BMI? Pot might help.)