24 January 2017

HEALTH - EU Approves Australian Firm to Sell Medical Cannabis for Pets

Creso Pharma, an Australian pharmaceutical developer, has received the European Union's first ever health registration to commercialise medical cannabis for pets.

The company is now in the process of applying for a global import and export license as it aims to sell two cannabidiol-based pet products by April 2017.

The products, essentially food additives for horses and dogs, are designed to help target behavioural disorders including anxiety and noise phobias as well as chronic pain, arthritis and diabetes.

Medical cannabis refers to the use of cannabis and its constituent cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), as medical therapy to treat disease or alleviate symptoms.

The plant contains more than 460 compounds. At least 80 of these are cannabinoids: active chemical compounds that interact with cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

According to their website, Creso Pharma is "committed to bringing vast cannabinoid based therapeutic opportunities to human and animal health."

Chief executive and co-founder Miri Halperin Wernli said the registration marked a huge milestone for cannabis-based therapies, with the market currently lacking a lot of therapeutic alternatives for vets and pet owners.

"Many of the ones available are human-based medicines that have been poorly adapted for animals," Dr Wernli said in a statement.

"Our unique CBD-based nutraceutical products are developed specifically for companion animals and are an alternative therapeutic options to a number of common medical conditions among pets that often remain poorly treated."

There is, of course, much debate over the effectiveness of cannabis based products on human and animal medical conditions.

"At some point in time they may be useful, but I would only recommend them once they've been studied appropriately and we know for sure what the safety profile of these kinds of things are in pets," Shane Bateman, associate professor at the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College, told CBC.

It is estimated that the global Cannabis market will reach US$50 billion in the US and US$200 billion globally by 2018.

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