Recently a number of our staff were in Phoenix, AZ attending the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) Forum. The ACVIM Forum is a conference for veterinary professionals which offers continuing education on the latest scientific research in the industry via numerous lectures by specialists, as well as extensive networking opportunities. The ACVIM Forum was first held in New Orleans in 1983 and had 350 attendees. Today it has grown to more than 3,000 attendees and offers over 450 hours of continuing education credit.
As a company focused on education surrounding cannabis use in veterinary medicine, we believe our attendance is important so that we may provide professionals with an understanding of the science behind this novel therapy. Through that education process, we help them feel comfortable recommending it to their clients. We aim to bridge the gap between the needs of these professionals and a ground-based movement wherein their clients are using cannabis-based products on their pets before Western research and education have provided this support. Canna Companion’s annual attendance helps:
- Provide education
- Serve as a resource for them and their clients
- Offer a consistent and clean hemp product line specifically designed for use in companion animals
- Encourage conversations between medical professionals.
We also learn a lot from the lectures and the conversations with attendees. This year some of the interesting topics we learned about include the endocannabinoid system (ECS) physiology, observed patient responses, and legal restrictions on veterinarians with regards to cannabis-based therapies. With regard to the ECS we learned the research community understands we more about it than most previously thought… and realize just how little we understand as whole. Not an uncommon situation for scientists! We were informed by attendees that even if they didn’t recommend it, they do see improvements in their patients whose pet parents elect to administer a hemp-based products, including our own. Lastly, we learned while some states prohibit doctors from discussing the pros and cons of cannabis supplementation, others simply state that prescriptions may not be written for marijuana or CBD derived from marijuana due to its schedule 1 status. We intend to contact such states’ veterinary boards to help educate them on the topic.
Among our many conversations with attendees, one that stood out was when an ultrasound technician came up to let us know our product had helped her dog with osteosarcoma, a nasty type of bone cancer. Her beloved friend was able to maintain quality of life for four months allowing their bond to shine bright. While we were saddened to hear of the dog’s passing, she felt like she had time to adjust and say goodbye, all while not having to watch her best friend suffer. That is our primary goal: to support the ECS in such a way as to relieve suffering and improve the human-animal bond. We then began a lively discussion regarding her current pup who is in need of GI and immune system support.
Our favorite part of the conference was getting to explain our philosophy of supporting the ECS as it functions normally, using ratios and entourage effect, to help our patients feel better using lower doses. We do not need to use doses currently reported in canine-centric literature as our products provide a balanced assortment of compounds the ECS can use more efficiently with fewer adverse side effects (e.g. elevated ALP, which we have not had reported in 20 years of administering these compounds to dogs and cats). There were several lectures on ECS normal function and we were heartened the information we provided was also provided in the lecture hall; our peers listened intently and asked intelligent questions – education at its best!
We always enjoy an opportunity wherein we may both receive and provide education on this increasingly common therapy. We look forward to attending next year’s ACVIM Forum in Baltimore, MD.