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Anna the dog and Alzheimer's

Anna and Alzheimer’s

A dog’s dignified demise using cannabis

In the spring of 2008 I received a call from my friend and an Australian Shepherd breeder and trainer. He had just returned from the vet with oldest (13 yrs) bitch Anna, and sadly the diagnosis was Alzheimer’s.

The classic symptoms included:

1. Incontinence.

2. Inability to find her way out of a corner.

3. Loss of desire to go for walks.

4. Loss of desire to socialize with the other four dogs.

The vet's Aricept prescription was expensive and had only diminishing benefits, so he called me; the most knowledgeable person he knew on alternative methods of treatment for the disease.

I am not a doctor, but am primary care giver for my Stage 7 Alzheimer's mother using cannabis therapy, which was Richard's primary area of interest.  He is also the breeder from whom I got my current 12 year old red Aussie Maggie, an accomplished lover and one of the greatest joys in my life.

I had previously supplied him with my sedative July 4th cannabis formulation for noise sensitive dogs, and he was more than pleased with its effectiveness, while being more gentle and less discombobulating than the alternatives.

I shared my insight into the medical benefits of coconut oil, cinnamon, and cannabis for Alzheimer’s with him, and formulated a more dilute version of our Holy Shit version for Anna to try, which I dubbed Holy Puppy Oil.

He began dosing Anna in daily meals with the amazing results that follow:

1. Anna regained control of her bladder, although they diapered her at night and no longer allowed her to sleep on their bed.

2. She no longer got lost in corners.

3. She regained her excitement for daily walks, even occasionally  begging for extended lengths.

4. She resumed her rightful pack position, and both her bossy matriarchal and playful attitude toward the other dogs returned.

In the fall of that year I received a call from my friend telling me that the previous night Anna had problems breathing and did not want to climb the stairs to their room. So he made a bed for himself on the floor curled up with her, his first of many Auzzies.

He held her in his arms while they slept together, and in that peaceful closeness with her human friend, Anna slipped away peacefully.

Cannabis didn't save sweet Anna from death, but it provided her with another six months of quality life and a kinder closure for both her and her best friend.

For further documentation of our use of cannabis with Alzheimer’s, see:


By Eloquentsolution


Image credit: Elf, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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  2. Pj Roberts

    My 10 yr old Dachshund has an inoperable liver tumor for over a year. We began giving him hemp oil with no the when we received the diagnosis. We can definitely tell difference the only time we ran out for a few days until it came in mail. We also began giving it to our 9 yr old Jack Russell for arthritis in her hips. Would thc be more beneficial for them? They are getting older but would like to improve their quality of life. I am purchasing a butter machine for processing pot and joined their online group. Any suggestions for giving my dogs thc and how to determine how much to give daily? Thank you in advance!

  3. Cliff

    I am a 45 year old guy interested in phytochemistry and applications of such for supplements, nutrition and pharmacokinetic research, I blundered into this line of research and lifestyle 20 some years ago whilst painfully and sometimes painlessly groping my way out of heroin addiction. health in decline these days, a bit broken in spirit due to losing a few business's involved in ethnobotanical research/supply and having to opt out of a website forum associated with opiate research and addict/pain patient community support, my struggle sometimes gets the better of my humor and will. Thanks to my wife starting a dog walking business 6 years ago, as my business's and projects slowly declined I had the dog walking/pet sitting business to turn to, I slowly slipped, sank, was squeezed out of a moderately arrogant self perception stance that I was a tour de force as provider of income for our marriage/lifestyle. I realized a few years ago that my time and earned income with the dogs and other animals we care for was one of the greatest benefits and medicines in my life, that without which I would not have had 6 years of near constant time with my chihuahua Siri whom I have spent only 2 nights away from in the last 6 years. I was able to avoid seeking other employment for most of that 6 years, which has afforded me a home life that allows us to take care of 3 cats (one deceased) and the dog and 2 birds. over the last 2 years we have lost clientele, 5 dogs, most of age related conditions, all of whom were ages of at least 14 years. One of those dogs I provided care to sometimes multiple trips a day for 3-7 day a week for over a 6 month period, Canyon was suffering a degenerative myelin sheath condition, and was a real inspiration to me, a measure of suffering that kept my own health decline in perspective at times in regards to self pity. I was able to be with him and his family when respiratory issues demanded his release. I stumbled across this webpage while researching sceletium alkaloid activity , my attention span and focus issues consistently lead me in many directions online and I ended up sliding into flavanone chemistry which bled into CB1 agonists. A bit of light was gleaned when I started perusing skunk pharm research, sometimes I relish my ADD condition when I bump into good things unexpectedly, like this story of Anna the dog. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and let my resentments color my life shitty, especially when it comes to issues associated with the FDA and DEA. Last night a good friend in Oregon and ex business partner was bowled over by media attention and FDA incursion into his life and business for the sale of caffeine powder. Hard to believe one of the worlds top grossing commodities, albeit a fairly toxic substance in reality, could garner so much hype overnight when most of the companies implicated are actually fairly responsible in their handling and marketing of such.....probably much more so than the myriad of corporations marketing beverages and pills with complex formulations and many of which providing little to no milligram per gram ratio information on their labels. I reside in Idaho, most of my life, around 50 minutes from Oregon, so any legal cannabinoid research I can engage is limited to endogenous natural products and the uncontrolled status natural products that have cannabinoid activity. Its encouraging to see some potential flourishing in these parts, I am impressed, impressed to say the least and moved to tears by the humanity of your efforts. pretty much kick ass folks! and food for my will in regards to reminding myself that getting knocked down by ignorant/predatory regulatory systems needn't enable dragging my own ass down by feeding into depression, vile resentments, envy and other energy wasting time sucking pathologies...... gots to be denied. I had a vision some 9 years ago that the cannabis movement was going to go state to state and probably be a unique force in the world, despite the DEA's influence or domination strategies.......that was a thin vision that held some truth, but I got to say, the colorful bounty flourishing here eclipses that pale picture by a mean margin.

  4. Peter Romno

    This is an awesome website! I have a few questions and anyone with any information would help considerably. My dog is suffering from some sort of bone cancer. The vet says it's pretty much a hopeless situation, but I have to be thorough and I have come across some data recently that I have no real easy way of experimenting with. I watched Cannabis Destiny a Kevin Booth film and there was a reference to Rick Simpson Oil. Rick claimed that perhaps the dog could be helped. My understanding is that the dosage needed to facilitate any change is very large. I understand the decarboxylation procedure, I think. It seems to me that cannabis high in CBD would need to be decarbed at a higher temperature, possibly destroying the THC or converting all of it to CBN, which apparently doesn't have the desired effect that THC does on Cancer cells (at least under a slide). Well, here's my problem. How do I appropriately dose my dog with enough THC, without causing her all of the disorienting and psychoactive effects? It's obvious that getting a dog 'high' is uncomfortable to them. I have a CBD rich strain called Sour Tsunami and one called Pennywise, but I have no lab tests to see the profile. Even if I did, I'm not sure how to achieve consistency. Our co-op did a test with four different labs, with different cuttings from the same plants. ALL of the results...once again ALL of the results came back different, even from the same lab. Whisky Tango Foxtrot, folks! After spending nearly 10 years learning, growing, reading countless posts and books, I realize how little I still know. If anyone has a good recipe for something that might help my dog, I would so appreciate it. Thanks.

    1. Blake

      Do not worry too much about making your dog uncomfortable, They adapt quite well. I use measured drops on Harley's gums. He swallows some but some is absorbed through his gums which is more effective as it is not processed through his stomach etc. The drops I use are designed for dogs with cancer, while they may not cure your pets cancer they will certainly make him/her happier in the meantime.

  5. Blake

    Harley's Progress: The medium in which all the store bought products is diluted is olive oil extracted using crock pot methods explained on this web page. Harley is on a roll, only two seizures this month. Increasing the CBD over THC ratio seems to have created a positive trend in Harley's seizure activity. Right now mixing 4 1/2 mls Petzoil4x to 250mgs pure CBD to 21mls extracted olive oil. He gets approx. 10 drops 4 to 5 times/day. A mix lasts about 3 weeks. If this trend continues we will further reduce his Phena Barb and Pot. Bromide in the coming month.

    1. Accidental Medicine

      Hi Blake-- Just a thought here, but remember, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! The oil base you are using for Harley's meds is great because it is sticky and hopefully sticking to his mouth, and coating a wide area of his mouth, thus enhancing absorption. However we do know that cannabinoids are fat-loving molecules, so theoretically a good portion of the medication is adhering to the oil base, and probably getting swallowed rather than absorbed. I wonder if we might enhance sublingual absorption by incorporating a high-CBD extract into a *sticky but water-based* liquid base instead of olive oil? Carla of SPR/Specialized Formulations and I have had very good results incorporating cannabis extract into a water-based lozenge for humans. It needs to be dissolved slowly under the tongue. It seems to enhance absorption as well as lead to longer-lasting effects, because the cannabinoids want to "flee" the water base toward the fatty layers of tissue under the skin! Of course a canine cannot hold a lozenge under the tongue...but I bet we could formulate a water-based yet thick drop that you could drop under his tongue and perhaps spread around his gums. Just a thought to try if it appears at some point that enhanced absorption might be needed. But as I said earlier, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! Best, Pharmerkate

      1. Blake Pearce

        It seems impossible to not have Harley swallow most of the oil concoction. We put drops on both sides of his mouth on his gums and give the area a quick rub. I would be interested in using another type of medium, one which would hang around longer on his gums and thus less of the medicine going through his digestive system and more hopefully being absorbed directly into his blood stream. As to Harley's condition we are maintaining pretty well, averaging one/week and on occasion having to rectally inject one ml of diazepam(spelling) when the intensity is just too much and too long. The seizures never end with the injection immediately but it seems to relax him and then he works his way through the rest of the seize but generally without any more GM's. Always a bit of a guessing game whether to rectal inject or not. NO permanent damage as near as we can tell which is a good thing. Thanks for your continued interest. Keep up the good work.

  6. Blake

    Ok an update is in order for Harley: The Cannapet caps seemed to indicate a positive trend. I was not happy with the lack of actual ingredients listed with the product. Upon questioning the company they did not give any info on actual ingredients. Also it did not mix well with the honey oil as it was composed of granular plant material. We located a US company (CBDplus) that would ship to Canada and the stuff just arrived. It mixes well and the % CBD (25%) is listed which helps when figuring dosage. We have maintained Harley's RX drugs at 25mgsPB/twice/day plus 1.0mls Liquid Pot. Bro. He is still having seizures but we are pleased with increased length of time between fits and intensity levels which have lessened as well. With the CBD mixing well with honey oil here's hoping the synergy will create the right balance for Harley. It has been a moving target up until now. We get a mix that seems to work for a while and then Harley has a cluster of seizures on a daily basis, sometimes as many as three one hour seizes/day. This type of seizure activity weakens Harley as you can imagine. Fortunately on a positive trend right now. In Dr. Kate's section she has an excellent post on how the oils work and some methods of application for pets. Good info there. We will be administering ~ ten drops/four times/day sometimes five if he is really active. If my mixing is correct he will be imbibing ~ 20mgs of CBD/day mixed with the same ratio of Petzoil as before (1 1/2 mls lasts about 7 days once diluted, not sure of THC/CBD ratio). I dilute the oil with vegetable oil or olive oil. I did one batch with coconut oil but it solidifies at room temperature which makes it impractical for use with the droppers. Further update in a few weeks once this new mix of oil has a chance to work.

    1. Blake

      Forgot to add that we also stopped with the rectal injections. We do have diazepan (spelling?) on hand if he gets in real trouble. The vet explained that permanent organ damage can result if the seizures become prolonged and severe. We also put an ice pack on his neck and back during seizures and support his head under his chin with some light pressure on his eyes with other hand during GM's.

  7. Blake Pearce

    Sorry my metric senses have never really developed that well. I stated 150 mls of Pot. Bro. Should read 1.5 mls Pot. Bro. not 150mls which is approx 1/3 teaspoon to put it into proper perspective.

  8. Blake Pearce

    Harley's update. At present we are down to 25mgs/meal/twice/day with 150mls liquid Pot.Bro. with breakfast. He gets the five Petzoil drops four times/day and more often if he is being really active. Harley still has seizures which all seem to progress to Gran Mal status now. He is under the influence of the seizure for approx. 45 minutes from onset but the Gran Mals are usually only for a few minutes. We rectally inject Harley with 150mls of Pot. Bro. when the seizures begin. A brief history. Harley presented his first seizure two days after we got him. The seizures occurred sporadically at first, the longest gap was three months during his second year. The seizures began to get more intense and frequent into the latter part of his second year. We considered putting him down as the combination of meds and seizure recovery were becoming his whole life. Our vet is open minded and we started looking for alternate methods as conventional ones were not cutting it. We started with the protocol mentioned in my previous post. Recently Harley went through a cluster of seizures which is always a frightening experience. Not sure what is the cause of this epilepsy but it is not going away. One change since the last post is all the seizures now progress to the full body seizure state whereas we had a period when giving him drops seemed to forgo this stage. I have just received some Cannapet capsules which are legal over the counter CBD. My concern is the CBD/THC ratio of the Petzoil favours THC. From online research on the epileptic webpages there is speculation that THC, being psychoactive, may trigger some forms of seizures. As CBD mitigates the psychoactive properties of THC my theory is increasing the CBD content of the honey oil will reduce the possibility of any THC induced seizures. A lot of guesswork on my part here and so much room for proper research to be done on the various synergies involved with the many medicinally active properties. I would love to get my hands on a GLC to do chemical analysis of the the medicine we are trying to concoct for Harley. The cluster seems to be in the past now, always a frightening experience watching your little buddy go through seizures; never sure if there will be permanent damage. So far everything is moving in a positive direction. I will get back to you once the CBD infusion into Harley's meds. has been established and any positive discernable patterns are detected.

  9. Blake Pearce

    Not exactly on topic but my young Brittany has had seizures since 10 weeks. The seizures were escalating out of control and conventional meds. (PhenoBarb. 200mgs/day and 400 ml Pot Bro.) were useless. I was injecting Harley with 400 ml Pot. Bro. rectally when he went Gran Mal which had become a daily occurance. 14 weeks ago started using a honey oil (called Petzoil and designed for pets with cancer) out of The Dispensary in Vancouver. To this point have reduced his meds by 60%. He gets three drops/4 times /day on his gums. If he starts to seize we immediately apply about 10 drops. He relaxes after a few minutes. In the last 14 weeks we have had to administer the rectal three times as seizures would not settle. He is now averaging one seizure/week instead of daily and they are less intense. After about six months of intense research I happened upon your webpage. Thanks for a great resource. I will keep you updated as I hope to wean Harley off the Pheno. barb and Pot. Bro. completely over the next few months. People with pets prone to seizures should start looking to this, also works great topically to take away bug bite itch.

  10. Doe Renée

    We all have a terminal disease.. life :).. so one could argue that cannabis did save her from death, just a little longer.. and of course-- made her life better :)

  11. jennifer

    May I ask, what your dilution for animals? we have a doxie with severe back problems and we are about to make some HSO, for his masters. Maybe we can heal them all at once?

  12. Lizzy

    Thanks for all your hard work and generosity in sharing! I love this site xxx I have a relatively young (6 yrs) mixed breed dog, about 80 lbs. He has just been diagnosed with glaucoma in one eye. Do you have any knowledge about using mmj to reduce eye pressure or any other benefits? I have been making glycerin oil extractions for medibles, and could give him some of those or use drops, but how do I determine the dose? by weight? (I am in a non-mmj state, so can't get it from the vet.) I am not finding much information on line regarding mmj use for dogs.

    1. skunkpharmresearch

      No personal experience with dog glaucoma, but have it seen it work for people. Here is a link to the Granny Stormcrow list of glaucoma studies, which may have some useful information, starting on page 336.

    1. skunkpharmresearch

      I don't remember making that promise, so perhaps you can further elaborate? In my dotage, my memory was the second thing to go and I don't remember what the first was. We have a GC, not a GC/MS, and after our scheduled maintenance and recalibration this weekend, we can run a reclaim sample. Are we looking for anything in particular, or just the general profile?

  13. Nima Kia

    You guys are really leading the industry. Keep it up! I have a quick question, which of the six terpene standards did you choose to go with first? Do you purchase standards through Restek or have you found somewhere better?

  14. David Egerton

    Just a tip to get you started - rather than waiting for analytical grade reference standards, you can use essential oils to find the retention times you are looking for. To do this, look for essential oils that come with a CoA so that you can get a rough approximation of what to expect. I think you'll find many of them to be quite pure, and at a fraction of the cost of the standards. eg, Orange Oil is often better than 80% d-limonene. Keep up the good work!

  15. Dr teeth

    I don't know much about how mmj testing labs test various components of marijuana, but am I to assume that this device is what they used to test all the different THCs, CBD and CBN? If so, how does it work?

    1. skunkpharmresearch

      Yes, as well as the terpenes, residual solvents, and pesticides. 40ml of alcohol is mixed with .05grams of oil, which we inject into the machine. It heats the material and puts it through a column packed with an absorbent, that allows the different constituets in the injected material to exit the other end of the column at different rates. When the different constituets pass out the end, a flame ionizing detector records their presence and relative volume, by ploting the results on a line graph. Prior to injecting the sample, standards for all of the constituets we are looking to identify were indected into the machine and their peaks identified to the software. The software then knows how to label the same peaks when the samples are run.

      1. luc336

        Well thanks Eloquentsolution for this article. I wish I would have known about cannabis beneficial properties about 15 yrs ago when my 13 yr old canine son became ill. Luc

        1. skunkpharmresearch

          yes, i understand how you feel. when my friend needed her femur pinned from a jump out the second story window onto a concrete sidewalk, cannabis was the drug of choice to sedate for healing. it was much easier to administer, i just wiped it on her tongue. the effects were immediate without medication withdrawal at the end of four months it took for a ten year old dog to heal.

      1. frank l jones

        I just must say after reading this , may all of you be blessed, may all beings be free from suffering , thank you all at the shack ya know im just about 60 years old I gotta say you folks remind me of growing up in the real spirit of the late 60ies and eary 1970s when it was about , come on people now, smile on your bros and sisters,it seemed so real then, it sliped away. thank you for the reminder of caring,we have come far with mmj ,yet so far yet to travel flj

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