THERE is a craze going around at the moment for all things ganja. Oil, butter, cookies, vapours, elixirs, and so forth. Let’s examine the facts.• Three marijuana sub-component drugs are already licenced (for nausea, multiple sclerosis and mild-moderate pain) overseas – big pharma isn’t hiding the benefits, drug legislation makes it illegal or very hard for them to research it. These are not available in SA.• Dogs and cats are extremely sensitive to the psychoactive and medical side effects of these compounds, but not necessarily to the benefits, due to physiological receptor differences. For example, heart rate and blood pressures changes and vomiting are common side effects in several reports from veterinary emergency centres in countries where medical and illegal marijuana use is widespread.• Efficacy for nausea does not = efficacy for cancer. In fact, every well-constructed scientific and field study on this has failed thus far. The medical scientist who can prove a marked benefit over traditional oncology therapies would be a medical hero (which cure 95% of testicular and 70% of breast cancer, for example). It’s like saying that because penicillin if great for bacterial infections, it’s wonderful for strokes. Huh? How did that leap occur?There’s a lot more to know about the specific interactions of drug ? receptor ? tissue ? organism ? disease. If you want to study this, go get a degree and make it your PhD thesis and life’s work. Otherwise you are experimenting on your animal, and break the law, nogal. Don’t expect your vet to tell the cops he prescribed a schedule 8 drug for your cat (even if it’s a Cheshire cat) - Dr Anthony Zambelli.