If you think CBD oil is just for humans, think again. Lots of people are using CBD oil for their pets to treat a number of conditions naturally. CBD is one of the more than 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Many of them are also being investigated for their potential benefits. It’s important to remember that CBD will not get your pet High because it is not psychoactive like the other cannabinoid we know so well, THC.
The good thing about CBD is that it has no known toxicity level and is therefore incapable of causing an overdose. CBD found in cannabis pet supplements usually comes from hemp which is a variety of cannabis but naturally contains extremely low concentrations of THC.
CBD interacts with the body via the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, which is something all mammals have. It is involved in managing a number of biological processes including sleep, immune response, pain response, memory, appetite and more.
The ECS is mainly made up of two types of cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. These receptors are built to interact with the endocannabinoids that our brains naturally produce. But, they can also interact with plant-derived cannabinoids like CBD known as phytocannabinoids. This is what allows them to provide health benefits.
While the majority of these findings come from studies on live animals like rats or clinical trials on humans, the effects of CBD are similar in humans, dogs, cats, and other pets. Like humans, dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid system that functions much the same way as the human ECS does.
It’s worth noting that because of legal restrictions, veterinary research studies to optimize doses that are safe and effective for numerous medical conditions are difficult to conduct and are expensive, to boot. There’s scarce pharmacological data on animals, but we do know that dogs metabolize cannabinoids in a different way than humans. We also know that cats are highly different from dogs – they metabolize things differently to the point where they cannot use the same drugs dogs use for pain because their livers won’t tolerate it, according to Ellevet.
Plus many of the conditions we know CBD helps with, such as anxiety, convulsions, and pain manifest in our pets the same way they do in us.
When it comes to finding the right CBD product for your pets, you should look for an organic CBD oil that is free from pesticides, fungicides, and solvents. The higher the quality and purity of the final product, the more you can expect to pay for it – so don’t shop based on price alone. Though you can buy dog and cat treats with CBD in them, it’s best to administer it as either an oil or a tincture because it makes it easier to control the dose you give to your pets.
In terms of anxiety relief, Ellevet’s research indicates that cats respond to it better for anxiety relief than dogs do, but the half-life of hemp oil is only two hours in cats. That means they need a higher dose more frequently than a dog of the same size.
It’s thought that the best CBD oil works to relieve anxiety in a similar way that it does for humans, by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.
In a July 2018 study, the first of its kind, published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, it was found that CBD oil helped improve comfort and activity in dogs living with osteoarthritis. The study revealed that 2 mg/kg of CBD twice a day helped the most. Though pharmaceutical alternatives such as amantadine and gabapentin are often advocated, there is little evidence to suggest they are helpful for dogs with chronic or neuropathic pain related to OA.
Initial research from a July 2018 study assessing CBD for dogs with epilepsy found that 89% o dogs who received CBD in a clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. Though it was a small sample of only 16 dogs, nine of them were treated with CBD, while the seven in the placebo group were treated with a placebo.
A larger study, funded by the American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation, featuring 60 dogs, is underway.
Antiemetic is just a fancy word for a drug that prevents vomiting. In humans and in dogs, nausea and vomiting can lead to dehydration, fatigue, decreased appetite, and more. The drugs that are often given to treat nausea and vomiting often cause side effects, such as lower seizure thresholds for animals with epilepsy, low blood pressure, excessive drooling, strong sedation and more.
Promotes Overall Health and Wellbeing
CBD can promote homeostasis, which is the proper functioning of the body. This happens when our bodies are balanced and all our biological systems are functioning to the best of their ability. That balance can be thrown off when illness or disease strikes.
New research suggests that the ECS plays a key role in maintaining the balance because it is involved in such a wide array of bodily processes. Researchers suggest that by stimulating the ECS, CBD can help promote overall health and wellbeing.
It’s also worth noting that in most states, veterinarians cannot recommend or prescribe CBD or other cannabis products for your pet, regardless of their personal or professional opinion. Each state has its own veterinary board, and that board follows federal law in regards to medical cannabis.
Even in California, where cannabis is legal for all adults, the state veterinary medical board clearly states, “There is nothing in California law that would allow a veterinarian to prescribe, recommend, or approve marijuana for treating animals. Veterinarians are in violation of California law if they are incorporating cannabis into their practices.”
And though CBD itself isn’t harmful to pets, THC, on the other hand, can poison your pets – on a weight proportionate dose.