CBD For Pets: Everything You Need to Know

Don’t we all want to improve the quality of our pets’ lives? You’ve probably heard about CBD for pets. CBD is growing in popularity. Studies show that it contributes to your pet’s well-being. It also helps with various conditions that your dog or cat could be suffering from.



In today’s guide, you’ll learn its basics. Ready? 



Let’s jump right in. 



What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It’s one of the compounds or cannabinoids that industrial hemp produces. Hemp is a particular strain of the Cannabis sativa plant.



Pet owners who are new to cannabidiol tend to ask this question: 



“Will my pet get high?” 



The answer is no. 



And this is a common misconception we need to clear up. Cannabidiol won’t pose a risk of addiction. The reason is that it doesn’t contain Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive substance.



What is CBD made of?

As we mentioned earlier, it comes from the hemp plant. Manufacturers would extract it from hemp. After that, the extract will be diluted with a carrier oil. This carrier oil could be hemp seed, olive oil, unrefined MCT oil, or avocado oil. 



It’s essential to note that while cannabidiol is not psychoactive, it offers the same medical benefits that THC offers. 



At this point, you might be wondering: 



What are its therapeutic advantages? 



What conditions can it help treat or manage? 



Read on to find out. 



For which health problems is CBD used?

Common Pet Health Problems Treated With CBD

Cannabidiol benefits vertebrate animals in that it acts on their endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system regulates balance in your pet’s body. 



With that, it makes sure that your animal functions normally.



Here are eight common health problems that it can help with:



1. Arthritis

Arthritis is a common problem among senior dogs. Does your dog seem off? Is he or she having difficulty moving? 



Arthritis causes pain. It makes it difficult for animals to live normal lives. Cannabidiol oil offers pain management. It reduces inflammation and swelling in their joints. 



A clinical trial showed the effect of cannabidiol on osteoarthritis. The subjects were 22 client-owned dogs with confirmed osteoarthritis [1]. 



The dogs randomly received two treatments for 4 weeks. These were placebo oil and cannabidiol oil. 16 dogs completed the trial [1]. 



The result?



A dosage of 2 mg/kg of cannabidiol oil, twice daily, helped increase their comfort and activity [1]. 



This natural form of treatment could replace routine NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) that cause side effects. Furthermore, NSAIDS affect the kidney function of dogs with kidney disease [1, 2]. 



2. Anxiety and noise phobia 

The sound of fireworks. You leaving the house. An illness. Social stressors.



These are some of the things that give your pup or cat anxiety. Whether the anxiety is situational or behavioral in nature, CBD helps. With the correct dosage, it can effectively soothe and calm their nerves.



Jeffrey Powers is a veterinarian in Michigan and vice chairman of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents. He shares about his dog’s fear of fireworks and credits cannabidiol for helping ease it [3].



3. Seizures

A recent study showed that 89% of dogs with epilepsy had reduced seizures. Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a neurologist, said that the higher the CBD concentration in the dog’s blood, the more significant the seizure reduction [4].



Another study revealed how it offers neuroprotection. This 2008 study involved newborn piglets that had brain damage. CBD helped the piglets recover without inducing any side effects [5].



4. Cancer

Pet parents dread the word “cancer.” But if it happens, know that cannabidiol is one of the remedies you can turn to. 



While it does not cure cancer, it helps your pet avoid its troublesome symptoms. These symptoms include loss of appetite, fatigue, and joint pain. 



The truth is, more research is needed to understand the effect of cannabidiol on cancer. 
But let’s consider one study about glioblastoma – an aggressive type of cancer. According to the study, cannabinoids kill glioblastoma cells in animal models. Furthermore, they prevented these cells from multiplying [6].



5. Skin allergies

If your dog or cat has allergies, they scratch themselves like crazy. You want to stop this scratching because you know that it can lead to open wounds and infection. CBD relieves the skin. It reduces allergic reactions and helps your pet stay calm. 



Here’s what a recent survey revealed:



Pet owners endorse hemp products because they believe that it relieves several symptoms. One of these is pruritus or severe itching of the skin [1]. 



Such claim is also backed by an immunohistochemical study which suggested this:



Cannabinoids provide protection against inflammatory allergic disorders [1].



6. Stomach problems

Full-spectrum hemp oil helps resolve gut issues in animals, as it does in humans. If your pet has a digestive problem, visit a veterinarian right away. 



It’s essential that your vet identifies the root cause of the problem. Aside from treating it, your vet will manage uncomfortable symptoms like nausea and vomiting.



Cannabidiol can relieve these symptoms as mentioned by a 2012 study [7]. Another study showed that it stimulates your pet’s appetite and boosts food intake [8, 9].



7. Ear infections

Dogs with big and floppy ears need extra attention. They’re prone to ear infections. However, ear infections also happen because of a poor diet or dust mites. Giving your canine or feline CBD oil works wonders on your pet’s ears minus the negative side effects of NSAIDS. 



Cannabidiol relieves symptoms that are associated with ear infections. These are itchiness, anxiety, pain, and a loss of appetite [1, 3, 9].



8. Heart disease

CBD oil helps with heart diseases like heartworm, myocardial disease, and heart failure. As a natural therapy, it increases blood flow, reduces arrhythmias, and relieves side effects of medications. 



Studies on animal models show that cannabidiol protects blood vessels from damage. This is because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects [10].



What are the possible risks and side effects?

While there are no known dangers, you can expect some side effects. These side effects are minimal, and people who take it experience them as well. 



These side effects include:

  • Drowsiness – If your pet is taking hemp oil for anxiety, he or she may feel drowsy. To reduce drowsiness, you can simply lower the dosage. 
  • Low blood pressure – A drop in blood pressure is sometimes accompanied by lightheadedness. Know that low blood pressure is temporary. 
  • Dry mouth – It reduces the production of saliva. You will notice that your pet is often thirsty. In this case, consider reducing the dose. 

Be sure to supervise your pet on CBD. If your pet takes medications for a health condition, ask your veterinarian if you can add it to the treatment plan.



Tips When Choosing CBD Oil Products

Tips To Chose The Best CBD Oil Products

Fact: Not all CBD oils are created equal. 



There are a couple of things you need to look for in a hemp product. Keep these tips in mind so you can make the right choice.



1. Go for organic.

It should be free from chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Check with the brand if they have organically grown the hemp plant.



2. Choose oils and tinctures over other forms.

While cannabidiol comes in many forms, tinctures and oils are great. By choosing the liquid form, you’ll be able to deliver the right doses and make adjustments. Also, liquids are easily absorbed by your pet’s body.



3. It should contain no THC.

Check that your CBD oil of choice contains very little to no THC. Pets can get “high” with THC. THC can also cause adverse reactions and toxicity.



4. Review its safety and efficacy.

Has it been tested or backed by research? How did the product help actual customers? You want to know what people say about the product, so do check the reviews.



5. Check the customer support.

If you have questions about the CBD oil, you should be able to reach the manufacturer right away. In return, you should get a response as soon as possible.



Conclusion

CBD for pets is a growing interest, and the pet community is excited about what it has to offer.  



If you could have a healthy and pain-free pet checklist, do you think you could add CBD to the list? 



We hope you learned from this quick guide. Take a moment to consider what it could do enhance your pet’s wellness. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask!



References:

  1. Gamble L-J et al. Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs. 2018 July 23 – https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2018.00165/full
  2. Lomas AL, Grauer GF. The renal effects of NSAIDs in dogs. 2015 May-June – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25955147
  3. Peachman RR. Should You Try CBD for Your Pet? 2019 April 11 – https://www.consumerreports.org/cbd/should-you-try-cbd-for-your-pet/
  4. Colorado State University. CBD clinical trial results on seizure frequency in dogs ‘encouraging’. 2019 May 21 – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190521101450.htm
  5. Alvarez FJ et al. Neuroprotective effects of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol in hypoxic-ischemic newborn piglets. 2008 December – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18679164
  6. Dumitru CA, Sandalcioglu IE, Karsak M. Cannabinoids in Glioblastoma Therapy: New Applications for Old Medicines. 2018 May 16 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5964193/
  7. Rock EM et al. Cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic component of cannabis, attenuates vomiting and nausea-like behaviour via indirect agonism of 5-HT(1A) somatodendritic autoreceptors in the dorsal raphe nucleus. 2012 April – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21827451
  8. Kirkham TC. Cannabinoids and appetite: food craving and food pleasure. 2009 April – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19367510
  9. NIH National Cancer Institute. Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®)–Health Professional Version. – https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/cannabis-pdq#section/all
  10. Stanley CP, Hind WH, O’Sullivan SE. Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol? 2012 June 1 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3579247/

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