Although the scientific community has yet to fully embrace cannabidiol (CBD) medical benefits in humans and animals, there have been small studies and surveys that show encouraging results.
For the unfamiliar, cannabidiol is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. It’s one of more than 80 various chemical compounds collectively called “cannabinoids.” Another major component of cannabis called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is often used in conjunction with CBD for some treatments, although in moderation, as THC is psychoactive and has the capacity to alter an individual’s state of mind.
Most CBD products, however, don’t contain THC and are classified as herbal supplements. As such, they’re mostly derived from cannabis hemp and not from marijuana — the flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of the cannabis plant. CBD products are approved for use even without a prescription, unlike medical cannabis products. CBD is not just made solely for humans, and there are products made specifically for pets. You can find CBD for dogs and cats through quite a few true trusted retailers.
If you are thinking of giving your four-legged friend some CBD products for their conditions, consider these important points about CBD use for dogs:
How does CBD work?
Cannabidiol is packed with phytocannabinoids that can imitate the body’s natural endocannabinoids, which allows it to work like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Some research suggests that CBD could push the body to generate more of its own endocannabinoids. This is seen as one of the keys to regulate the body’s overall health and well-being effectively. Like many other physiological processes, CBD is likewise believed to help manage our body’s response to inflammation and blood clotting.
Ask your vet about CBD
It’s important to note that the Veterinary Medical Association has not approved CBD use for dogs and states that veterinarians may not “administer, dispense, prescribe or recommend cannabis or its products for animals” because of the current federal and state laws that prohibit such activities.
While veterinarians are not allowed to prescribe or recommend CBD products to your pets, the laws do not stop them from discussing its use reactively. Meaning, you can ask your vet about CBD use; however, don’t expect them to open up right away. The openness around discussing alternatives like CBD would still depend on how they view things.
How does CBD work on dogs?
As mentioned, there’s been no conclusive research and data backing up claims of CBD’s efficacy to both humans and animals. What researchers know, for now, is that CBD’s possible pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties that work on humans may have the same impact with animals, dogs and cats included.
Potential health benefits of CBD for dogs
Anecdotal evidence shows that dog owners perceive CBD oil as being effective in addressing various symptoms. CBD products such as oils and treats could help address arthritis pain and even help lower anxiety in dogs.
It’s estimated that up to 60% of dogs develop this degenerative disease as they mature. However, CBD may help ease your dog’s arthritis symptoms. In fact, a 2018 study showed that CBD may be effective in relieving pain and increasing activity in dogs with osteoarthritis.
Anxiety in dogs may be triggered by various factors, usually by loud noises caused by thunderstorms, strangers, specific visual stimuli, and separation from its owner. Again, there’s no conclusive research on this issue yet. Still, it’s presumed that because CBD oil works by interacting with the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoid system, it can naturally soothe and calm feelings of anxiety.
Possible side effects of CBD use for dogs
CBD use has not been extensively studied and therefore not endorsed by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a medical treatment. Thus, there’s no existing guide on the toxic dosage.
As with any supplement, it always helps to think about the potential adverse effects of CBD oil in your dogs, which are:
- Dry mouth: CBD may cause a drop in saliva production, leading your dogs to feel thirsty.
- Lowered blood pressure: When taken in high doses, CBD is said to cause a drop in blood pressure, setting off a feeling of light-headedness.
- Drowsiness: Because of its calming effect, high doses of CBD use in dogs may cause drowsiness in your dog.
When administering CBD in your dogs, start by giving small doses and observe its effects before moving to increase the dosage. Also, read the full list of ingredients as many plants are toxic for dogs, and some products use more than just CBD in their formulas for added fragrance or other benefits.
Final thoughts about CBD use for dogs
CBD products may address various health symptoms in dogs, ranging from minor to major problems such as arthritis and cancer. As far as supplements go, they’re generally safe with proper use, so make sure to do your research on the proper doses for your furry friend.