Across the country, medical marijuana is emerging is an alternative medication for a variety of ailments. But did you know that it can be used for pets too?
Research studies consistently show the positive impact of CBD on inflammation, immune system deficiencies, and other illnesses. Just as CBD has helped humans, your dog or other pet can reap the same health-boosting benefits.
Whether your dog has chronic pain, cancer, seizures, or anxiety, CBD oil can help treat the symptoms.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about CBD for dogs.
Before we get into the specific benefits of CBD oil for your pets, let’s first cover some of the basics about CBD first. Many pet owners want to know: is CBD safe for animals? How does it work?
Here’s some information about CBD oil–what it is and how it interacts with the body.
What is CBD?
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis. It’s one of many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, many of which are often studied for their health benefits.
Most pet supplements containing CBD are sourced from hemp, which has little to no concentration of THC. THC is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana.
This means that CBD is non-psychoactive–so it won’t get your pet high and is completely safe to use. It also has no toxicity and it is difficult to overdose on.
How Does It Work?
CBD acts upon the endocannabinoid system in the body. This system is found in all mammals, and it helps manage your immune response, memory, and sleep. It maintains homeostasis in the body, keeping everything balanced internally.
Your endocannabinoid system naturally produces cannabinoids, which interact with receptors in your brain. But these receptors can also interact with plant-derived cannabinoids, like CBD.
Just like humans, dogs, cats, and other pets also have an endocannabinoid system. When CBD interacts with their endocannabinoid, it triggers a beneficial response in the rest of the body.
Are There Any Risks?
Like any medication, there’s always the risk of overdose. THC has high toxicity, but most strains of CBD–especially those marketed towards pets–should have low levels of THC if any at all.
Always examine the CBD oil or treats that you’re giving your pet to make sure there aren’t high levels of THC. If it’s not clear on the label, try to get a lab analysis to assess the levels of THC in the product.
Be sure to follow any dosing recommendations. If you suspect your pet has overdosed, take them to a veterinarian immediately.
In general, there’s little to no risk to dogs from medical cannabis, including CBD oil. Toxicity is more likely to occur from eating a product that contains chocolate, coffee, or raisins.
That being said, dogs can become sick from eating large quantities of regular cannabis. Be sure to give them CBD that is designed for dogs, not for humans.
How Is it Administered?
Although there are some topical treatments with CBD oil, most treatments are administered orally.
In some cases, this is administered by dropping CBD oil into food or directly into the mouth of the pet. Other CBD products come in the form of treats that you can directly feed to your pet.
Use the suggested dosing for a dog or other animal of its weight and size. If you’re not sure how much to administer, speak with your veterinarian first to get their recommendation.
Benefits of CBD for Dogs
CBD is just as safe for dogs as it is for humans–and it can have many of the same health benefits. It can be used to treat nausea, stress, anxiety, arthritis, pain, symptoms of cancer, and gastrointestinal issues, among other health conditions in dogs.
Unlike some traditional medication for pets, CBD oil for dogs doesn’t have any life-threatening side effects and is perfectly safe with proper dosage.
1. CBD is a Painkiller
One of the most well-known effects of CBD is its ability as a powerful painkiller. Whether your dog suffers from chronic pain, arthritis, or is simply suffering from an injury, CBD can help take the edge off of the pain.
Traditional medications often have a sedating property, but CBD will allow your pets to continue their day to day lives.
It can help dogs and other animals manage their pain–and it relaxes the muscles to reduce any additional stress that the pain may have caused.
2. CBD is Anti-Inflammatory
As dogs get older, conditions like arthritis can affect hips and other leg joints. This causes pain, difficulty walking, and even a loss of sleep and appetite. CBD can soothe inflammation in joints and tissue.
This will help your dog feel like a puppy again–and get them back to running, jumping, and sitting with less pain and inflammation.
3. CBD Reduces Anxiety
CBD has a calming and soothing effect. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, chronic stress, or phobias, CBD might be able to help.
For humans, CBD can reduce anxiety, lessen the impact of panic disorders, and help sufferers manage post-traumatic stress disorder. For animals, it has a similar effect.
CBD can help pets stay calm, relaxed, happy–no matter the circumstances.
4. CBD Can Help Fight Cancer
When your pet develops cancer, it can be devastating. But CBD is found to have an anti-tumor effect, and it can help your pet manage the symptoms of cancer.
In some studies, CBD has even been shown to stop cancer cells from growing and increase tumor cell death.
Here are some of the ways CBD can help your pet fight cancer:
- Boosts the immune system to cause cancer cell death
- Kills cancer cells
- Slows and inhibits the growth of cancer cells
- Increases the efficacy of standard cancer treatments
- Reduces the pain of cancer symptoms
For the best effect, pet owners can combine CBD with more traditional cancer treatment to help their pet beat their cancer.
While it can help them manage the symptoms and potentially reverse cancerous growth, CBD can’t promise a cure. A pet’s recovery is dependent on a number of additional factors–but CBD can help your chances.
5. CBD Can Treat Seizures
While traditional drugs like phenobarbital and potassium bromide can help dogs suffering from seizures or epilepsy, these treatments have other damaging side effects.
Dogs treated for seizures or epilepsy are more vulnerable to liver problems and damage to internal organs. And for some dogs, these treatments don’t help at all.
Research shows that CBD works well in cases of drug-resistant epilepsy. Most patients showed a definite improvement.
CBD oil can reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures in dogs–and can even treat epilepsy long term.
6. CBD Can Control Appetite
When dogs get older or if they’re sick, it may be difficult to get your dog to eat. Whether it’s nausea, sickness, anxiety, or another issue, dogs and other animals sometimes lose their appetite.
CBD is antiemetic, which means that it can control and repress nausea or vomiting. It also can stimulate your pet’s appetite and encourage them to eat more.
7. CBD Boosts Cardiovascular Health
CBD isn’t just helpful for conditions and disease, but it can help keep your pet’s cardiovascular system healthy.
Studies show that regular use of CBD oil can reduce the effect of damaged blood vessels. It can also improve irregular heart rates, protect blood vessels, dilate the arteries, and reduce blood pressure.
It also reduces blood pressure and heart rate associated with stress and anxiety.
8. CBD Promotes Overall Health
Pets are shown to improve your health over the long term. Why not offer them the same benefit?
Many pet owners don’t use CBD for a specific illness or condition, but rather as a regular health supplement. It can keep your pet’s immune system strong and to maintain homeostasis in their bodies.
When used over the long term, it can even help extend your dog or other pet’s lifespan.
The Bottom Line
Now that CBD has become a widely accepted treatment for a variety of ailments, it’s time to introduce CBD for dogs.
The bottom line is, CBD can be a health boosting and even life-saving herb for your pet. CBD can also be used for horses. Learn more about CBD for horses.
More and more pet owners are opting for CBD as an alternative for traditional medications–or even using it in combination with other treatments. With few side effects and its wide range of benefits, CBD might just be the solution that your pet needs.
Looking for more tips to stay on top of your health? Check out our health and fitness section for more articles!