What is CBD for Dogs? The Ultimate Guide to Hemp and CBD Oil for Dogs
With more and more pet owners seeking natural remedies for their furry friends, CBD for dogs has also become a hot topic. Check out this article to get answer on all CBD-related questions! More
The more research that is done on CBD for dogs (and CBD oils, CBD products, and CBD product in general), the more it seems capable of revolutionizing medicine as we know it. With that being said there is still plenty unknown and research is still being done all the time, So what do we know?
Many pet owners are turning to CBD oil for dogs as a way to treat various conditions, including anxiety, pain, and even cancer. There are many health claims on the topic, as well as potential health benefits on CBD's effectiveness.
But how much CBD? What are the full spectrum of benefits in CBD? Is CBD really good for a pet's health? Is CBD USDA certified organic? What vet brands approve CBD? What about the safety and side effects of CBD? Has CBD been medically reviewed? What would I use CBD products for?
In this blog post, we’ll explore what CBD for dogs is, how it may benefit dogs, and what to look for when purchasing CBD oil for your pet.
Let's Start at the Beginning: What is CBD?
CBD is a compound found in the hemp plant, which is a member of the cannabis family. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t get your dog “high" even though it is derived from the cannabis plant.
CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body, which is responsible for regulating various functions including sleep, appetite, mood, and relieving pain sensation. The ECS produces its own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, which help regulate these functions. CBD acts as a supplement to the endocannabinoids produced by the ECS, helping to maintain balance and regulate various bodily functions.
In 2018, the U.S. Congress passed and signed into law the Agriculture Improvement Act. This law removed hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act, effectively legalizing CBD if it comes from hemp. However, a few states have not removed hemp from their state’s controlled substances acts, so legality of CBD products differs across states.
CBD is marketed in many consumer products:
Over the counter medications
CBD For Dogs Is Not Psychoactive (Meaning: it does not get your dog "high")
Cannabidiol, unlike THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, will not produce any euphoric sensations. This is a very important characteristic. An inert compound allows users of CBD and hemp oil for dogs to get many medicinal benefits without the high of THC. This is huge from both a medical and a legal standpoint. Hemp derived CBD will not make your pet high, as it has no negative side effects and is well tolerated by healthy dogs.
Because of the lack of THC, Hemp oil is also safe for pets to use. Significantly, THC is toxic to animals, so you should only use CBD pet products that contain no THC or less than 0.3 percent THC.
This also means you should never give your pet CBD products made for humans because they may contain additional ingredients that are harmful to pets, including harmful amounts of THC. Needless to say, never give your pet marijuana. Only CBD. Also, always follow CBD dosage instructions.
How CBD May Benefit Dogs
CBD oil for dogs has been used to treat a wide range of conditions, including:
Anxiety and Stress: Many dogs suffer from anxiety and stress, especially during fireworks, thunderstorms, and other loud events. CBD oil has been shown to help calm anxious dogs and reduce stress.
Pain and Inflammation: CBD has natural anti-inflammatory properties and analgesic, which makes it a great option for dogs with arthritis and other chronic pain conditions. Pain management is possible after scientific evidence has shown CBD for dogs to be effective.
Seizures: Some dogs suffer from seizures and epilepsy, and CBD for dogs has been shown to help reduce the frequency and severity of seizures.
Cancer: While more research is needed, some studies suggest that CBD may have anti-tumor effects and may help with the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy in dogs with cancer.
Appetite Stimulation: Some dogs may have trouble eating, especially during illness or while undergoing treatment for a condition. CBD oil may help stimulate appetite in these dogs.
A Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine study found dogs given CBD at a rate of 4.4 mg per pound twice daily for a month showed significant improvement in pain relief and quality of life.
CBD takes about half an hour to kick in and your dog should feel the effects for about four to six hours, but this is highly dependent on your individual dog's metabolism.
What to Look for When Purchasing CBD Oil for Your Dog
When purchasing CBD oil for your dog, it’s important to look for a product that is high-quality and safe. Here are some things to look for when choosing a CBD oil for your pet:
Third-Party Testing: Look for a product that has been third-party tested for purity and potency. This will ensure that the product contains the amount of CBD that is claimed on the label and is free from harmful contaminants.
Hemp Source: Look for a product that is made from high-quality hemp that is grown organically and is free from pesticides, heavy metals, and other harmful contaminants.
CBD Concentration: Make sure to choose a product that is appropriate for your dog’s size and weight. The recommended dose of CBD for dogs is 1-5 mg per 10 pounds of body weight. Just like prescription medications, there specific dosages for CBD for dogs.
Carrier Oil: Look for a product that is made with a high-quality carrier oil, such as coconut oil, olive oil or MCT oil. These oils help improve the absorption of CBD and also provide additional health benefits for your pet.
Dosage Recommendations: Make sure to follow the dosage recommendations on the label and start with the lowest recommended dose. Gradually increase the dose as needed.
What CBD is Available for Dogs?
There are a multitude of CBD products for dogs and humans, and the list keeps growing. Hemp oil products are a hot commodity and people have caught on to this. With products including lotions, face masks, edibles, and bath bombs, there is no limit to the way you get your dose of CBD.
Oil CBD Tinctures: This form comes in a glass bottle with a little dropper so you can easily measure dosage. A CBD tincture is an alcohol-based extract. One of the best ways to give your dog CBD oil is to drop it directly into their mouth, preferably under the tongue so it absorbs directly into your dog’s bloodstream. If your dog will allow you to squirt the oil directly into their mouth, but not under their tongue then aim for the back of the tongue (not so far back that you’ll gag them, but far enough that they won’t spit it out).
Capsules: These are filled with a predetermined dose of CBD and look similar to fish oil capsules.
Infused Treats & Soft Chews: It’s easy to find companies selling CBD-infused biscuits, soft chews (which often contain other vitamins and nutrients), and even doggy ice cream. Yes, I recently saw an ad for dog-approved CBD ice cream on Instagram.
However, the most popular way of consuming CBD is through oils. The best CBD oils for dogs and humans come in many forms, such as liquid medicine or infused into a product like coconut oil or a CBD tincture.
Give your dog CBD along with breakfast or dinner. "CBD is absorbed better when given with a meal so it should be given around mealtime to maximize absorption," says Joseph Wakshlag DVM, a professor of veterinary medicine at Cornell University.
Possible Side Effects of CBD in Dogs
While there’s no scientific data on the side effects of CBD usage for dogs, there are potential side effects based on how CBD affects humans. Since there are so many nonprescription CBD products on the market, not all of them have been approved by the food and drug administration who evaluate ingredients and provide quality assurance. To minimize any potential side effects of CBD, make sure you are following the proper dosage for your dog
Side effects may include:
Dry mouth: Research has shown that CBD can decrease the production of saliva. For dogs, this would manifest as an increased thirst.
Lowered blood pressure: High doses of CBD have been known to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. Even though the drop is small, it might create a brief feeling of light-headedness.
Drowsiness: Dog owners have used CBD to treat anxiety. The calming effect of CBD can also cause slight drowsiness, especially when using higher doses.
There is no evidence that CBD can cause short-term health risks, but less is known about how it will affect dogs in the long term. The main concern is that taking CBD can cause elevations in dogs' liver enzymes, which could potentially damage your dog's liver over time.
CBD may also interact with certain medications like blood thinners, heart rhythm medications, anti-seizure drugs, and thyroid medications. So you should always ask your vet about any other medications your dog takes before starting any approved nonprescription CBD products. Combining CBD or CBD extract with certain medications can be harmful.
Ultimately, CBD is a form of medical marijuana that takes out the THC to create a nontoxic form. There are many uses for these hemp oils and helping our furry friends is a great place to start. Whether this article helped you decide you want to try CBD for your dog or yourself you now know what they are all about. A lot of good can come from CBD for dogs, and the benefits they can carry.