From controlling pain and inflammation to protecting the brain and boosting immunity, the benefits of CBD for pets stretch far and wide.
In this article, we’ll walk through:
- The therapeutic uses of CBD oil for pets.
- Safety and side effect profile of CBD for pets.
- What to look for in a company and product.
According to Dr. Jerry Klein, the Chief Veterinary Officer at American Kennel Club, the health and wellness benefits of cannabis for pets include:
- Relieving pain and inflammation
- Controlling seizures and epilepsy
- Alleviating nausea and vomiting
- Stimulating the appetite
- Easing stress and anxiety
Neuropathic pain and epilepsy, in particular, are two HUGE problems for a lot of pets today.But CBD is a natural (and quite potent) analgesic, neuroprotective agent and anticonvulsant, which explains why it’s growing in popularity as a wellness solution.
For example, CBD oil for dog seizures appears to be much safer and more effective than popular anticonvulsant pet drugs.
In fact, the Canine Health Foundation is conducting a major clinical study to further examine and spread awareness of the benefits of CBD for dog seizures among veterinarians and pet owners.
The goal of this CBD and pets trial is to verify and promote the use of CBD pet tincture medications over drugs like phenobarbital, potassium bromide and diazepam that often don’t work very well and can cause intolerable side effects.
Safety and Side Effect Profile of CBD for Pets
CBD for pets is pretty harmless. A 2012 study published in the journal Psychopharmacology examined the impact of oral vs. injected CBD for pets with OCD or obsessive-compulsive behavior.
Here’s what the researchers concluded based on the findings of the study:
- CBD is successful in inhibiting OCD behavior in animals.
- There are no known side effects when CBD is administered orally.
- CBD for pets is more effective when applied orally vs. with injections.
A 2017 update on the safety and side effects of CBD in animals studies published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research provides further evidence of the excellent safety profile of CBD for pets.
In particular, high doses of CBD (up to 1500 mg/day) are well tolerated in BOTH animals and humans.
And according to a 2018 review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids published in the journal Surgical Neurology International:
- In comparison to common medicinal drugs for OCD, tiredness, diarrhea, and appetite changes, CBD has a much more favorable side effect profile.
- In comparison to THC, CBD doesn’t alter heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, the psyche or psychomotor functions.
But CBD may have some interactions with certain drug-metabolizing proteins in humans. And it’s worth noting that when humans and animals get the same CBD dosage, more of it shows up in the brain and blood of animals.
So to play it safe, it’s important to consult with your vet about potential drug interactions and optimal dosage if your pet is taking another medication.
Rule of Thumb for Dosing
So how much CBD should you give your pet?
According to All the Best Pet Care, the rule of thumb for dosing cats and dogs is 1-5 mg CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight. CBD should typically be administered once or twice a day.
Remember, it’s hard to overdose on this stuff. But if you want to be safe, ask your vet. You vet can also give you more info on potential drug interactions.
What to Look for in a Company
The cannabis industry is still pretty underground and unregulated because marijuana is still federally illegal. And hemp has only been legal since 2018.
So there are no governing laws or regulations holding companies accountable. As such, the broader cannabis industry is still a pretty ‘buyer beware,’ black market exchange.
With a lot of businesses out there today, you never really know what you’re gonna get when buying CBD oil for pets.
So it’s CRITICAL to do your due diligence and take precautions before purchasing cannabis for pets. On top of doing some digging into the company, it’s also SUPER important to vet CBD oil quality AND efficacy.
What to Look for in CBD Oil for Pets
Make sure the product you’re purchasing has been thoroughly tested and is free from bacteria, fungi, pesticides, and unhealthy metals. And remember, the safest way to unleash the benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive effects is with oil or a tincture of organic CBD.